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Discussion Starter #38,301 (Edited)
TV/Production Notes (Cable)
‘Between the World and Me’ Adds Mahershala Ali, Angela Davis, Tip ‘TI’ Harris to Cast
By Margeaux Sippell, TheWrap.com - Sep. 30, 2020

HBO set the premiere date and added more cast members to its special event “Between the World and Me” on Wednesday, including “Moonlight” actor Mahershala Ali, political activist Angela Davis, Tip “T.I.” Harris, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of the New York Times best-selling book on which the project is based.

Set to premiere on HBO on Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, the special was originally adapted and made into a stage show by the Apollo Theater in 2018. For HBO, it’s being produced under COVID-19 guidelines, combining elements of that production including powerful readings from Coates’ book and documentary footage from the actors’ home life, archival footage, and animation.

Other new cast members just added are Mimi Jones, Ledisi, Greg Alverez Reid, Nate Smith and Olivia Washington. The full cast includes Angela Bassett, Alicia Garza, Jharrel Jerome, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Ledisi, Janet Mock, Jason Moran, Joe Morton, Wendell Pierce, Phylicia Rashad, Mj Rodriguez, Kendrick Sampson, Yara Shahidi, Nate Smith, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Courtney B. Vance, Pauletta Washington, Susan Kelechi Watson, Michelle Wilson and Oprah Winfrey.

The special is directed by award-winning director and Apollo Theater executive producer Kamilah Forbes, who also directed the stage show. Coates and Susan Kelechi Watson also executive produce, with Oscar-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams producing via his One Story Up production company.

Coates’ original novel was published in 2015 as a written letter to his teenage son. It “recounts the author’s experiences growing up in Baltimore’s inner city and his growing fear of daily violence against the Black community. The narrative explores Coates’ bold notion that American society structurally supports white supremacy,” according to HBO.

Watch a teaser for the HBO special below. [CLICK LINK]

Source: 'Between the World and Me' Adds Mahershala Ali, Angela Davis, Tip 'TI' Harris to Cast
 

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TV/Nielsen Notes (Broadcast)
Fewer Shows, Fewer Viewers: Broadcast Ratings Slump to Start Season
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Sep. 30, 2020

The first week of the 2020-21 TV season featured far less original programming on the broadcast networks than it did a year ago — and far fewer people watching.

A paucity of original shows — in particular scripted series — led to TV usage figures that were off by double digits compared to the opening week of the 2019-20 season. The decreased usage in turn fueled precipitous ratings drops for the broadcast networks, on top of the expected year to year dips as traditional TV's footprint continues to shrink.

None of those figures are unexpected: The coronavirus pandemic pushed the start of production on most live-action scripted back by more than a month. A typical late September rollout was never really in the cards this year.

Still, the declines are sharp, and the few places where year to year comparisons are applicable don't paint a very pleasant picture.

Broadcasters aired far fewer hours of original programming in the week of Sept. 21 — the official start date of the 2020-21 season, per Nielsen — than they did for premiere week in 2019. The big four English-language networks (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC) ran only 57 hours of "original" primetime programming for the week, and that includes five hours of acquired shows that had already debuted on other outlets in the United States. That's down from 72 hours for premiere week last year, a decrease of 21 percent (28 percent if the five acquired hours are excluded).

The year to year difference is even starker when looking at scripted programming: Last week featured just seven hours of scripted shows on those four networks, including three hours of acquired shows — not even a fifth of the 41 hours of scripted series aired the same week in 2019.

The dearth of programming translated to a big drop in TV usage: Traditional TV watching in primetime — whether live or DVR playback — was down by 21 percent from a year ago, per Nielsen figures. The drop in ratings was even bigger: ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC averaged 9 million fewer viewers last week than during 2019's premiere week (15.88 million vs. 24.91 million). In the key ad demographic of adults 18-49, the four nets' 3.5 rating and 4.5 million viewers in that age group is down from a 5.4 and 7.15 million viewers. Both the total viewer figures and demographic numbers are down by about 35 percent.

Because network schedules are so different than they normally are, apples to apples comparisons are tough to come by, but a few Fox shows help illustrate the dropoff.

The Masked Singer opened its season on the first Wednesday of the season, just as it did last year. Like the larger network averages, the show's numbers were down considerably. The premiere's same-day average fell 36 percent in adults 18-49 (2.5 to 1.6) and 26 percent in total viewers (8.02 million to 5.92 million). Three days of delayed viewing didn't do a lot to close the gap: The Masked Singer still lags last season's debut by 33 percent in adults 18-49 (2.2 vs. 3.3) and 22 percent in viewers (8.11 million vs. 10.45 million).

Fox's Sunday animated shows also debuted in their normal spots, and while they were steady or up over last season's premieres, that was largely due to help from an NFL lead-in. Compared to their first football-boosted airing last year, The Simpsons, Bless the Harts, Bob's Burgers and Family Guy declined by a collective 23 percent in adults 18-49 and total viewers.

The one constant, relatively speaking, is the NFL. NBC's Sunday Night Football, the lone primetime game last week, drew 17.8 million viewers, off by 4 percent from the same week last year, but it led the every other network program (excluding NFL pre- and postgame shows) by more than 10 million viewers.

Source: Fewer Shows, Fewer Viewers: Broadcast Ratings Slump to Start Season | Hollywood Reporter
 

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TV/Critic's Notes (Cable)
How the Show ‘Alone’ Sparked a Solo Trip and a Tough Realization
Had my fiancée and I, like so many of the contestants on the series, reached the end of our endurance?
By Isaac Fitzgerald, The New York Times - Sep. 30, 2020

This article is part of a series on resilience in troubled times — what we can learn about it from history and personal experiences.

When I realized March wasn’t going to end like it started, I developed two obsessions. The first was drinking water out of an empty antique whiskey bottle. I liked the feel of the bottle in my hand and it stopped me from drinking actual whiskey in the middle of the day like I desperately wanted to.

The other was “Alone,” a History Channel-produced reality show in which 10 people are each left so utterly alone in the wilderness that they have to film themselves as they use their skills, knowledge and the 10 items they are allowed to bring with them to do their best to survive for as long as possible. When they want to quit, the contestants can push a “tap-out” button and be rescued. The last person standing wins $500,000. It all came down to your survival plan.

I started with season six, the only season available on Netflix. Watching the contestants in the middle of nowhere, having to adapt to this wild, jarring new normal — it all felt familiar, unsettlingly so. Sure, I was sitting on a couch in my Brooklyn apartment, not trying to build a shelter while searching for potable water. But the global pandemic immediately changed our way of life, all of us. At times it did feel like we had been left alone on some kind of rocky shoreline.

Within a few days I had binged the season. My fiancée and I were taking the stay-at-home orders seriously. Alice didn’t leave the house at all and soon joined me in watching Ray Livingston as he made friends with a squirrel, only to be forced to hunt that squirrel when he ran out of food. Or Michelle Wohlberg, a tough Canadian whose ability to live in the wilderness came from growing up in the wilderness, the experiences of her impoverished childhood turned into knowledge about how to survive.

Alice laughed as she read me a comment from the “Alone” Subreddit about Jordan Jonas, a contestant from season six who took down a moose and feuded with wolverines. “New show concept,” it read. “‘Jordan’: A variety of wild animals are sent to live at Jordan’s house to see which can survive the longest.”

This is how much the show got inside my head: When I saw a chipmunk in our backyard, my brain immediately thought: “FOOD.” Thanks to the show, I now had a rudimentary sense of how to set a deadfall trap. (The chipmunk was ultimately spared.)

Dave McIntyre, a season two contestant, said he wanted to win the $500,000 cash prize because, as a single parent he was always saying “no” to his children, and he wanted to be the type of father who could say “yes.” Alice and I grew up poor. We cheered for Dave as he came across pools of water near his habitat filled with crabs. We yelled in anguish when his fishing line broke, and when he fell into the dangerously frigid water.

When we weren’t watching “Alone,” Alice and I passed the time reading, writing, cooking and getting used to Zoom hangouts with friends. The world seemed to be in an unending downward spiral, but at least we had takeout. And we had each other. For that we were grateful.

By May, though, we were wishing we had a “tap-out” button of our own. Alice and I lived in Park Slope, right by NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. The city was silent save for the ambulances, so numerous and inescapable in those early months that it’s already a cliché to mention them.

By early June we knew more about the virus. Wearing a mask and staying six feet apart was relatively safe. I started taking walks in Prospect Park. We participated in Black Lives Matter protests. A few friends came over to hang out on our front stoop. There was a growing feeling of community.

In mid-July, my brother, Joel, in New Hampshire gave me a call. The local Covid-19 numbers were low, and his children were asking about when they could see their uncle. He had a boat docked by the water in Portsmouth. I could come stay on it for a socially distanced visit if I wanted.

Alice and I had been indoors together for five months. Whenever people asked how we were doing, I always responded, “Globally worried. Locally OK.” Alice and I had been lucky through it all. We didn’t get sick or have sick family members. But it’d be a lie to say both of us didn’t perk up a little bit at the idea of being separate for a few weeks.

I wasn’t ready to take a train or plane yet. But with a combination of ferries, I could get to New Bedford, Mass., where Joel would pick me up, taking me to the boat docked at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, where I would sleep.
After so many months of doing my best to stay sedentary, my heart leapt at the idea — adventure! a voyage! movement! The journey was made all the more special because I’d have to spend a night without lodging on Martha’s Vineyard, a waypoint between ferries. I looked forward to camping — everyone safe and sound in their expensive summer homes while I found a secluded beach or a grove of trees.

“It’ll be like ‘Alone’,” I said to Alice, who looked at me skeptically and teased me about taking my privilege out for a spin.

The walk from our apartment in Brooklyn to the dock in Manhattan was seven miles. I packed a light bag, put on my mask and rode my skateboard whenever I could, feeling ecstatic and free.

At the dock I lined up along with the other happy vacationers. As the skyline retreated in the distance, I turned my back on the city and faced the open ocean. Is there a better thing for the soul than a blast of salt-heavy sea air? I’d spent the summers of my youth working on the Atlantic. I love boats and the ocean, and I had no idea how badly my body had been missing both.

I turned my headphones up and, with a beer covered in a paper bag in my hand, began to dance. A few of my fellow passengers laughed and clapped.

Five hours later we arrived at Oaks Bluff on Martha’s Vineyard and I was drunk. When we disembarked I waved goodbye to the crew and made my way down the dock. My legs beneath me weren’t as sturdy as they had been in New York, and my joyous drunkenness quickly turned into a heavy tiredness. By the time I stepped off the pier I was less concerned with finding my secluded beach or grove of trees and just wanted a place to sit down.

Down the boardwalk I found a bench. The sun had set, and I sat gratefully and watched the dark waves crash onto the shore. I smoked a cigarette (a bad habit from my youth that I had picked back up during quarantine), and put my feet up, resting my head on my bag. I closed my eyes, thinking to myself that it would just be for one moment.

When I opened my eyes, the sun was up. A jogger ran past; sea gulls shrieked. My big “Alone” adventure: passing out on a bench by the ocean. I stripped down to my shorts, walking into the ocean up to my waist, then dove in. It was cold and perfect.

Later I went into town for coffee to wait for the boat back to the mainland. I struck up a conversation with a local man who ran a construction company. He figured I was down on my luck and offered me a job with his crew doing repairs on the rich people’s homes. I passed on his kind offer, saying I had to make it further up the coast. Before heading back to the dock, I asked the man if he was familiar with “Alone.”

He wasn’t, but he had been right about one thing: I was down on my luck. I just didn’t know it yet. Within the next week, while living on Joel’s boat, I would realize my relationship had been falling apart. It came as an epiphany, something that I hadn’t been able to see while stuck in that apartment. It wasn’t one big thing — simply a bad year stacked on top of another: Alice’s father had died the year before; our money was running out; we were trying to figure things out in a city that’s tough even for those who seemingly have enough; then 2020 started kicking us while we were down.

Like so many of the people on “Alone,” we had reached the end of our endurance. “Globally worried. Locally OK.” Turns out we weren’t.

After my realization, I returned to the city. Alice and I picked up a meal from our favorite local Korean spot. We laughed and drank cocktails on our stoop. We talked. And then she left.

What did this pandemic take from you? A job opportunity? A loved one? A year? I know what it cost me. Both Alice and I are going to make it through this. But our relationship won’t. Our survival strategy wasn’t strong enough.

After waving goodbye, I walked back into our apartment and, with nothing else to do, started to rewatch a season of “Alone.”

Isaac Fitzgerald is the author of the children’s book “How to Be a Pirate” and the forthcoming essay collection “Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional.”

Source: How the Show ‘Alone’ Sparked a Solo Trip and a Tough Realization
 

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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
‘Conan The Barbarian’ Series in Development at Netflix
By Will Thorne, Variety.com - Sep. 30, 2020

Conan the barbarian could be on his way to Netflix.

The streamer is developing a live-action series based on the iconic character created by Robert E. Howard, Variety has confirmed. Conan first appeared in comic books way back in the 1930s, and has already appeared in multiple different big screen adventures.

No details on the plot or timeframe of this new series have been revealed as yet. However, what has been confirmed is that it hails from Fredrik Malmberg and Mark Wheeler’s Pathfinder Media, and is part of a larger deal for the exclusive rights to the Conan library which is currently in the works between Netflix and Conan Properties International, which is owned owned by Cabinet Entertainment. As part of the potential deal, Netflix would have the right to adapt Conan properties for film and TV in both the live-action and animated spaces. Malmberg and Wheeler will executive producers this prospective series via their Pathfinder banner.

On the film side, Conan was most famously played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1982 John Milius pic “Conan the Barbarian,” and then again for the 1984 sequel “Conan the Destroyer.” Most recently, Conan was played on the big screen by “Game of Thrones” and “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa for the 2011 film with the same name as the first Schwarzenegger pic. The Momoa version was a pretty significant box office flop, only grossing $64 million worldwide from a budget of over $90 million.

There have also been multiple Conan adaptations on the TV front, most notably the animated series “Conan the Adventurer” which aired on syndication in the early 1990s. CBS aired a sequel to that series called “Conan and the Young Warriors,” running for a single season in 1994.

Deadline first reported the development news.

Source: ‘Conan The Barbarian’ Series in Development at Netflix
 

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TV Review (Streaming)
New Streaming Service AMC+ Launches With the Extremely Violent 'Gangs of London'
By David Hinckley, TVWorthWatching.com's 'All Along the Watchtower' - Oct. 1, 2020

If you think our government is secretly controlled by a labyrinth known as The Deep State, you ought to see what lies under the surface of international criminal organizations.

Gangs of London, which becomes available Thursday on the new streaming service AMC+, has its protagonists headquartered in the show's title city.

Their web of criminal activity encompasses the globe, and the politics of the illegal drug trade in the Far East, for instance, can have a profound impact on decisions made in the shadow of Westminster Abbey.

Gangs of London itself has a similarly sweeping ambition. Rather than focusing on one group of criminals and their adventure du jour, creators Gareth Evans and Matt Flannery turn the story into an epic.

Not an epic of characters, like The Godfather, but more an epic tsunami of crime.

The 10-episode story revolves around the Wallace family, headed by Finn Wallace (Colm Meaney). He has managed to assemble a criminal conglomerate that seems to have functioned for some years without everyone killing each other, which should give him a lifetime achievement award in that field.

His associates, from all over the globe, seem to accept that staying in their respective lanes is good business for everyone, not least because it attracts so much less attention from the law.

Then something happens that upsets the governing balance and throws previous understandings into question. Finn's son, Sean (Joe Cole, top), must step in and take a greater role, and while Finn has been, by nature, a cautious man, Sean is what across the pond in America might be called a hothead. Also a sociopath, but the hothead part has the most immediate impact.

This soon tests the strongest of the Wallace bonds: the one that ties Finn to the Dumani family. Ed Dumani (Lucian Msamati) is one of Finn's oldest and closest friends, in part because he shares Finn's vision for running things with as low a profile as a multimillion-pound criminal enterprise can maintain.

Sean's impulsiveness threatens that. It also helps turn Gangs of London into the most violent show that has ever aired under an AMC brand.

For a network that previously hosted Breaking Bad, that's an imposing superlative. It is earned. The opening scene alone would give it that distinction, and before the first episode ends, we've seen a strong, continuing dose of the old ultraviolence.

If you're prone to nightmares, Gangs of London probably isn't your show.

Gangs began as a Cinemax project, where it would have been a good fit. But AMC apparently saw it as an excellent way to brand the new AMC+ service as edgier immediately, and it does that.

Because of the story's sheer scope, the first episode takes a while to sort things out. Once we get the Finn Wallace part and meet other characters who include Finn's imposing wife Marian (Michelle Fairley), we start to see where it's going.

We also see that a number of characters won't be with us for the whole ride.

AMC, however, is sticking around. Gangs of London has already been renewed for a second season. Meanwhile, in keeping with streaming strategy, the first three episodes of Season 1 will be available Thursday, with subsequent episodes rolling out weekly from there.

Source: New Streaming Service AMC+ Launches With the Extremely Violent 'Gangs of London'
 

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Media/Health Notes (Cable)
Movie theaters reduce hours as Hollywood blockbusters delayed
By Alexandra Steigrad, New York Post - Sep. 30, 2020

Movie theaters are reducing their hours as Hollywood pulls back on releasing fall blockbusters like “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Black Widow” amid the pandemic.

The biggest movie theater chains — including AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark — said they are beginning to limit showtimes because there are no major films being released until late November. Some smaller movie houses in sleepier markets are following suit and taking it a step further by closing certain days of the week when traffic is low.

Cinemark, which owns more than 500 movie theaters in the US, said about 75 percent of its cinemas are open. The rep told The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday that it would “evaluate” opportunities where it sees demand, opening or closing more locations, accordingly.

“It’s a fallow period because few big films will be released before the end of the year,” Comscore media analyst Paul Dergarabedian told The Post.

Movie theater owners are looking to Nov. 20 for the release of the new James Bond flick “No Time to Die” and Pixar’s Soul to restart the box office, but there’s still a danger that if the coronavirus is still spreading, those films will be delayed, too.

Cinemas reopened where they were allowed in time for Christopher Nolan’s spy thriller “Tenet,” which rolled out over Labor Day weekend. But without major markets like New York and Los Angeles in play, the $200 million flick has struggled, grossing just $41.2 million domestically through Sept. 27. Movie theater operators had hoped Tenet” would be followed by Disney’s “Mulan,” but that movie was sent straight to streaming service Disney+ at a premium price in the US over the Labor Day frame.

This month, Warner Bros. pushed back the release of “Wonder Woman 1984” to Dec. 25 from its original opening date of Oct. 2, and Disney moved “Black Widow,” starring Scarlett Johansson, to May 2021 from Nov. 6.

The impact of the delays has been immediate on movie theaters. According to Comscore, 3,453 out of 6,000 North American theaters were back in business over the weekend of Sept. 18. As of now, that number shrank to 3,350.

“This is about studios trying to find the best possible timeframe in which to release their films,” said Dergarabedian, who explained that studios are waiting for major markets to reopen in order to release their biggest films.

“Release date changes are the norm and not the exception,” he said before turning to the uncertainty of the pandemic. “It depends what happens with COVID-19.”

Source: Movie theaters reduce hours as Hollywood blockbusters delayed
 

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TV/Health Notes (Broadcast)
Jim Parsons Reveals COVID-19 Diagnosis, Says Symptoms “Defied the Descriptions”
By Alexandra Del Rosario, Deadline.com - Sep. 30, 2020

Jim Parsons shared on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon that he and husband Todd Spiewak contracted COVID-19 back in March.

On Monday night Parsons told Fallon of his experience with the coronavirus.

“We didn’t know what it was, we know we had colds and we lost all sense of smell and taste,” the Hollywood actor told Fallon. “It defied the descriptions for me, I didn’t realize how taste and smell could be gone.”

After describing his time learning about his diagnosis, Parsons said that he and his partner grieved not being able to taste any of the food at home, as eating more became a favorite activity during the pandemic. The conversation then moved on to the two television stars discussing what kept them busy during quarantine.

Parsons said that he has busied himself with creative writing classes and bleaching his hair, the latter which Fallon also did, though years ago.

Fallon then noted that the last time Parsons appeared on the show, he was still acting on the Big Bang Theory. When asked about what life was like after the show ended, Parsons likened it to a death.

“It reminds me when someone died or passes and it feels so monumental for a moment and you think it’s never going to end then nine months go by and you’re like ‘life carries on.’ It was bittersweet when it ended but I feel fine.”

Watch the entire segment below. [CLICK LINK]

Source: Jim Parsons Reveals COVID-19 Diagnosis, Says Symptoms “Defied the Descriptions”
 

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TV Notes
On The Air

THURSDAY OCT. 1, 2020 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

ABC:
8PM - Celebrity Family Feud:
Joel McHale vs. Ben Feldman; Jesse Palmer vs. CeeLo Green
9PM - Press Your Luck

10PM - Match Game (James Van Der Beek, Cheryl Hines, Thomas Lennon, Sherri Shepherd, Dr. Oz and Laura Benanti)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Travis Scott talks and performs; Lauren Cohan)
12:06AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - Big Brother: Triple Elimination (120 min., LIVE)
10PM - Star Trek Discovery: Episode 2
* * * *
11:35PM - The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Ethan Hawke; prosecutor Andrew Weissmann)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With James Corden (TV host Tyra Banks; Sally Hawkins; director Craig Roberts)

NBC:
8PM - The Wall
9PM - Dateline NBC: Tallahassee Trap (120 min.)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Comics Michael Che and Colin Jost; Kaitlyn Dever; BTS performs)
12:36AM - Late Night With Seth Meyers (Cecily Strong; former MLB player David Wright; film director Miranda July; Jessica Burdeaux sits in with the 8G Band)
1:36AM - A Little Late With Lilly Singh (Erin Foster and Sara Foster)
(R)

FOX:
8PM - The Masked Singer
(R)
9PM - Let's Be Real (Premiere)
9:30PM - Family Guy
(R)

THE CW:
8PM - Mysteries Decoded: The Montauk Experiments
9PM - Penn & Teller: Fool Us
(R)

PBS:
8PM - This Old House (Season Premiere)
8:30PM - Ask This Old House (Season Premiere)
9PM - Islands of Wonder: Hawaii
(R)
10PM - Antiques Roadshow: Fort Worth (R)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Médicos, Línea de Vida
9PM - Imperio de Mentiras
10PM - Dulce Ambición

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Exatlón Estados Unidos (120 min.)
9PM - Todo Por Mi Hija
10PM - Falsa Identidad


ESPN:
7PM - MLB Baseball, Wild Card Playoff Game 2: St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres (LIVE)
10PM - MLB Baseball, Wild Card Playoff Game 2: Milwaukee Brewers at Los Angeles Dodgers (LIVE)


ESPN U:
7PM - Women's College Volleyball: Kansas State at West Virginia (120 min., LIVE)

E!:
8PM - Keeping Up With the Kardashians (Season Premiere)
9PM - The Bradshaw Bunch
* * * *
11:30PM - Nightly Pop

HBO:
8PM - Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Documentary Premiere, 2020, 105 min.)

HGTV:
8PM -
Flipping 101 With Tarek El Moussa (4 back-to-back episodes, 120 min.)
10:01PM - House Hunters
10:31PM - House Hunters International


LIFETIME:
8PM - Married at First Sight (3 hrs. 3 min.)


MTV:
8PM - Double Shot at Love With DJ Pauly D and Vinny: Reunion Part 1 (60 min.)
* * * *
11PM - Ridiculousness: Chanel and Sterling CCXV


NAT GEO:
8PM - Life Below Zero (74 min.)
9:14PM - Life Below Zero: The Next Generation
10:14PM - Hitler's Teen Killers


WETV:
8PM - Braxton Family Values: Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life!: Old and New Wounds (Special)
9PM - Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life!

10PM - Bridezillas

BRAVO:
9PM - The Real Housewives of New York City: Secrets Revealed
10PM - Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen (Author Chelsea Clinton; comic Samantha Bee)


ID:
9PM - Impact of Murder (Season Finale)
10PM - The Killer Beside Me

SCIENCE:
9PM - What on Earth? The Damned of Devil's Island
10PM - Secrets in the Ice: Arctic Doomsday Device (Season Finale)


TLC:
9PM - Dr. Pimple Popper
10PM - Dr. Pimple Popper: Before the Pop
10:30PM - My Feet Are Killing Me

BBC AMERICAN:
10PM - CripTales (Premiere, 56 min.)


COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (45 min.)

SHOWTIME:
11PM - Desus & Mero (LL Cool J.)


TBS:
11PM - Conan (Melissa Villaseñor)


Source: TV Listings- Find Local TV Listings and Watch Full Episodes - Zap2it.com
 

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Discussion Starter #38,310 (Edited)
No political comments... and HOLY F***ING S**T!!! :oops:

Breaking News/Health Notes
Trump Tests Positive for the Coronavirus
By Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman, The New York Times - Oct. 2, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Trump said early Friday that he and the first lady have tested positive for the coronavirus, throwing the nation’s leadership into uncertainty and escalating the crisis posed by a pandemic that has already killed more than 207,000 Americans and devastated the economy.

“Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!” Mr. Trump received the test result after one of his closest advisers, Hope Hicks, became infected, bringing the virus into his inner circle and underscoring the difficulty of containing it even with the resources of a president. Mr. Trump has for months played down the severity of the virus and told a political dinner just Thursday night that “the end of the pandemic is in sight.”

Mr. Trump’s positive test result could pose immediate difficulties for the future of his campaign against former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., his Democratic challenger, with just 33 days before the election on Nov. 3. Even if Mr. Trump, 74, remains asymptomatic, he will have to withdraw from the campaign trail and stay isolated in the White House for an unknown period of time. If he becomes sick, it could raise questions about whether he should remain on the ballot at all.

Even if he does not become seriously ill, the positive test could prove devastating to his political fortunes given his months of diminishing the seriousness of the pandemic even as the virus was still ravaging the country and killing about 1,000 more Americans every day. He has repeatedly predicted the virus “is going to disappear,” asserted that it was under control and insisted that the country was “rounding the corner” to the end of the crisis. He has scorned scientists, saying they were mistaken on the severity of the situation.

Mr. Trump has refused for months to wear a mask in public on all but a few occasions and repeatedly questioned their effectiveness while mocking Mr. Biden for wearing one. Trailing in the polls, the president in recent weeks increasingly held crowded campaign events in defiance of public health guidelines and sometimes state and local governments.

When he accepted the nomination on the final day of the Republican National Convention, he invited more than 1,000 supporters to the South Lawn of the White House and has held multiple rallies around the country since, often with hundreds and even thousands of people jammed into tight spaces, many if not most without masks.

A positive test will undercut his effort to change the subject away from a pandemic that polls show most Americans believe he has mishandled and onto political terrain he considers more favorable. Mr. Trump has sought to focus voter attention instead on violence in cities, his Supreme Court nomination, mail-in ballots and Mr. Biden’s relationship with liberals.

Aside from the campaign, the symbolism of an infected president could rattle governors and business owners trying to assess when and how to reopen or keep open shops, schools, parks, beaches, restaurants, factories and other workplaces. Eager to restore a semblance of normal life before the election, Mr. Trump has dismissed health concerns to demand that schools reopen, college football resume play and businesses resume full operation.

In his eighth decade of life, Mr. Trump belongs to the age category deemed most vulnerable to the virus. Eight out of every 10 deaths attributed to it in the United States have been among those 65 and older.

Mr. Trump has been resistant to permitting details of his health to be made public, raising questions about his overall condition. He made an unannounced trip in November to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that prompted speculation that he had an undisclosed medical ailment, but the White House insisted that he simply underwent routine tests, without revealing what they were or what they showed.

But while Mr. Trump has been reported to have high cholesterol and tips the scale at 243 pounds, which is considered obese for his height, the president’s doctor pronounced Mr. Trump in “very good health” last year after his last full medical checkup. And, unlike many of those who have succumbed to the virus, he will have the best medical care available.

A variety of people around Mr. Trump were previously infected by the virus, including most recently Robert C. O’Brien, his national security adviser who had a mild case before returning to work in August. Others infected include Kimberly Guilfoyle, his son’s girlfriend; a White House valet; Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary; as well as some Secret Service agents, campaign advance workers and a Marine in the president’s helicopter unit. Herman Cain, a former Republican presidential candidate and political ally of Mr. Trump’s, died of the coronavirus in July after attending the president’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., where Mr. Cain, like many in the arena, was seen not wearing a mask at least part of the time.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly expressed confidence in public about his own health, saying he was not concerned about being exposed despite his various close calls. “I’m on a stage that’s very far away, and so, I’m not at all concerned,” he said last month, brushing off worries about crowded rallies.

Behind the scenes, though, the self-described germophobe was angry in the spring that his valet, who is among those who serve him food, had not been wearing a mask before testing positive, according to people in touch with him. Mr. Trump privately expressed irritation with people who got too close to him.

According to the president, he began taking the hydroxychloroquine anti-malaria drug proactively around this time and later said it caused no adverse effects. In the days after Ms. Miller’s positive test, Mr. Pence opted to stay physically away from Mr. Trump to avoid a possible exposure, while three top public health officials, including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, who is on the White House’s coronavirus task force, went into some form of self-quarantine.

The White House ordered some employees to work from home and those who came to work to wear masks except when sitting at their desks an appropriate distance from their colleagues. Just as Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence were being tested every day, those coming into proximity to them were subject to daily tests as well, while other White House employees had tests every several days. But those protocols were soon relaxed and most White House officials were rarely seen wearing masks, at least when the president was present.

While the coronavirus is much deadlier than the flu, the vast majority of people infected by it recover, especially if there is no underlying condition, but the threat climbs with age. If Mr. Trump becomes symptomatic, it could take him weeks to recover.

Under the 25th Amendment, a medically incapacitated president has the option of temporarily transferring power to the vice president and can reclaim his authority whenever he deems himself fit for duty.

Since the amendment was ratified in 1967, presidents have done so only three times. In 1985, President Ronald Reagan underwent a colonoscopy and briefly turned over power to Vice President George Bush, although he did not explicitly cite the amendment in doing so. President George W. Bush did invoke the amendment twice in temporarily turning over power to Vice President Dick Cheney during colonoscopies in 2002 and 2007.

Under the Presidential Succession Act, if both Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence were unable to serve, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California would step in. In the spring, the White House said that it had no plan for such an eventuality. “That’s not even something that we’re addressing,” said Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary. “We’re keeping the president healthy. We’re keeping the vice president healthy and, you know, they’re healthy at this moment and they’ll continue to be.”

There is a long history of presidents falling seriously ill while in office, including some afflicted during epidemics. George Washington was feared close to death amid an influenza epidemic during his second year, while Woodrow Wilson became sick during Paris peace talks after World War I with what some specialists and historians believe was the influenza that ravaged the world from 1918 through 1920.

Four presidents have died in office of natural causes: William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Warren G. Harding and Franklin D. Roosevelt, while Wilson endured a debilitating stroke and Dwight D. Eisenhower had a heart attack in his first term and a stroke in his second. Four others were assassinated in office: Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy.

But such health crises in the White House have been rarer in recent times. Since Reagan was shot in 1981, no president has been known to confront a life-threatening condition while in office.

Source: Trump Tests Positive for the Coronavirus
 

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TV/Nielsen Notes (Cable)
‘South Park’s Pandemic Special Scores Series’ Best Ratings In Seven Years
By Nellie Andreeva and Patrick Hipes, Deadline.com - Oct. 2, 2020

The supersized special episode of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s South Park on Wednesday tackled the COVID-19 pandemic, skewered Disney, Donald Trump and cops, and drew a slew of viewers in the process. The Comedy Central animated veteran scored 2.3 million Live+Same Day total viewers and a 2.1 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic on the network. That was the show’s highest L+SD demo number in seven years, up 168% vs. the series’ Season 23 average. it also ranks as the highest-rated scripted telecast on ad-supported cable in 2020.

The episode, titled “The Pandemic Special” was simulcast on ViacomCBS sister Entertainment and Youth brands MTV and MTV2, amassing 4.05 million total viewers across the premiere on Comedy Central, the simulcast on MTV/MTV2 as well as the two encores that aired in primetime on Comedy Central. (There is no multi-platform data yet; the episode will be available on HBO Max later today.)

Last night’s episode found Randy seizing on a growing pot market and coming to terms with his role in the COVID-19 outbreak as the ongoing pandemic presents continued challenges for South Park’s citizens. The kids happily head back to school, but nothing resembles the normal that they once knew.

“We’re thrilled with South Park’s return and it’s clear the audience was as well,“ said Chris McCarthy, President, Entertainment & Youth Brands, ViacomCBS. “The success is a testament to Matt and Trey’s creative genius and we used our full portfolio to let everyone know it’s back – propelling it to the No. 1 scripted telecast of 2020 and delivering its highest ratings in seven years.”

ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Group has ramped up simulcasting shows across its portfolio of late, including the finale of Pop’s Schitt’s Creek on Comedy Central and Logo, the Season 4 premiere of Pop’s One Day at a Time on TV Land and Logo, and the Season 3 premiere of Paramount Network’s Yellowstone on Pop, TV Land and CMT.

Last night’s South Park also had a strong showing on social, with MTV, VH1, CMT, Paramount Network, TV Land and Pop TV driving 2.2 million of the show’s 4.8 million views, the latter number more than doubling the Season 23 premiere.

Source: ‘South Park’s Pandemic Special Scores Series’ Best Ratings In Seven Years
 

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TV/Production Notes (Broadcast)
Hillary Clinton developing new drama, 'The Woman's Hour,' for CW
By Patrick Ryan, USA Today - Oct. 1, 2020

Hillary Clinton has her eyes on the small screen once again.

The former first lady and secretary of state is developing a new anthology drama for CW, "The Woman's Hour." The prospective first season is based on Elaine Weiss' best-selling 2018 nonfiction book "The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote," and will focus on the fight to ratify the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote and was signed into law in 1920.

"Each season of 'The Woman's Hour' will celebrate those who changed history and have strong contemporary reverberations, appealing to today’s rising tide of young, politically active audiences," a press release states.

Clinton and Weiss will executive produce along with Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey of Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, and the show will be overseen by writer/producer Angelina Burnett ("Halt and Catch Fire").

"Rights for the book were optioned by Amblin Television in 2018, after Clinton brought the project to long-time supporter and Amblin Chairman Steven Spielberg," the release says. "Clinton first discovered the book after Weiss made it her mission to get the novel to the former Secretary of State, after realizing the striking parallels between the women’s suffrage movement and the 2016 presidential election between Clinton and Donald Trump."

Earlier this week, Clinton, 72, launched her first podcast, "You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton," and welcomed Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris in Thursday's bonus episode. And last spring, she was the subject of four-part Hulu docuseries "Hillary," a warts-and-all look at her political career and personal life leading up to the 2016 election.

When she was approached about the documentary by filmmaker Nanette Burstein, "I thought, 'Well, why not?' " Clinton told USA TODAY in March. "People make up stuff about me all the time. Maybe this is an opportunity not only to talk about my life but to place it within the flow of history."

Source: Hillary Clinton developing new drama, 'The Woman's Hour,' for CW
 

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TV/Production Notes (International)
‘Cops’ Resumes Filming in Washington State
By Tim Baysinger, TheWrap.com - Oct. 2, 2020

Nearly four months after it was canceled by Paramount Network, “Cops” has quietly resumed production in Spokane County, Washington.

The sheriff’s department in Spokane confirmed Thursday that two “Cops” film crews have been riding with the County Sheriff’s Office and Spokane Valley Deputies since September and will do so through December. “We have a longstanding relationship with COPS and Langley productions, and we are pleased they have decided to return,” the Sherrif’s office said in a press release.

The episodes will not air in the U.S. but are being produced in order to fulfill contractual commitments the series has with the international territories where it airs, a rep for the show’s producer, Langley Productions, told TheWrap.

“Cops” was canceled after a 33-year run by the Paramount Network amid the nationwide protests against police brutality after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer.

A&E also canceled its top-rated “Live PD,” which also followed officers on patrol.

“Shows like COPS highlight the work of law enforcement. They show, even for a few minutes, what the men and women out protecting our communities deal with day in and day out,” Sherrif Ozzie Knezovich said in a statement. “People need to see how quickly things can turn, the decisions that need to be made quickly, and how well Deputies and Officers adjust and respond appropriately. They show the hard work and professionalism of law enforcement, despite what some anti-law enforcement activists and those in the media want you to believe.”

Source: 'Cops' Resumes Filming in Washington State, but Won't Air in US
 

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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key and Alan Cumming Lead the Stacked Cast of Apple TV+ Musical Comedy Series
By Matt Webb Mitovich, TVLine.com - Oct. 1, 2020

Keegan-Michael Key and no fewer than three Tony Award winners are set to join Cecily Strong in an Apple TV+ musical comedy series executive-produced by SNL boss Lorne Michaels.

Strong and Key lead a cast that is chockablock with talent from TV and theater, including Tony winners Alan Cumming (The Good Wife, Cabaret), Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked, Pushing Daisies) and Jane Krakowski (30 Rock, Nine). Rounding out the ensemble are Aaron Tveit (Graceland, Grease: Live), Dove Cameron (Descendants, Hairspray Live!), Tony nominee Ariana DeBose (Hamilton), Fred Armisen (SNL), Jaime Camil (Jane the Virgin) and Ann Harada (Avenue Q) .

Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio of the Despicable Me film franchise co-created the series. Paul will serve as showrunner and write all of the original music, while Barry Sonnenfeld will direct.

Announced back in January and set to debut globally on Apple TV+ next year, the Universal Television production follows Melissa and Josh (played by Strong and Key), a couple who are on a backpacking trip designed to reinvigorate their relationship when they discover a magical town in which everyone acts as if they’re in a musical from the 1940s. The twosome then discover that they can’t leave said town until they find “true love.”

Among the other cast, Armisen will play Reverend Layton, the mild-mannered religious leader of the town, while Chenoweth is Mildred, the reverend’s morally superior wife who is in everybody’s business.

Cumming will play Mayor Menlove, the welcoming town leader who harbors a secret (and a song) in his heart, while Harada is Florence, his oblivious and dutiful wife.

Tveit fills the role of Danny Bailey, the town bad boy who is “trouble with a capital T” — especially once he sets his sights on Melissa. Cameron in turn plays Betsy, the farmer’s daughter who instantly falls for Josh.

DeBose plays Emma Tate, a more modern school teacher who struggles to fit into the town’s strict mold; Camil is Doc Lopez, the handsome town doctor with an icy heart; and Krakowski plays The Countess, a stunning and sophisticated woman determined to marry Doc Lopez.

Source: Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key and Alan Cumming Lead the Stacked Cast of Apple TV+ Musical Comedy Series
 

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TV Notes (Cable)
'Billions' Renewed for Season 6 at Showtime
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Oct. 1, 2020

Showtime is keeping its interest in Billions.

The ViacomCBS network has picked up the drama for a sixth season. The show's fifth run, which debuted in May, was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, with seven episodes completed before production shut down in March. The remaining five episodes are set to air next year, with season six to follow.

Additionally, Corey Stoll, who joined the show as a guest star in season five as a new threat to Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), has been upped to a regular for the coming season.

The show's fifth season saw the rekindling of the rivalry between Bobby and Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) while new enemies take aim. Stoll's Mike Prince poses a threat to Axe's dominance, while Chuck feuds with a formidable district attorney played by Roma Maffia.

The Billions cast also includes Maggie Siff, Asia Kate Dillon, David Costabile, Condola Rashad, Kelly AuCoin and Jeffrey DeMunn; Julianna Margulies also guests in season five.

Co-creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who have an overall deal with Showtime, serve as showrunners and executive producers. Andrew Ross Sorkin also created the show.

The show recently beat a lawsuit from a hedge fund performance coach who alleged that she helped Sorkin develop Siff's character, Wendy Rhoades, but was never compensated. A federal judge dismissed the claim in October 2019 and earlier this month denied plaintiff Denise Shull's request to file an amended complaint.

Source: 'Billions' Renewed for Season 6 at Showtime | Hollywood Reporter
 

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TV/Production Notes
Guy Ritchie's The Gentlemen is becoming a TV show
By Christian Holub, EW.com - Oct. 1, 2020

Hope you're ready for more where that came from. Guy Ritchie's latest film The Gentlemen is a rare cinematic success story in 2020, grossing more than $100 million worldwide during its January release months before the coronavirus pandemic put movie theaters in stasis. EW has confirmed that Miramax will be building off that success with a new TV show based on The Gentlemen, to be written and directed by Ritchie. Deadline was first to report the news.

“Miramax Television is thrilled to break new creative ground in our partnership with Guy Ritchie on The Gentlemen," Marc Helwig, Miramax's head of worldwide television, said in a statement. "One of the most distinctive and prolific filmmakers working today and someone whose creativity I have admired for many years, we couldn’t be more excited to bring the cinematic journey of The Gentlemen forth into the realm of global premium television.”

The Gentlemen was a callback to Ritchie's earlier crime films like Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels in the wake of his work on Disney's live-action Aladdin (a tonal shift for the filmmaker, but a huge success at the box office). The film starred Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Pearson, an American expatriate who's built a criminal weed empire in Britain. The sprawling cast also featured Charlie Hunnam (as Mickey's top enforcer Raymond Smith), Hugh Grant (as sleazy journalist Fletcher), Henry Golding (as up-and-coming criminal rival Dry Eye) and Michelle Dockery (as Mickey's tough-as-nails wife Rosalind), among others. McConaughey and Hunnam have both had major TV roles before, but as of now it's unknown who if any of the film cast might return for the series.

According to Miramax, The Gentlemen actually began as a pitch for a TV series before evolving into a movie. Now, the project will get to fulfill its original destiny.

Source: Guy Ritchie's 'The Gentlemen' is becoming a TV show
 

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Media/Business Notes
You won’t need Disney Plus to watch Mulan starting next week
By Julia Alexander, TheVerge.com - Oct. 1, 2020

For anyone who wanted to watch Mulan but didn’t want to sign up for Disney Plus, the movie is heading to Amazon, FandangoNow, Vudu, and other digital retailers on October 6th. The film is currently available to preorder for $29.99.

Mulan debuted on Disney Plus on September 4th as a “Premier Access” title. Disney Plus subscribers could spend an additional $30 to own the film. In order to keep the film, however, they had to keep up their Disney Plus subscription, which costs $6.99 a month. Now, Disney is making the movie available (for purchase) to anyone, anywhere. Mulan is available to preorder in SD, HD, or 4K UHD.

Disney’s decision to move Mulan, which was originally intended for a theatrical release, to Disney Plus came at a pivotal moment for the company. Like other studios, Disney’s theatrical slate was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. While certain movies were delayed to 2021, including Marvel’s Black Widow, Mulan became an experiment for Disney — would people pay $30 for a new, anticipated film? More importantly, would it keep people subscribed to Disney Plus, one of the company’s only growing sectors right now?

“We’re very pleased to be able to bring Mulan to our consumer base that has been waiting for it for a long, long time as we’ve had to unfortunately move our theatrical date several times,” CEO Bob Chapek said on an earnings call.

Disney hasn’t released numbers for Mulan, making it difficult to gauge just how well or how poorly the film performed on Disney Plus. Christine McCarthy, Disney’s chief financial officer, said the company has been “very pleased with what we saw over the four-day weekend” at a recent conference, as reported by Bloomberg, but actual figures will have to wait until Disney’s next earnings call.

What remains clear is Disney, like other studios, is trying to figure out how to work with the unprecedented uncertainty in the filmmaking and distribution markets caused by the pandemic. Warner Bros.’ Tenet saw some decent revenue internationally but failed to perform well within the US due to limited theater openings. And as many locations remain closed in key markets like Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco — and with moviegoers hesitant to return to the confines of an indoor theater — trying to figure out alternatives for big-budget projects is a key challenge going forward.

That’s why Mulan moved to Disney Plus in the first place, and why more movies may shift to streaming as well. Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming Borat sequel is set to arrive on Amazon Prime Video later this month. Still, for people who don’t want to purchase Mulan but might be interested in checking it out, the film will be available to stream on Disney Plus as a regular title beginning December 4th.

Source: You won’t need Disney Plus to watch Mulan starting next week
 

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TV/Legal Notes (Cable)
Studios Defend Lifetime in Docudrama Suit
By John Eggerton, NextTV.com - Oct. 1, 2020

Lifetime has a bunch of friends in high programming places in a court fight that could have a major impact on the TV and movie biopic and docudrama genres.

Those friends include the Motion Picture Association, Netflix, Sony Pictures, Viacom, Warner Bros., NBCU and many others.

Lifetime was sued by the subject of its docudrama Romeo Killer: The Chris Porco Story. Chris Porco, who was convicted of killing his father and attempting to kill his mother, sued Lifeline alleging the program violated the New York right of publicity law.

The law holds that "a person, firm or corporation that uses for advertising purposes, or for the purposes of trade, the name, portrait or picture of any living person without having first obtained the written consent of such person, or if a minor of his or her parent or guardian, is guilty of a misdemeanor."

There is a carveout for newsworthy events, but Porco argues it is not covered because it is substantially fictionalized.

The New York State Supreme Court is allowing the case to go to trial--Lifetime had sought summary judgment in its favor--ruling that Porco's claim, even involving a "non-defamatory expressive work," can go to trial on the grounds there could be a claim under state civil rights law if the work proved to be "materially and substantially fictionalized."

In an amicus brief, Lifetime's court "friends" argue that "docudramas like the one here are outside the scope of right of publicity law and are fully protected by the First Amendment." The brief points to De Havilland v. FX Networks, in which a California appeals court affirmed the right of "storytellers to portray real people, even over their objections."

If the State Supreme Court ruling that the case can go to trial stands, says the brief, "it would significantly undermine the ability of filmmakers to create culturally significant works that are inspired by, or relate to, real people and events."

The De Haviland ruling is on point. In that case, Judge Anne Egerton held:

"Authors write books. Filmmakers make films. Playwrights craft plays. And television writers, directors, and producers create television shows and put them on the air—or, in these modern times, online. The First Amendment protects these expressive works and the free speech rights of their creators. Some of these works are fiction. Some are factual. And some are a combination of fact and fiction. That these creative works generate income for their creators does not diminish their constitutional protection. The First Amendment does not require authors, filmmakers, playwrights, and television producers to provide their creations to the public at no charge.

"Books, films, plays, and television shows often portray real people. Some are famous and some are just ordinary folks. Whether a person portrayed in one of these expressive works is a world-renowned film star—'a living legend'—or a person no one knows, she or he does not own history. Nor does she or he have the legal right to control, dictate, approve, disapprove, or veto the creator's portrayal of actual people."

The brief does not argue that filmmakers are categorically immune from potential liability under defamation claims. But it said that making a claim under the publicity statute circumvents the constitutional requirements for defamation.

Allowing that, they said, "poses an unprecedented – and virtually insurmountable – hurdle to an entire genre of works, which would likely never be brought to fruition if creators have to fear potential lawsuits from anyone who might be portrayed in a 'substantially fictionalized' manner," it said.

Source: Studios Defend Lifetime in Docudrama Suit
 

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TV Notes (Streaming)
‘F Is for Family’ Renewed for Fifth and Final Season at Netflix
By Will Thorne, Variety.com - Oct. 1, 2020

F Is For Family” is officially coming to an end.

Netflix has picked up the animated series for a fifth and final season, Variety has confirmed.

The series was created by Bill Burr and Michael Price, and follows the Murphy family, an Irish-American clan living in the 1970’s, a time when political correctness was the last thing on people’s minds. Season 5 is slated to premiere sometime in 2021.

“Thank you to all the fans that watched this show. Thanks to Vince Vaughn, Peter Billingsley Victoria Vaughn, Ted Sarandos and all the INCREDIBLE writers, performers, animators, editors and musicians that made this show happen,” said Burr of the news. “Special thanks to the Captain of the Ship: The great Mike Price! I love all you guys!”

Burr voices family patriarch Frank, while Laura Dern, Justin Long, Debi Derryberry, Haley Reinhart, and Sam Rockwell also provide voices on the series.

“Working on this show with the great Bill Burr, Vince Vaughn, and our amazing cast, writers, producers and crew has been the greatest joy of my life, and I’m thrilled that we get to do one more season with the Murphys. I’ll be forever grateful to everyone at Netflix, Gaumont and Wild West who let us share this stressed-out, foul-mouthed and loving family with the world,” said co-creator and executive producer Michael Price.

“F Is For Family” premiered in 2015 and is produced for Netflix by Wild West Productions and Gaumont.

“It has been so great to see Mike and Bill – two guys I admire and respect – create something like this and build it from the ground-up. It has been a lot of fun getting to be a part of it, and I’m looking forward to continuing to support their vision, for the final season,” added Vaughn. “A big thanks to Ted Sarandos and the whole Netflix team for being so supportive during this great journey.”

Vulture was first to report the renewal news.

Source: ‘F Is for Family’ Renewed for Fifth and Final Season at Netflix
 

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TV/Nielsen Notes (Cable)
Shepard Smith Debut Saw Viewership Boost For CNBC In Time Period, Network Says
By Ted Johnson, Deadline.com - Oct. 1, 2020

The debut of The News with Shepard Smith on Wednesday drew 373,000 viewers, which is well behind major cable news networks but a boost for CNBC for the time period.

A network spokesperson said that the premiere viewership was 2.6 times higher than the September time period average. It also drew 3.6 times as many viewers as The Kudlow Report, which was the last news program in the 7 PM ET, during the first quarter of 2014. The host of The Kudlow Report was Larry Kudlow, who is now top economic adviser to President Donald Trump.

“News viewers are creatures of habit and it takes a long time to change those habits,” a CNBC spokesperson said. “But we will fight for every viewer every weeknight.”

In that same time period, a second airing of Lou Dobbs Tonight on Fox Business drew 308,000 viewers. In the 25-54 demographic, The News with Shepard Smith drew 56,000 and Dobbs garnered 26,000.

Among the major cable news networks, The Story with Martha MacCallum drew 2.67 million (521,000 in 25-54), ReidOut drew 2.28 million (396,000) and Erin Burnett Outfront garnered 1.83 million (501,000).

In the third quarter, Fox News’ The Story with Martha MacCallum drew an average of 2.38 million viewers in the 7 PM ET hour, followed by ReidOut on MSNBC with 1.96 million and Erin Burnett Outfront with 1.36 million. In the 25-54 demographic, The Story drew 420,000, followed by Outfront with 358,000 and ReidOut with 307,000.

On Fox Business in that time period, Lou Dobbs Tonight drew an average of 276,000 viewers in the third quarter, and 22,000 in the 25-54 demo. The figures were released by Fox News.

Smith joined CNBC in July after a long tenure at Fox News.

Source: Shepard Smith Debut Saw Viewership Boost For CNBC In Time Period, Network Says
 
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