PEN15, Big Mouth, Sex Education and even the canceled American Vandal are all part of the new teen TV "golden age," says Kate Knibbs. "Coming-of-age stories about tormented, horny teens have been popular for centuries," says Knibbs. "What is Oedipus, after all, if not the tale of the world’s worst way to lose your virginity? Recently, though, a new and decidedly less tragic breed of puberty story is on the rise, with an emphasis on 'coming of age' as a double entendre. These shows are dirty, and are as funny as TV has been in recent years. But they’re also a new strain of teen comedy, where d*ck jokes coexist with a social conscience." As Knibbs points out, "for a long time, coming-of-age stories with an emphasis on sex tended to be dramas, if not melodramas... The most beloved TV shows with lots of teen sex, from the soapy Dawson’s Creek and Gossip Girl to earnest outings like My So-Called Life, had a humorlessness about their frisky, underage characters. Long-running Canadian soap Degrassi was perhaps the frankest teen show about sexuality, but it was even more melodramatic than its American counterparts, with plotlines about gonorrhea, teen pregnancy, and, uh, impotence issues stemming from paralysis, that were played for gasps, not laughs. Freaks and Geeks is the most obvious precursor to this genre, as it was a psychologically realistic comedy about teens, but the short-lived and much-loved show was a fairly tame network outing. Main freak Lindsey Weir (Linda Cardellini) ends the show a virgin, as do all of the geeks." The new puberty TV shows owe a debt to 1980s raunchy teen sex movies, which have been dragged down by their sexual politics, says Knibbs. "The new crop of sex comedies on television are equally enhanced by their progressive streaks," says Knibbs. "Sex Education, as the title suggests, is essentially a celebration of learning about sexuality... Big Mouth is similarly interested in accurate representations...This influx of stories that treat teenage sexual awakening like the deeply ridiculous time it is are a positive side effect of television’s current awkward phase." ALSO: These Puberty TV shows seem like the first chance to pay tribute to Freaks and Geeks.
HBO hasn't set a premiere date, but Deadline reports that the long-awaited movie will air sometime this spring after filming began last November. That means Deadwood would be eligible for this year's Emmys.
Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been too busy with the final season and their trilogy of Star Wars films to work on the HBO alt-history drama, says HBO programming chief Casey Bloys. Confederate was greenlit in July 2017 and immediately drew controversy for its plan to imagine "an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution." When asked Friday about Confederate, HBO programming president Casey Bloys said it's still alive as a project. “Dan and David are finishing up the final season (of Game of Thrones) and then they are going to go into the Star Wars universe,” Bloys told TVLine. “When they come out of that, I assume they will come back to us.”
The former CBS boss has launched Moon Rise Unlimited, which operates out of one of the tallest buildings on the Sunset Strip. According to Moonves' exit agreement, CBS must pay for his "office services" for no less than a year, even if he was fired for cause. CBS declined to comment on Moonves' new company. "Mr. Moonves’s specific ambitions are not clear," reports The New York Times. "Moon Rise Unlimited has no website, has no track record in Hollywood and has made no efforts to promote itself when it was incorporated. A spokesman for Mr. Moonves confirmed that he had an office in the building, but declined further comment."
“Creatively, ratings-wise, it did everything that we wanted it to do,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys tells Deadline. “It’s up to 8 million viewers an episode, we were thrilled with the review, I think fans have really liked it. Obviously acting is superb. I was very, very, very happy with all aspects of it.” What about a fourth season? “I think we are going to handle it the same way as the last one — if Nic (Pizzolatto) has an idea that he is excited about, we will talk about it but not rushing into anything,” Bloys said. “I think Nic is enjoying the current success of the show and maybe has something percolating but nothing has come to us yet.” ALSO: Stephen Dorff is quietly the best thing about Season 3.
“I think any time you end a show this important and this big, a lot of people project onto a finale what they want it to be, what fans think it should be, hope it will be,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys said at the TV press tour Friday. “The only thing I will say as a fan of the show is that I think the guys have done a brilliant job of ending the show in a dramatically satisfying and emotionally satisfying way,” Bloys said of creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. “I do believe that fans are going to be really really happy with how it all wraps up.” ALSO: Bloys says of Game of Thrones spinoffs: "We’re going to continue that franchise only if it’s good."
"There’s this sense that no one is actually listening to Kondo," says Clara Mae of the Netflix Tidying Up star. "She’s been reduced to an anime caricature, a fantasy creature who paradoxically both elicits dread and is easily dismissed because of her stature." Mae adds: "There’s a sort of lateral violence at play in the Tidying Up discourse in how white women will sometimes deliberately misunderstand or talk over women of color. Kondo emphatically does not do the cleaning for her clients and simply offers suggestions, yet many white women have interpreted her as irrational, and her methods too militant...Even some of the compliments Kondo has received have been heavily racialized and Othering, focusing on her body and her perceived otherworldliness." As Mae explains, "it’s difficult to glean where all this vitriol is coming from. We could look at statistics that show that Asian women as a whole earn more than other women, have higher rates of education, and pull slightly more on dating sites. That Kondo is very feminine and seems to love pink, and that maybe that clashes with older waves of feminism. But these factors seem tangential to the real issue, which is the mere fact that Kondo is successful. Americans, even liberal ones, are still used to authority figures being white and male, and anyone who upends that convention elicits a knee-jerk, gut-deep negative reaction. It’s not only a sign that our institutions—our political offices, our movie studios, our board rooms—have failed to reflect an increasingly diverse world and that we’re still more xenophobic than we’d like to believe. It’s also a marker of how our feminism, our liberalism, still struggles to be intersectional, to see non-white foreigners as living, breathing, human beings."
Only Netflix could pull off Big Mouth's kind of Valentine's Day special. "As a streaming outfit that doubles as a data warehouse, Netflix clearly understands the value of dropping releases at precisely the right moment—even its non-holiday-centric premieres," says Laura Bradley. "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, a cozy family show, dropped just in time for Thanksgiving weekend 2016; last year, Bandersnatch was released right between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, a week built for binging. Historically, not all of Netflix’s holiday programming has been a home run—see, for example, Sofia Coppola’s A Very Murray Christmas, which landed with a whimper at the end of 2015. But 'My Furry Valentine' is proof that Netflix is perfecting its holiday-release strategy—as evidenced previously by the flurry of Christmas specials the streamer released last year, like The Princess Switch and special holiday-themed installments of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Neo Yokio. Traditional TV networks are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to holiday programming; given the complicating factors of broadcast scheduling, they need to announce and drum up enthusiasm for these sorts of one-off events far in advance. But Netflix users, of course, aren’t bound by the confines of time slots."
Halsey already boasts a No. 1 song from last fall, but she isn't a household name, says Larry Fitzmaurice. "The relative lack of star wattage Halsey possesses when measured up to the other SNL hosts this season is hard to ignore," says Fitzmaurice. "The still-ascendant Awkwafina is a close second, but at the time of her appearance she already had a star-making role in one of the most successful comedies of the last few years; even Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa was widely identifiable by mainstream audiences through his face, if not by name (that is, before Aquaman became the most successful DC Comics film in history). It’s more than likely that your SNL-viewing parents have heard Halsey’s music on the radio without knowing it, but there’s a palpable feeling that not enough people know who she is just yet — a sensation unintentionally amplified when, while commenting on her recent hair-color change earlier this week, Refinery29 ran the headline 'Halsey Is Hosting SNL This Week — But You Might Not Recognize Her.'"
In a letter addressed to HBO CEO Richard Pleper, Jackson estate attorney Howard Weitzman called the documentary "an admittedly one-sided, sensationalist program" that ignores journalistic ethics. While making no legal threats, Weitzman writes that HBO should get the Jackson family perspective before airing the documentary. Asked to comment on the letter, HBO programming president Casey Bloys said Friday at the TV press tour: "No, we are not meeting with them." He added: “The one thing I would say about this documentary is I would ask everybody to watch it and make their judgments after seeing it."
Each night next week, Fallon will invite ambassadors from important social causes on his show, starting Monday with Sesame Workshop. On Wednesday, Fallon will welcome Tim Tebow to talk about his charitable endeavors. Fallon took over as host of The Tonight Show on Feb. 17, 2014. Next month, Fallon will celebrate his 10th anniversary as a late-night host.
HBO programming president Casey Bloys admitted at the TV press tour Friday that there have been conversations about ending the show. "To be honest, what (the producers) want to do is get in the (writers) room, and see does it feel like the end, does it feel like there are stories worth telling beyond that," he said. "We are open to any version but, as we did with Veep, we put it to them and say, what do you think. They need to get in the room wit the writers and see what feels right.”
"In the end, Michonne’s exit could be a way for The Walking Dead to cut all ties with the Grimes family and truly usher in a new era for the show," says Jeff Stone. "Considering how long the show has been running, a fresh start might be for the best." ALSO: Gurira’s career is probably the strongest out of most of The Walking Dead alums and current stars.
“I loved this show. I was addicted to it,” Streep said Friday at the TV press tour. “I think it was an amazing exercise of what we know and what we don’t know about people.” Streep said she was especially impressed by the honest portrayal of abuse. “This exploration of abuse and its provenance, where it comes from, how it continues, how people survive it, all those questions were in the air, and this piece fed something … a hunger,” Streep said.
Neither The Break with Michelle Wolf nor The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale had their own YouTube channel. Their clips were released on Netflix's official YouTube channel, which releases trailers and clips for the streaming service's more than 800 titles. "Patriot Act, however, has taken full advantage of the opportunity to extend its reach, putting entire episodes on YouTube as well as digital-only clips, a strategy that has helped it stand out from the glut of content that Netflix releases every week," says Nikhil Venkatesa, adding that "putting full episodes of Patriot Act on YouTube runs contrary to Netflix’s ethos of exclusivity." As Patriot Act co-creator Prashanth Venkataramanujam explains: “We wanted to just make the show as accessible as possible. … Early on, I think there was maybe some confusion about how the rollout would go, or maybe some hesitancy, but since, Netflix has been super supportive and they’ve been super happy about having taken this approach.” Having its own YouTube channel has helped Patriot Act build up its audience and distinguish itself outside the giant Netflix bubble.
The revamped Conan lets Conan O'Brien do what he wants -- not what he has to do to fill time. "The thing that made me saddest about old Conan was the perfunctory nipple play," says Bethy Squires. "Every night, the band would play O’Brien on and he’d cap it off with rubbing his nips," says Squires. "Sometimes he’d invite an audience member to give them a tweak. And if it was a man, eight times out of ten they’d pinch really hard and O’Brien would complain. Every night, O’Brien would perform this nipple ritual (niptual?) with the cold dead eyes of Emma Stone massaging the queen’s legs in The Favourite. I would hide my head behind a pillow for what felt like hours every night, waiting for it to be over. Now that the show is shorter (and bandless), O’Brien doesn’t have time to joylessly fondle himself forever — 20 seconds tops, sometimes no time at all! But that doesn’t mean the show feels cramped. On the contrary, because so much extraneous business has been cleared from the docket, what’s left has a lot of time to breathe."
The Office, Extras and Hello Ladies alum will tackle a dramatic role for BBC drama The Barking Murders, based on a real-life serial killer who killed four young men between 2014 and 2015 he met through dating sites.
“I’m not defending Kevin, but we’re ALL sh*tty people, we ALL get better,” he said on Thursday night, according to Ann Silman. Ansari pointed out what was innocuous eight years ago is now offensive, including Jim flirting with Pam on The Office and Tom Haverford spying on Ann Perkins on Parks and Rec. "Overall, the whole performance felt like a response to the events of the past year," says Silman. "That infamous babe.net article was the black hole around which the entire act orbited, even if it wasn’t mentioned directly."
The CW has wrapped its pilot pickups for next season, but the three planned reboots aren't dead yet.
The Late Night writer, who is collaborating with Seth Meyers and Lorne Michaels on comedy pilot Village Gazette, says that NBC really ordered "half a pilot." Ruffin adds: "It’ll be ten minutes long. It’s a very regular thing that happens. But it just truly makes me laugh. Because they chose six shows, and with each show they chose, we thought Well, it’s not us. It’s not us. And then once they chose six — and we knew they were going to choose six — we thought, That’s the sixth one. It’s not us. Too bad, so sad. Let’s start thinking about next year. Then we got a call that we were getting picked up to pilot, but a pilot presentation. So it makes this very cool underdog vibe that we all kind of feel. Honestly, I think it’s pretty neat."
Sarandos, who works with Simpsons co-creator Matt Groening on Netflix's Disenchantment, will first appear as the Stranger Things Demogorgon on Sunday's episode. Sarandos isn't the first TV executive to voice himself on the Fox animated comedy -- Rupert Murdoch has played himself twice.
Season 11 will kick off on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 9 p.m.
Rock climber Alex Honnold's ascent up the El Capitan cliff in Yosemite National Park without a rope will air as a special ad-free presentation on March 3.
The Oscar-nominated Game of Thrones alum will join Julian McMahon on CBS' FBI backdoor pilot. She'll play "a cowboy boot-wearing FBI analyst from a conservative Dallas family. Described as a tough but playful old soul, Lynn is a master of data mining and social engineering who possesses a sharp, earthy sense of humor."
"As the first Black woman to lead this franchise...I am astounded. I am honored. I am duty-bound. Happy Black History Month," the actress wrote on Instagram.
"It allowed me, especially because I just became aware even more so of how the storm and drag of politics was so changing, I think it was a chance to just sit back and try...to go, what are politics about?" showrunner David Mandel said at the TV press tour. "We did actually make some changes—not where we got to, but some of the journey and some of the little details at the end, which I'm so happy we did, and that's something I've never really done before, which is deviate from the plan." ALSO: Louis-Dreyfus says Veep's final scene "caught me by surprise."
He'll co-star with Malin Akerman on the Rashoman-inspired drama pilot. Wiliamson has been recurring this season on Chicago P.D. and Lethal Weapon.
Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas writer Eliza Cossio has received a lot of positive feedback since releasing her fan fiction script last week via Twitter. In an interview with Slate, Cossio says she decided to write the script after first watching The Sopranos four years ago and binging on Sex and the City for the first time last summer. "An early version of this script was just very, very wacky," she says. "The Sopranos theme music would play in the middle of a scene, Big was shot right in front of Carrie, and Carrie didn’t care. A lot of it was not really rooted in what the shows’ realities were. It was like a complete satirical thing. I got a really good note from my friend when I was in the early stages. He was just like, 'Follow the form of the show.' That really is what opened up the writing process for me and made me handle the shows’ fragility a little more, like I wanted to be careful with these shows."
"Our show is a variety show. It’s a throwback to like, Sonny and Cher…so we wanted to have that element play into it a little bit more for it to be our modern take on that," says Phoebe Robison of the second batch of HBO specials that premiere Friday.
Only eight new players out of 93 have made it to the final two or three in seasons that mix new and returning players.
The ABC comedy from New Girl creator Liz Meriwether and New Girl writer J.J. Philbin has a lot in common with the Zooey Deschanel comedy. "Much like New Girl, Single Parents isn’t looking to be break new ground or be the flag-bearer of a social message," says Saloni Gajjar. "It knows what it is and establishes it right away: a breezy comedy providing a positive respite from a dreary new cycle. Both shows demand you suspend logic to some extent if you want to buy into the central premise. This is evidenced by their similarly formulaic and cheesy pilots."
Greenwood announced that she recently wrapped filming Season 4 of the Amazon series.
"TV has long neglected to consider women’s bodies as anything other than sexual objects," says Caitlin Wolper. "Men could fart up the screen, but on TV, a woman’s bodily functions either went unmentioned or were presented as shameful and disgusting. There’s a whole plotline in Friends where the guys are grossed out by breast milk. And Sex and the City, title aside, erred prude when it came to bodily functions: An entire episode was devoted to the importance of a closed bathroom door. Broad City, on the other hand, lets us right into the bathroom with its characters."
On Saturday, CBS will broadcast the first games of the AAF, the Alliance of American Football, which will compete with the upcoming XFL revival as an offseason alternative to the NFL.
The novel Darkness on the Edge of Town, coming out in June, will explore David Harbour's character in time for Season 3 of the Netflix series.
The third season of the Netflix comedy "elevates the show to legendary status," says Brett White. He adds: "The show is a Trojan Horse designed to sneak in serious topics, positive progressive ideals, radical empathy, and unconditional love into households across this America. It gets you with the comforting setup, a three-camera style and the cozy sound of an audience laughing at punchlines. The performances initially feel broad, the stock sitcom characters we’ve seen on everything from Family Matters and Growing Pains to Full House and, well the original One Day at a Time: a saucy grandma, a no-nonsense mom, a nerdy daughter, and a sneaky son, topped off with a clingy next door neighbor. Watching your first few episodes of One Day at a Time is effortless, soothing, familiar. And then it gets to you, right in the heart."
The Netflix series "launches with the furious confidence that would make Westworld or True Detective's showrunners quake in their boots, shooting the viewer directly into the fully realized world of the contemporary East Village of Manhattan—a real place, of course, that doesn't need much world-building," says Tyler Coates. He adds: "I don't know about you, but I'm kind of tired of the endless parade of TV mystery shows with complicated, multiple-timeline plots that require the viewer—that require me, specifically—to piece together the narratives in order to have anything that I'm consuming make any damn sense. These types of shows, usually dark and brooding prestige dramas about soulless men whose existential crises are supposed to shine a light on our collective troubled humanity or whatever, usually make me groan. I love a high-concept premise, but I hate it when I feel like I have to do the work of a TV show's writer, taking disparate plots that have been offered to me piecemeal and assembling them back together again. It's TV watching as labor, and it often makes me think that the people behind those kinds of shows have no idea what story they're actually trying to tell." On the flip side, he says, Russian Doll "turns from comic to mournful and back around again, but at no point does the show lose its soul."
Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, both 31, play seventh-graders on their Hulu comedy opposite actual middle school-age kids. "The fact that this unusual, semi-autobiographical stroke of casting works is a testament to Erskine’s and Konkle’s innate understanding of preteen-girl behavior and their ability to translate their real-life friendship into a bond that provides the foundation for this very funny, cringey coming-of-age comedy," says Jen Chaney. "With its attention to the details of American life in the year 2000, idiosyncratic protagonists, and mix of brutal honesty and gentle poignance, PEN15 is an ideal blend of Freaks and Geeks and Napoleon Dynamite. It’s also heavy on imagery and references that tap into millennial nostalgia, millennials being the demo most likely to fall hard for this series. That said, the show is so relatable and well-written that even if you’re too old or too young to have hit puberty around the time of Y2K, you’re still likely to be charmed by it."