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TV Tattle News & Opinion

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      • Gina Rodriguez to star in Pedro Almodovar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown on Apple TV+
        Source: The Hollywood Reporter

        The acclaimed Spanish director will executive producer Apple's series adaptation of his 1988 Oscar-nominated black comedy Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown about the romantic mishaps of voice actors who dub foreign films, reports The Hollywood Reporter, which adds that the potential series will feature a mixture of English and Spanish. Rodriguez will lead the potential series as Pepa, who was originally portrayed by Carmen Maura. Kevin Can F**k Himself, Little America and Masters of Sex vet Noelle Valdivia will pen the script and will serve as showrunner if Apple gives a series order. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown made Almodovar, who wrote and directed the film, an international sensation. It was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film. "Should Women on the Verge move ahead at Apple, it would mark Almodovar’s first scripted TV foray after a career that has seen the writer-director earn seven Oscar nominations and wins for foreign language film for All About My Mother and original screenplay for Talk to Her," says The Hollywood Reporter's Lesley Goldberg. "He’s also readying a docuseries, Not a Bride, with his frequent collaborator Penelope Cruz for Paramount+." Jane the Virgin alum Rodriguez recently executive produced and recurred on Disney+'s Diary of a Future President, which was canceled last month after two seasons.

        # TOPICS: Gina Rodriguez, Apple TV+, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Noelle Valdivia, Pedro Almodovar, In Development

      • NBC's Beijing Winter Olympics announcing teams will call the games from Connecticut
        Source: USA Today

        Due to pandemic concerns, NBC Sports has opted not to send any of its announcing teams to China. “The announce teams for these Olympics, including figure skating, will be calling events from our Stamford (Conn.) facility due to COVID concerns,” NBC Sports' Greg Hughes  told USA Today. "We’ll still have a large presence on the ground in Beijing and our coverage of everything will be first rate as usual, but our plans are evolving by the day as they are for most media companies covering the Olympics.”

        # TOPICS: Winter Olympics

      • Sarah Michelle Gellar says "I can't take back the past, but I can fight for the future" in wake of Joss Whedon addressing misconduct allegations
        Source: People

        The former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star didn't address Whedon's recent New York magazine cover story profile in an Instagram post today, which happens to be Buffy Summers' 41st birthday. Gellar may have hinted about her feelings, however, with the caption: "I can’t take back the past, but I can fight for the future."

        # TOPICS: Sarah Michelle Gellar

      • Julian Fellows on a potential The Gilded Age-Downton Abbey crossover: "Never say never"
        Source: Deadline

        “I’ve learned this much, never say never. I’ll stick with that as my answer,” Fellowes tells Deadline with a smile regarding a potential crossover while discussing the Jan. 24 premiere of his new HBO period drama. As Deadline's Rosy Cordero notes, "such a crossover is possible and would make perfect sense as it pertains to Downton character Cora Levinson Crawley (Elizabeth McGovern), an American heiress who marries British blue blood Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville). Though she was born in Cincinnati, Cora revealed she has an aunt in New York that was still alive in 1914."

        # TOPICS: The Gilded Age, Downton Abbey

      • Hilary Duff admits she's considered leaking the Lizzie McGuire reboot's scrapped episodes, "but I wouldn't"
        Source: Cosmopolitan

        Duff filmed two episodes of the Lizzie McGuire reboot before Disney+ shut down production and fired creator Terri Minsky over creative differences, mainly over its adult direction. Asked by Cosmopolitan if she considered leaking the episodes, Duff says: "I like the way you think. I would be lying if I didn't say I didn't have those thoughts a few times. But I wouldn't, because in my 34 years I've realized that everything does happen for a reason. There's a time and a place for everything. It just wasn't her moment. I'm constantly asked about it still. All it does is breathe life into the fact that people still want it, and that's really sweet. It's not dead, and it's not alive." Duff did offer some details about the reboot, saying: "My character was moving back home with her parents because she caught her soon-to-be fiancé cheating on her, and she was falling flat on her face at the moment and being like, 'I need to pivot because everything that I thought was wasn't, and I'm turning 30. What the f*ck?'"

        # TOPICS: Hilary Duff, Lizzie McGuire

      • NBC delays American Song Contest over COVID concerns with a live audience, sets AGT: Extreme's premiere in its place
        Source: Variety

        The ambitious U.S. take on the legendary Eurovision Song Contest is set to kick off its eight-week run on March 21. American Song Contest was originally scheduled to premiere on Feb. 21. Instead, AGT: Extreme will premiere on that date and run for four weeks. AGT: Extreme was able to complete its season this month after stuntman Jonathan Goodwin's scary injury last October resulted in a production shutdown.

        # TOPICS: The American Song Contest , AGT: Extreme

      • Hulu was "extremely supportive" of Pam & Tommy's "talking penis" scene after some "gentle pushback"
        Source: Variety

        In Episode 2 of the Hulu limited series, Tommy Lee is depicted having a "heart-to-heart" chat with his penis -- voiced by Jason Mantzoukas -- over whether he's falling in love with Pamela Anderson. The scene is inspired by a passage in Lee's memoir Tommyland. “As much as I’d like to take credit for that, I was simply adapting a chapter from (Lee’s) memoir,” writer Robert Siegel tells Variety. “I think it might be a first (for television). There was gentle pushback, because you’ve got to push back a little when a talking penis is presented to you. But Hulu was extremely supportive.” From a technical perspective, director and executive producer Craig Gillespie describes shooting the scene as “just awkward. You’ve got four puppeteers working with an animatronic penis. And then, how much is too much, and do you start to lose his emotional torment of what’s going on? Hopefully it works.”

        ALSO: 

        # TOPICS: Pam & Tommy

      • Marvel is "deeply saddened" by the death of Moon Knight star Gaspard Ulliel
        Source: E! Online

        "We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of our friend and colleague Gaspard Ulliel," the studio said in reaction to the 37-year-old French actor's death today in a ski accident. "Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this time."

        # TOPICS: Gaspard Ulliel

      • Lena Dunham has informally pitched a Girls reboot that would be akin to And Just Like That
        Source: The Hollywood Reporter

        Dunham tells The Hollywood Reporter she's been loving the divisive Sex and the City reboot. “It was such a pleasure to see those women back together and to see them take on middle-age sexuality,” she says. “For me, those are women who can do no wrong.” Dunham says she would like to try something similar with the Girls characters older and wiser. In response, HBO and HBO Max programming chief Casey Bloys says: "As proud of the show as we are, there aren’t any plans to bring Girls back. It’s great to know new viewers will continue to discover the (original) series.” Dunham adds: “We all recognize it’s not time yet. I want it to be at a moment when the characters’ lives have really changed. Right now, everyone would just be wanting to see Kylo Ren.”

        # TOPICS: Lena Dunham

      • Mary Cosby says she skipped Real Housewives of Salt Lake City's reunion taping because "they told lies"
        Source: People

        "The only thing I have to say about the reunion is I didn't go because it was one-sided," Cosby said during a Twitter Spaces chat. "Everyone heard one side of what they felt. I mean, they told lies, one side of my story," she continued. "And I was not going to get on the reunion for a four-part reunion and talk about this guy who has passed."

        # TOPICS: Mary Cosby

      • Fox is developing a sitcom based on the Guys We F****d: The Anti Slut-Shaming Podcast
        Source: Deadline

        Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson will write the potential series based on their podcast along with Kristin Belka Maier. Guys We F****d is described as "a comedy about a cocky shopgirl and a people pleasing bartender who realize they are platonic soulmates while working at a New Jersey strip mall. Together, they tackle female adulthood while acting as therapists to local men and to each other."

        # TOPICS: FOX, Guys We F****d

      • CNN says it's "offensively stupid" to think Wolf Blitzer's new CNN+ show means he's being pushed out
        Source: Mediaite

        In response to CNN's announcement that The Situation Room anchor will host the daily CNN+ show The Newscast with Wolf Blitzer while continuing to host his CNN show, Mediaite's Alex Griffing suggested that Blitzer's new show may be a sign that he is being pushed out from CNN because of lackluster ratings. "For Blitzer, whose time on-screen has already greatly diminished, cynics might see a move into streaming as his swan song," says Griffing. "But others may see this as CNNs’ most trusted brand giving gravitas and journalistic bona fides to its new streaming platform." CNN issued a statement vigorously denouncing any notion that Blitzer is being pushed out: "The very premise of this piece is nonsensical and ill-informed. Equating the launch of a CNN+ program with the end of a distinguished television career is offensively stupid. Anderson Cooper, Poppy Harlow, Kate Bolduan, Sara Sidner and others will host programs on CNN+ in addition to their CNN linear TV roles. Wolf Blitzer is no different. This is hit-job hackery, not educated opinion. Mediaite should be ashamed for publishing this garbage."

        # TOPICS: Wolf Blitzer

      • Fox's The Real Dirty Dancing premieres Feb. 1
        Source: Variety

        The Stephen “tWitch” Boss-hosted dancing show will take over the Tuesday timeslot previously reserved for Monarch, which was pushed back to fall over the pandemic.

        # TOPICS: FOX, The Real Dirty Dancing, Stephen “tWitch” Boss

      • Manningcast had a surprisingly small audience for its season finale on Monday night
        Source: NBC Sports

        Only 1.419 million of the 23.1 million viewers who watched the Cardinals-Rams playoff game tuned in for Peyton and Eli Manning's alternative broadcast on ESPN2. That's a "paltry" 6.1% of the total audience, notes Mike Florio of NBC Sports' ProFootballTalk. "As previously mentioned, at some point the bean counters at Disney need to ask whether the financial investment is justified by the performance," says Florio. "Unless the Manningcast is actually resulting in more people watching the games, the alternate telecast creates presumably significant expenses (the Mannings surely don’t do anything for peanuts, nor should they) and limited additional revenue. They’re under contract for two more years. Amazon reportedly would like to pilfer Peyton and Eli for Thursday Night Football. At some point, ESPN quite possibly will say, 'Feel free.'" ALSO: Eli Manning was the Manningcast's breakout star.

        # TOPICS: Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli Manning

      • Bob Odenkirk is going on tour to promote his memoir
        Source: Twitter

        "I can't wait to tell you all about how hard it was to write this book!" the Better Call Saul star tweeted of Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama, which will be available March 1. "Come see me complain LIVE, IN-PERSON. And support some very great bookstores."

        # TOPICS: Bob Odenkirk

      • Rachel Lindsay: A year later, I still get negative messages for my Chris Harrison interview
        Source: People

        Lindsay, who received death threats over her Extra interview of Harrison that led to his benching and ouster from The Bachelor franchise, tells People: "I still get messages blaming me for the show not being the way it used to be. But I think that's a good thing. She also pointed out, again, that she never intended for Harrison to be fired.

        # TOPICS: Rachel Lindsay

      • Fixer Upper: Welcome Home becomes an instant hit on Magnolia Network
        Source: TheWrap

        Chip and Joanna Gaines' new Fixer Upper series drew more than 1.7 million viewers, easily topping any show on Magnolia Network predecessor DIY Network. ALSO: Magnolia Network drew 3 million viewers on its first night of programming.

        # TOPICS: Magnolia Network

      • Yellowjackets, Doom Patrol and Harlem are among GLAAD Media Awards' first-time nominees
        Source: TVLine

        Hacks and Chucky were also among the new shows honored with nominations for this year's GLAAD Media Awards, the winners of which will be announced in April.

        # TOPICS: GLAAD

      • ABC's L.A. Law reboot adds Toks Olagundoye, Hari Nef and Ian Duff
        Source: Deadline

        They'll join Blair Underwood and Corbin Bernsen as brand-new characters in ABC's reboot of the classic NBC legal drama.

        # TOPICS: L.A. Law (2022 Series)

      • Generation's Chase Sui Wonders joins Apple TV+'s City on Fire
        Source: Variety

        She'll play an NYU student who is shot in Central Park on Fourth of July, 2003 in the series adaptation of Garth Risk Hallberg's book of the same name.

        # TOPICS: City on Fire, Chase Sui Wonders

      • Kathy Griffin "hate-watched" Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen's New Year's Eve Live, says: "I wasn't canceled. I was erased"
        Source: The New York Times

        In a New York Times profile, Katie Rosman writes of Griffin five years after her Trump beheading photo incident: "Griffin, now 61, has been trying to make her way back since then, brushing up against a litany of obstacles: partisan rage, sexism, Hollywood’s fear of getting pulped-by-association, the pandemic, pill addiction, lung cancer and her own reputation. All the while she has tried to puzzle out who among the culturally damned gets a second chance in our society, who doesn’t and why. She feels cast out in an extended Hollywood exile and believes it’s because she is a middle-aged woman who doesn’t have a big agency, film studio or television network financially invested in her professional rebirth. She does not lack for money — she says her net worth is $50 million — but she craves the one thing that has driven her for decades: work." “I just want to get back to making people laugh,” said Griffin. “More than anything else, that’s what has been robbed from me.” In the profile, Griffin recalls demanding that CNN president Jeff Zucker give her a raise just 10 days before what turned out to be her last New Year's Eve Live in 2016. She told him that she was carrying more of the prep work than Cooper and felt she deserved more than the $80,000 her contract called for. Zucker “got very offended,” Griffin said. “He started yelling at me and he literally said something like, ‘Who do you think you are calling here demanding a raise?’ And then something came over me. And I just lost it. I just started screaming. I’m Kathy (beep!) Griffin, Jeff, that’s who I am.” She then said to him, “I would really feel a lot more comfortable showing up if I got paid what I deserve.” Zucker took that as a threat to bail on the show, and in a call to Griffin’s lawyer, fired her. Griffin called Zucker again, begging him to take her back. Zucker rehired her, but she said he cut her pay by 20 percent. In an interview with The Times, Zucker called Griffin's demand for a raise so close to New Year’s Eve “completely out of line.” “It sounds like she is acknowledging that, insofar as Kathy Griffin acknowledges she has ever done anything wrong,” he said.

        # TOPICS: Kathy Griffin

      • USFL's eight teams will play all 43 of their games in Birmingham, Alabama
        Source: NBC Sports

        The rebooted United States Football League consists of Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Stars, and Pittsburgh Maulers, the Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers and Tampa Bay Bandits. But of the eight teams, only one will be geographically correct since all games will be played in Birmingham. "The approach eliminates all travel costs, an important consideration given that the primary purpose of the games will be to put them on TV, and to use them as the impetus for legal gambling in the states that allow it," says Mike Florio of NBC Sports' ProFootballTalk. "Where the games will be played doesn’t matter. Whether anyone attends the games doesn’t matter."

        # TOPICS: USFL

      • Ricky Gervais on hosting the Oscars: "They’d never let me do what I wanted"
        Source: UPROXX

        "I mean that’s why the Globes got me," he tells Today. "They said I could write my own jokes and say what I wanted, no rehearsals.” If the Oscars gave Gervais the same no-notes offer, 'I’d do it,' but that would never happen. I’d be canceled halfway through.” 

        # TOPICS: Ricky Gervais

      • Lindsey Vonn will report on the Winter Olympics for NBC Sports
        Source: Deadline

        The four-time Olympian and the winningest woman in alpine skiing World Cup history, who made her debut earlier this month, "will provide a perspective unique to an athlete known for excellence, intensity, and determination on the world’s biggest and most competitive stage," said Molly Solomon, Executive Producer & President, NBC Olympics Production.

        # TOPICS: Lindsey Vonn

      • Bridgerton releases Season 2 photos
        Source: The Hollywood Reporter

        Check out new images teasing romance, glamour, fencing and a corgi.

        # TOPICS: Bridgerton

      • W. Kamau Bell's We Need To Talk About Cosby reveals it's full trailer
        Source: YouTube

        Bell’s docuseries exploration of Bill Cosby’s descent from “America’s Dad” to alleged sexual predator premieres on Showtime on Jan. 30.

        # TOPICS: We Need to Talk About Cosby

      • Watch Aziz Ansari's new Netflix comedy special trailer
        Source: YouTube

        Aziz Ansari: Nightclub Comedian, premiering Jan. 25, was filmed at New York City's Comedy Cellar.

        # TOPICS: Aziz Ansari

      • The Walking Dead reveals its trailer for the final season's Part 2
        Source: YouTube

        The AMC series returns with the second part of the three-part Season 11 on Feb. 20.

        # TOPICS: The Walking Dead

    • Earlier news - posted about 17 hours ago
    • Earlier news - posted 1 day ago
      • Abbott Elementary is making the mockumentary feel fresh again
        Source: Vox

        After success with The Office, Parks and Recreation and Modern Family, the mockumentary format began falling out of favor "for some good reasons," says Emily VanDerWerff. "The further the mockumentary got from its roots, the more the devices of talking-head interviews and characters mugging to the camera felt like worn-out clichés, rather than the unconventional twists on sitcom rhythms they had been at one time. The Office spent so much time thinking about who was filming the documentary within the show that it built a major plotline around the identity of those filmmakers in the final season. But Modern Family’s team never really bothered to establish why the characters were being filmed. It just didn’t care. So if nothing else, ABC’s new series Abbott Elementary deserves points for making the mockumentary feel fresh again. The new sitcom, set in a cash-strapped public school in Philadelphia, has characters offering long, sardonic looks into the camera and occasional moments when they talk directly to it to share their thoughts. But the series has subtly rethought its approach to this material, so it never feels staid. It honestly took me a few minutes to realize I was watching a mockumentary, so successfully does the show tinker with the format. Creator and star Quinta Brunson’s choices in the pilot underline what’s different here. Other mockumentaries have been built around singular, strong personalities, like Michael Scott or Leslie Knope. Abbott Elementary, however, is built around a kind of everywoman. Second-grade teacher Janine Teagues (Brunson) just wants to do good work and give her kids the education they need, despite how underfunded the school is. She’s navigating an American bureaucracy that increasingly doesn’t care, and a principal (the scene-stealing Janelle James) who has invited a news crew to the school to document everything that’s happening in a weird attempt to feed her own desire for fame." As VanDerWerff notes, "the mockumentary can struggle with having a more relatable protagonist, simply because the fake-documentary format can feel a little dry without someone outrageous there to spur the action. But Brunson’s choice to center Janine and not one of the show’s goofier characters pays off. Yes, some of that is because Brunson plays Janine and knows exactly what will be funny in her specific voice, and some of that is because Brunson turns up Janine’s eager-to-please nature just enough in most scenes, so she seems slightly more heightened. But the chief reason Brunson’s choice works, I think, is due to the very different dramatic stakes of the series compared to most mockumentaries."

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        • Abbott Elementary is already hitting its stride after a few episodes: "I generally give shows a full season before gauging their long-term prospects," says David Dennis Jr. "It takes at least that long for characters and writers rooms to find their footing. As great as black-ish has become, for instance, its first season had some growing pains as it tried to establish its voice before its stellar sophomore season. Abbott Elementary, however, delivered one of the better pilot episodes I can remember and is already hitting the marks usually reserved for a second or third season. Each character and their motivations were immediately apparent: Brunson’s Janine Teagues is the hopeful, naive young teacher whose ambition gets her in trouble; Chris Perfetti’s Jacob Hill is the liberal white ally whose performative gestures devolve into parody; Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Barbara Howard is the near-retirement vet who doesn’t bother hoping for better leadership. It only took half an episode to feel like you know these characters. Maybe because we grew up going to school with them. But most importantly, the pilot, and the two subsequent episodes, were hilarious. The cutaways featuring the surly janitor will have you laughing out loud. The shady principal is absurd. And the way the show takes us into a world where the people in charge care least about the kids who need them stings because it’s true."
        • Abbott Elementary has a very clear sense of which actors have eye-catching chemistry together: "One of the things all good sitcoms do is figure out new ways to make the same collection of people bouncing off of each other over and over again funny each time," says Lisa Weidenfeld. "There’s an art to it, so that each time, say, Leslie and Ron interact, it’s still funny, and ideally over time, part of what makes it funny is your expectation of how that conversation will go. Abbott Elementary still has plenty of territory to cover in terms of who among its core cast is funniest together, but going by the early episodes, the show has a very clear sense of which actors have eye-catching chemistry together." Weidenfeld adds: "Still, the show is moving along at a brisk clip for a series still finding its footing."
        • Quinta Brunson created Abbott Elementary intending for viewers to be invested in the school workplace: "I wanted to make the audience fall in love with the workplace, and I wanted the comedy to feel like you, the audience member, were working at Abbott, too," she says. "That informed the mockumentary style — a style I’m already obsessed with, but I think the reason I love it so much is because it makes you feel as if you’re there. Especially with subject matter like this, I think it’s important for the audience to feel like they’re in on an inside joke with our show. If I say to you right now, 'No soup for you,' that only means something to you because you’ve seen Seinfeld, too. And if you haven’t seen Seinfeld, then that means diddly squat to you. To me, the best jokes are inside. They can only live in the world and the soul of that show."
        • Brunson hopes Abbott Elementary gets viewers to laugh -- while thinking about education funding: “It’s a bigger commentary on America’s treatment of lower classes,” says Brunson. “Our country doesn’t care as much about its lower classes as its richer class ... and because of that, schools like Abbott are suffering. Our funding should definitely be going more into the pockets of these schools than it is a billionaire’s venture....We just don’t care enough about it. Because if we did, schools wouldn’t be in that position, and they’d be fully funded already. End of story.”

        # TOPICS: Abbott Elementary, ABC, Quinta Brunson

      • Jeopardy!'s interim boss would like to stick around as Amy Schneider and sports-style analytics have helped boost ratings
        Source: The Wall Street Journal

        "A new top producer is hyping the streaks and pushing an approach that treats Jeopardy! more like a sport," reports The Wall Street Journal's John Jurgensen. "Michael Davies, a 55-year-old game-show guru known for Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, stepped in after the ouster of producer-turned-host Mike Richards. Mr. Davies is updating Jeopardy! with game stats typically seen on live sports broadcasts and data—tracking contestants’ clicks of their hand buzzers—that superfans have long craved. All this has helped push Jeopardy! to 9.2 million total same-day viewers on average in its current season, according to Nielsen data. That is up 7% from the same period last season, and a return to numbers associated with late host Alex Trebek. The show is capturing the biggest audience of any program on TV outside of sports." Jurgensen notes Davies "is using a playbook for Jeopardy! that has worked for other pop-culture franchises: superserve hard-core fans, and broader audiences will follow. For a game show rooted in facts, geeking out is on brand." Last week Davies introduced a sports-style box score to be published after every game. Davies, who only signed on for this season, tells the Journal: "I would find it very difficult to leave now." As for the hosting search, Jurgensen reports the fate of Mayim Bialik's Fox sitcom Call Me Kat will play a role in who hosts Jeopardy! full-time. But what could potentially happen is either Bialik or Jennings becoming full-time host. Whoever doesn't get the main job would host primetime specials and Jeopardy! spinoffs. ALSO: Amy Schneider on becoming Jeopardy! host: "It would certainly be a cool experience. It’s a lot harder than it looks...I‘d certainly consider it if somebody asked."

        # TOPICS: Amy Schneider, Jeopardy!, Michael Davies, Game Shows

      • André Leon Talley, fashion icon and former America's Next Top Model judge, dies at 71
        Source: TVLine

        The former editor-at-large of Vogue, who died Tuesday at a hospital in White Plains, New York, was a judge on Tyra Banks' Top Model reality show for four seasons, Cycles 14 through 17, from 2010 to 2011. He also played himself on an episode of Empire and appeared in the first Sex and the City movie.

        # TOPICS: America's Next Top Model, André Leon Talley, Obits, Reality TV

      • Joss Whedon seems to see himself like a flawed hero
        Source: Mel Magazine

        The disgraced Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel creator's New York magazine cover story profile suggests that he sees himself as the kind of flawed hero whose stories he made his name telling. The "profile illustrates, in despairing detail, a man who too often didn’t rise to the moment," says Tim Grierson. "I’ve known enough people who worked on sets to appreciate that they can be challenging, volatile crucibles, places where stress and ego combine to forge rude and erratic behavior. But the stories recounted about Whedon threatening to have individuals blackballed — or, worse, allegedly hurting a costume designer by digging his nails into her arm while he was making a point — just seem egregious, a pattern of a**holish conduct by someone who couldn’t handle stress and took it out on those around him. In the article, Whedon owns up, somewhat, but then insists he’s been misunderstood, claiming that his detractors have used 'every weaponizable word of the modern era to make it seem like I was an abusive monster. I think I’m one of the nicer showrunners that’s ever been.' It’s a shocking statement but, weirdly, it does square with a classic superhero narrative in which the good guy is shunned by the populace, who have no idea what he’s done for them. Perhaps the most famous example of this is in The Dark Knight, a movie Whedon had nothing to do with. That film concludes with Batman letting the world think he’s the true villain so that Harvey Dent’s sterling image won’t be tarnished and the citizens of Gotham can still believe in something. It’s an act of self-sacrifice that’s noble and tragic, but also speaks to something deeply self-pitying about our conception of heroes: I’m doing all this good in the world, and you don’t even appreciate it. That seems to be the mindset Whedon carries into these interviews with (New York's Lila) Shapiro, along with an eye toward a redemption arc, another thing we love from our fictional heroes...The (New York) article is a warning about our willingness to be seduced by people who seem to represent something honorable or enlightened. All those Buffy fans saw in Whedon a guy who was like them, heartened by the fact that he reflected their passions and, in turn, made them seem cool. Feminists saw an ally — a powerful man in Hollywood interested in telling women’s stories. And when we find heroes, we want them to stay that way — so much so that it’s hard to accept any evidence to the contrary. We don’t mind if Iron Man or Buffy is flawed, just so long as we know that, in the end, they’ll do the right thing. But Whedon, from all appearances, didn’t do the right thing — and he still hasn’t."

        # TOPICS: Joss Whedon, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

      • Britney Spears' dad used his role as conservator to try to film a Cookin’ Cruzin’ and Chaos with Jamie Spears TV pilot
        Source: Twitter

        Framing Britney Spears executive producer Liz Day's latest revelation in The New York Times comes as Britney Spears' lawyer is alleging financial misconduct on her dad Jamie Spears' part. Day reports that Jamie Spears used a Britney tour staffer to try to launch a TV show titled Cookin' Cruzin' and Chaos with the slogan: "Put a little South in your Mouth" According to Variety, Jamie Spears pitched the show in 2015 to networks including Cooking Channel.

        # TOPICS: Jamie Spears, Framing Britney Spears, Britney Spears

      • Jamie Lynn Spears' memoir praises Zoey 101 creator Dan Schneider without mentioning the misconduct allegations against him
        Source: Page Six

        In Things I Should Have Said, Spears credits Schneider as the person who “recognized (her) talent” and “was the driving force” behind her landing the starring role on the Nickelodeon dramedy, according to Page Six. She also praised Schneider for knowing “how to get just what he needed from a rambunctious group of teens who thought that they were all that.” But Spears doesn't mention any of controversies surrounding Schneider, who was Nickelodeon's top hit maker before the cable network cut ties in 2018.

        # TOPICS: Jamie Lynn Spears, Nickelodeon, Zoey 101, Dan Schneider, TV Books

      • Yellowjackets shouldn't go beyond three seasons
        Source: Gawker

        Co-creator Ashley Lyle told Vulture that the Showtime series she created with husband Bart Nickerson was originally pitched for five seasons. “When buyers are hearing ideas, particularly at a network like Showtime, they want to know that you have a plan and there’s more than one season worth of story,” she said. But Lyle also said they had no interest in dragging out the story longer than necessary. To which Sarah Hagi says: "Thank God, but also I am praying, begging and hoping this show will not be longer than three seasons. I love the idea of watching these wild girls do more stupid things just because I enjoy seeing them on screen — but by next season the story will probably be tenuous. It’s already annoying that the other survivors are a mystery to us, when we know everyone else on the show knows who has survived and who has died. It’s hard to see how much further the mystery can be taken without getting into ridiculous territory. Nothing more should be happening to these women. We don’t need to see them in college or and we also shouldn’t have to wonder who the 'pit girl' was for any longer than a few more episodes in Season 2. The show has done a fantastic job at building tension, but it would be a shame for it to rely any more than it already does on what the audience doesn’t know. At a certain point, you have to put a pin in it. Let it be good, then let it die." She adds: "I don’t want to still be watching Yellowjackets in 2027."

        ALSO:

        • Misty is the most terrifying character on TV: "Played by Sammi Hanratty in ’96 and Christina Ricci in the present, Misty is a mouse with a serial killer’s temperament lurking beneath blonde curls," says Marianne Eloise. "With big, ’90s glasses even in the present and a tiny, five-foot frame, she doesn’t seem capable of very much damage. It’s there that her real power lies. In the group, she’s an outsider, mocked for being a nerd. But in the woods, the same things that make her a weirdo make her necessary. She knows how to navigate, how to heal wounds, how to get food. A first sign that she might not be quite right comes when she hacks off someone’s leg and burns the wound closed without flinching, even as they scream. She has to save a life, and she will do anything. She has skills — lots of them — and when she overhears her teammates confessing that they couldn’t do it without her, she does what anyone would do and takes action to ensure they can’t be found. She wants to stay out there forever, consequences (and there are many of them) be damned."
        • Christina Ricci had no idea what she was getting into with Yellowjackets: “I didn't really know that it was going to be folk horror,” she says. “You have to understand, we had very little information in the beginning; people played it all very close to the chest, what was going on for the rest of the season. So initially, the only aspect of that that I understood was that there would ultimately be some sort of culty thing that happens out in the woods." Ricci adds: "People really do connect with that need (Misty) has that motivates everything, which is to be accepted, to be a part of the group. But what's interesting about this character and what I think these writers do so adeptly is, they show you how badly she wants to be there, and then they show you the reason why she deserves to be kicked out...The thing I actually like most about this character is how she has that need, still. It's still the thing that — almost subconsciously, probably, at this point — drives her to operate. But she's also, after years and years of being stepped on and dismissed and not accepted and punished for who she is, very much at a point where she's like, ‘Well, no one's ever going to give it to me. So I'm going to f*cking take it.’”
        • Melanie Lynskey has always been a great actress: "Her run as adult Shauna is undoubtedly some of the best work in her career, but it is admittedly frustrating to hear people talk about her performance as if it is the first time she has ever been this good," says BJ Colangelo. "Lynskey has always been incredible, she has always been captivating, and she has always been right in front of our faces. So much of my personal ability to see myself the way I do is inspired by the ways I've seen Lynskey on screen. Because of her, I know I am able to be strong, proud, sweet, bold, angry, loving, responsible, chaotic, maternal, and insanely sexy all at once. She contains multitudes, as do I, and there's power in embracing all aspects of my character. The fact Lynskey isn't one of the most highly sought-after performers in the business is due to no fault of her own, but the ridiculous Hollywood machine that has taken decades to finally see what so many of us have known all along: Melanie Lynskey f****** rules."
        • Jasmin Savoy Brown had to juggle Yellowjackets and Scream: "We shot the pilot for Yellowjackets in late 2019 and I was shooting Sound of Violence at the same time," she says. "So I was doing both. And then 2020 happened, and Scream happened in September, October, November of 2020. And then we shot Yellowjackets in the summer of 2021. And now they’re all coming out at the same time here in 2022." As for auditioning for Yellowjackets, Brown says: "It’s so female-led and so dark and so gritty. So I did feel something special, and I knew the job was mine from the second I got the email. That’s how I’ve felt about every single thing I’ve ever booked except for my guest star on Grey’s Anatomy. I didn’t think I was going to get that, but with everything else, I just had this feeling in my stomach. I was like, 'Oh, this is mine.' And it was pretty cool because it was the hot pilot in town that year. So it was exciting to become a part of it."
        • Brown and Tawny Cypress actually bonded while filming: "When Jasmin Savoy Brown and Tawny Cypress arrived in Vancouver to film Yellowjackets, the ghastly yet winsome new Showtime ensemble series about friendship and mushrooms and homecomings and bloodlust, their early interactions were appropriately uncanny for two people tasked with playing then-and-now versions of the same troubled gal," reports The Ringer's Katie Baker. 'For starters, neither actress arrived alone. 'We were the only people that brought our cats,' recalls Brown, 27, in a Zoom conversation, 'and also, we both have a tortoiseshell cat.' They’d coincidentally booked accommodations in adjacent apartment buildings. They had very little idea of everything that their character, Taissa—a high school soccer player turned plane crash survivor turned presumptive state senator with, ah, some skeletons in the closet—would become. (They also had very little idea of everything Yellowjackets writ large would become.) They shared a landlord, and they shared strolls in a nearby park. Sometimes, when Brown was called out of town to film her harrowing half of the series in the Canadian woods, Cypress, 45, would let herself into her younger costar’s apartment."
        • Here are suggestions for casting Season 2 adult survivors: Lauren Ambrose as adult Van?

        # TOPICS: Yellowjackets, Showtime, Ashley Lyle, Christina Ricci, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Melanie Lynskey, Tawny Cypress

      • Brian Cox says Jeremy Strong shouldn't have agreed to New Yorker profile: "In a sense, he got hoisted by it, and I think it was unfortunate"
        Source: Deadline

        "It was Jeremy’s idea, the whole article," Cox tells Deadline of his Succession co-star while promoting his memoir. "He pushed for it, and you know, and people kept warning him about it. In a sense, he got hoisted by it, and I think it was unfortunate. I think he should never had gone down that road because playing Kendall has put him in a very vulnerable position." How? "Because he does what he does and he does it brilliantly, but it’s also exhausting. Particularly exhausting for him, but it’s also exhausting for the rest of us from time to time. But we weather it because we love him and because the result is always extraordinary, what he does, but at the same time, there is the double-edged sword that goes with it. Let me tell you, I have such respect for Jeremy as an actor, and I just wish him well. I think he lives in a lot of pain. I mean, he creates the pain in the role he plays. That doesn’t necessarily help, but he does. … There is a certain amount of pain at the root of Jeremy, and I just feel for that pain. I think that he puts himself in vulnerable positions and with that New Yorker article, he placed himself in a very, very vulnerable position, and I think that he didn’t need to do that."

        ALSO:

        • Brian Cox can't defend Logan Roy, but he can identify with him: "I don't defend Logan in any way," Cox tells Fresh Air. "One of the jobs as an actor is we cannot judge our characters. He is a misanthrope (who) is very disappointed with the human experiment." Cox says he can relate to the anger his character feels: "I have, personally, a lot of anger in myself, partly because of my background."

        # TOPICS: Brian Cox, HBO, Succession, Jeremy Strong, The New Yorker

      • Adam Conover blames the "monopoly capitalism" of the AT&T-Time Warner merger for Adam Ruins Everything's cancelation
        Source: reality blurred

        In a TikTok video, Conover described "how a merger killed not just my show, but also put an entire TV network worth of workers out of a job." "We were the second biggest show they had, depending on how you crunch the numbers. That Carbonaro guy did pretty good, too. But we did really, really well. So why would they want to end the show?" said Conover. "Well, here’s what happened in 2018. The giant phone company AT&T bought Time Warner, truTV’s parent company. When they did that, they did what they always do every time there’s a big mega-merger: they laid a ton of people off. One hundred people were fired from truTV, including the head of the network, the vice-head of the network, the entire programming department, the marketing department—basically, everyone in the entire building was let go and then they started canceling shows to cut costs." Adam Ruins Everything's last episode aired in October 2019.

        # TOPICS: Adam Ruins Everything, truTV, Adam Conover, AT&T, Time Warner

      • Why are 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation and other dead TV shows still tweeting?
        Source: Gawker

        Some shows never die on Twitter. For instance, every Wednesday, the 30 Rock Twitter account tweets: "What a week, huh?" "The internet is filled with ghost towns, haunted by forgotten GeoCities sites, Craigslist ads for apartments that have already been rented, and long-shuttered blogs that someone is still paying to keep online," says Olivia Craighead. "And yet there is a disturbing alternative, which can be found mostly on Twitter. I am speaking, of course, about active social media accounts for television shows that have not been on the air for years. These reanimated corpses continue to churn out content (mostly in the form of GIFs), presumably to get people to watch the show on whichever streaming service it calls home. I don’t know how effective this tactic is. I don’t think I would ever watch Parks & Recreation just because I saw someone engage with a picture of Rob Lowe taking a nap with a dog."

        # TOPICS: 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Social Media, Twitter

      • Lego sued for its use of a jacket in its Queer Eye set
        Source: The A.V. Club

        Artist James Concannon designed Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski's leather jacket. Concannon alleges Lego re-created his jacket for its Queer Eye set without permission.

        # TOPICS: Antoni Porowski, Queer Eye, Legal, Lego

      • Archive 81 boss discusses a potential Season 2, explains the Season 1 finale
        Source: Variety

        “I think there’s a lot of story that we didn’t get a chance to tell in that eight-episode first season,” says showrunner Rebecca Sonnenshine, who has already been "brainstorming" ideas with Archive 81 writers even though a Season 2 hasn't yet been ordered.

        # TOPICS: Archive 81, Netflix, Rebecca Sonnenshine

      • Questlove on working on The Tonight Show: "I don’t even see it as Fallon, more than I see it as I’m still a student at 30 Rock University"
        Source: Rolling Stone

        Rolling Stone asked The Tonight Show bandleader how long he'll stay on the show considering his work off the show. "I mean, nothing’s forever," said Questlove. "Currently, it’s not in the way of my creativity. And I don’t even see it as Fallon, more than I see it as I’m still a student at 30 Rock University. And I don’t waste a second when I go there. I’m always learning from our show; I’m constantly on the eighth floor at SNL when SNL is in season. I’ve bugged (producer) Steve Higgins a gazillion times: 'Can I be an intern up here?' It’s fascinating to watch that machinery work. I personally want to hang onto it until it is time to…"

        # TOPICS: Questlove, NBC, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night

      • PBS documentary to explore the rise in hate and violence against the Asian American Pacific Islander community
        Source: The Hollywood Reporter

        Premiering in May, the Titi Yu-directed one-hour film One Day in March follows the aftermath of the of the 2021 Atlanta mass shooting, where a 21-year-old white man killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at three different spa locations. The documentary will focus on the AAPI community's response to the horrific incident.

        # TOPICS: PBS, One Day in March, Titi Yu, Asian Americans and TV, Documentaries

      • Netflix plans to release 25 new Korean TV shows and movies in 2022 in wake of Squid Game's success
        Source: The Hollywood Reporter

        That's up from 15 in 2021. In fact, last year, Netflix invested more than half a billion for Korean content. Squid Game's monster success was followed by Korean hits like Hellbound and The Silent Sea.

        # TOPICS: Squid Game, Netflix

      • Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight agreed to not talk politics while filming Ray Donovan
        Source: TVLine

        “Jon and I made an agreement years ago to just never talk about politics,” Schreiber tells TVLine of his staunch Republican co-star. “It’s just something that we don’t want in the workspace. We don’t want that. Our jobs are difficult enough as they are without all the other nonsense coming into it. So, for that brief time that we’re working together, we just don’t do it."

        # TOPICS: Ray Donovan, Showtime, Jon Voight, Liev Schreiber

      • OAN host wants viewers to dig up "dirt" on AT&T's boss after announced it was dropping the network
        Source: The Daily Beast

        On Monday, One America News Network host Dan Ball showed a graphic that featured AT&T’s customer support number and a picture of AT&T chairman William Kennard, urging viewers to find "dirt" on him. “Whatever it is,” Ball pleaded, listing hypothetical scandals like extramarital affairs or anti-white racism, according to The Daily Beast.

        # TOPICS: One America News Network, Dan Ball, AT&T, Cable News, DirecTV

      • The Expanse always intended the final season to be one big war story
        Source: Polygon

        "Yeah, absolutely," says showrunner Naren Shankar. "That was the intention. We talked about it in precisely those terms. This is a war story. It’s these people who’ve been at war for, you know, eight months we say at the beginning of the season. It’s a war of attrition, and the entire season was a crawling, agonizing, climbing up the ladder, so to speak — getting out of that hole and taking the fight to the final battle." ALSO: The paradigm for the final season was a submarine war film.

        # TOPICS: The Expanse, Amazon, Naren Shankar

      • Former ESPN broadcaster Ron Franklin dies at 79
        Source: Awful Announcing

        Franklin, who did play by play for college basketball and college football at ESPN from 1987 to 2011, died Tuesday. Franklin was best known for his coverage of Big 12 college basketball. He was fired by ESPN in 2011 after calling sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards "sweet baby" during a production meeting.

        # TOPICS: ESPN, Ron Franklin, Obits

      • Hulu's How I Met Your Father plays out like a millennial MadLib rather than a show all its own
        Source: Variety

        "Despite the constant reminders that How I Met Your Father takes place in 2022 — both from Hilary Duff as the lovelorn 'I' and Kim Cattrall (very game here) as the same character narrating from her 2050 future— its every 'modern' reference and joke setup still feel at least five years out of date," says Caroline Framke of the "standalone sequel series" to How I Met Your Mother. "That, plus its commitment to the original How I Met Your Mother combination of soft punchlines leading to a loud laugh track, makes How I Met Your Father one of the more downright disorienting series in recent memory." Framke adds that HIMYF "goes out of its way to show its characters using smartphones and ring lights, but which somehow still feels frozen in the amber of the original series’ mid-aughts setting. Frankly, if How I Met Your Father had just gone ahead and embraced the weird challenge of being a full-on aughts period piece, it would’ve been a far more interesting show. Not only would its constant winking acknowledgments that Duff (and eventual guest star Josh Peck) was one of the era’s TV mainstays be more fun, but the entire show would at least set itself apart from every other sitcom like it. As is, How I Met Your Father is just a bizarre exercise in recycling nostalgia for modern times without finding a way to be modern at all."

        ALSO:

        • Mediocre sitcom writing and "a bunch of Ted Mosbys" sink HIMYF: "It’s hard to judge a new sitcom based on a couple of episodes," says Dustin Rowles. "It’s not about the writing, which can get better. It’s more about the characters and whether there’s a potential to vibe with them. It’s not unlike a first date. Even if everything goes to hell, you can still tell if there’s a spark there. There may be some baggage of which you are unaware, they may say something in the future that will force you to reexamine everything you thought you knew, or you may not know yet that they drive a Jeep, but you can tell early on if this is someone with whom you want to at least spend more time. How I Met Your Father fails on all three counts. The writing is mediocre generic-dating sitcom writing; the characters are less Friends and more Friends clones; and there’s not much by way of a spark. Even the actors we know and like - Hilary Duff and Christopher Lowell (PIZ!) — have been flattened by sitcom writing, stripped of their personalities, and turned into cookie-cutter sitcom caricatures. There’s no Robin or Barney here, just a bunch of Ted Mosbys."
        • HIMYF isn't weird enough: "Ted Mosby was often insufferable, but he had a kind of quixotic desire for love — a belief in grand gestures and destiny — that made him watchable, even if sometimes through your fingers," says Linda Holmes. "Marshall and Lily were a couple of beautifully matched dorks. And Barney was pretty loathsome, but at least he was specific, with his suit-wearing and his high-fiving and the constant question of why he was friends with any of these people. How I Met Your Father is a hangout show that I think is too much like an actual hangout. These people seem very nice. (And it's definitely a positive thing that it's not another full complement of straight white characters.) They seem to like each other; they seem to be rootable and pleasant. The actors are absolutely up to the challenge. But ... trying to marry this kind of naturalistic, laid-back approach to the high-concept business with the narrator and the 'this is how I met your father' and all that? I think it's not working in these early episodes, at least. (With that said, comedies often take time to grow into themselves.)"
        • How I Met Your Father evokes a specific kind of nostalgia: "When How I Met Your Father — not to be confused with the shelved How I Met Your Dad — was announced, I rejected it on principle," says Petrana Radulovic. "They won’t get me this time, I thought. I’m stronger. I’ve learned. I’ve grown past the need for sitcoms about friend groups in New York City in impossibly cool apartments. ’Twas with a steeled heart that I watched the How I Met Your Father premiere, through squinted eyes, as I mentally prepared myself to be disappointed. And yet, the more I watched, the more I let my icy heart melt and by the end, I realized that perhaps for the first time I am specifically the target audience of something. I grew up with Lizzie McGuire, I watched the How I Met Your Mother finale in my college dorm common area, I am a late 20-something living in New York City, who feels like the pandemic has robbed me of spontaneous sitcom adventures alongside a group of friends with magically clear schedules (as if I went out a lot before), and my engagement photos were taken with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background (more on that later). If I can’t race across the city with a group of beautiful people, at least I can watch Hilary Duff do so! I’ve shed my cynicism and reluctantly embraced How I Met Your Father — which may yet disappoint me, but I am clinging to the way this first episode made me feel."
        • HIMYF will make you miss HIMYM: "Like most successful sitcoms, HIMYM boasted zippy scripts, enviable cast chemistry and earnest showmanship to spare," says Inkoo Kang. "But How I Met Your Father underscores what made the earlier show so distinctive: its particular friendship dynamic. Like so many well-to-do urban 20-somethings, Josh Radnor’s Ted built his adult support system through his college pals and random people he’d encountered at his local bar. The characters were raconteurs who couldn’t help mythologizing their youth, their city and their relationships. And some of the series’ best observations were about how they’d sometimes fudge the truth to make their romances sweeter, or themselves more attractive or better-seeming people than they actually were. From the hindsight of 2022, it was a prescient look at how young people would use social media to turn experience into neat, self-flattering images as a way of presenting oneself to the world. Ted et al. could also be smug as hell about the specialness of their friend group — their conviction that they were the protagonists of the story of New York — but the show delighted in puncturing their occasional insufferability, too. HIMYM’s greatest triumph was in spinning a cocoon of friendship based on long-running in-jokes, spontaneously invented words and games, and shared narratives they’d reference or revise, inviting viewers to feel as if they were one of the gang, too. It’s not entirely fair to compare what How I Met Your Mother did with nine seasons to what little How I Met Your Father does in its initial four episodes, the portion screened for critics. (The debut season contains 10 chapters total.) But I can say that not a trace of the graceful aplomb that HIMYM exhibited even in its pilot episode is present in the early installments of the Hulu series, which looks and tastes like a cake on Nailed It.”
        • HIMYF is a legendary misfire: How I Met Your Father "arrives knowing that the latter is the sin for which it must atone," says Jennifer Keishin Armstrong. "Alas, at least based on the first four installments of a 10-episode season, it’s hard to imagine caring enough about the ending for it to matter. This version doesn’t clear the first significant hurdle: It has none of the alchemy of the original that kept us invested for nine seasons. In fact, the strongest feeling it conjures is profound appreciation for how special the Mother iteration was. Remember discovering the blinding charisma of Cobie Smulders as Canadian pop star-turned-news reporter Robin? No wonder our sappy main character, Ted, fell for her immediately! Didn’t Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan, as Marshall and Lily, make being married look delightful? And, my God, Neil Patrick Harris’ dazzling turn as womanizer Barney! It revived a career that had languished for a decade after his teen breakout hit Doogie Howser, M.D.! The entire cast meshed so well, and was having so much fun. So were we."
        • HIMYF doesn't rise to HIMYM's level: "It’s hard to remember now, after that dumpster fire of a series finale, but How I Met Your Mother was actually a pretty good show for most of its run, putting a few new touches on the standard sitcom formula and creating something both fresh and familiar," says Dave Nemetz "It helped that its core cast was so talented, and How I Met Your Father boasts a talented cast of young actors, too. But the material doesn’t rise to their level. It lacks the sharp wit that made How I Met Your Mother so appealing, and it relies too heavily on sentimental schmaltz that doesn’t feel earned." He adds: "The cast is plenty likable, but the punchlines they’re given are lame, with lots of tired Tinder jokes, and the laugh track is loud and distracting. (That’s one aspect of HIMYM they could’ve left in the past.) How I Met Your Father has a real CBS sitcom feel to it, somehow, despite being on a streaming service. It does get a lot racier than HIMYM, though, with a sex toy mishap that would never play on CBS."
        • HIMYF is too cringeworthy: "I found myself cringing a lot during the first four episodes made available for review, hoping things would improve as the writers and actors found a rhythm," says Matthew Gilbert. "But joke after joke tanked, the ensemble — including the usually smooth Chris Lowell (GLOW) — never seemed to strike an easy chemistry, and the romantic dynamics bashed me over the head. How I Met Your Mother was outstanding on all those fronts, until the final two or so seasons, but the show that has been created in its image (by different people)? As Ted and Robin from the original might say with salutes, it’s a Major Miscalculation and a General Bummer."
        • HIMYF shows some promise after four episodes: "How I Met Your Father wants to be both charming in a classical sitcom way - complete with laugh track and friend group hijinks — while also trying to be a bit more modern and daring," says Ross Bonaime. "90% of the first four episodes of How I Met Your Father could air any night on CBS, but every once in a while, there’s talk about 'crushing dick,' or an entire subplot about a high-tech sex toy. It’s certainly not bad for the show to be more contemporary in its look at love in the present, but the way it does it at times feels jarring, as if the show is trying to prove that it’s not your parent’s sitcom. Shows like Happy Endings or New Girl have nailed this balance, but the multi-camera sitcom trappings, mixed with attempts to be progressive, don’t always work with HIMYF. However, by the end of these first four episodes, How I Met Your Father does a good job of setting up this new group of friends and what they could mean for the overall story. Duff and Lowell have great chemistry that elevates the entire series, while Sharma’s delightful when he gets his own story, and the questionable relationship between Valentina and Charlie is endearing, especially the further the show goes along. Also wonderful is Josh Peck as Drew, another possible love interest for Sophie that feels like a match made in early aughts children’s programming heaven. Yet, it’s, unfortunately, Tran’s Ellen that doesn’t have much to do here, as she’s often the sixth character trying to figure out what exactly she does. By the show’s fourth episode, 'Dirrty Thirty,' there’s a stronger understanding as to who this character is, especially when it comes to her youth with Jesse, but it still feels like the one person that the show doesn’t quite know what to do with yet."
        • HIMYF feels dated with its overreliance on nostalgia: "The sequel pays homage to the original series with gratifying inside jokes and Easter eggs, but sadly the HIMYM callbacks aren't the only signs that How I Met Your Father is stuck in the past," says Nicole Galluci. "Dated pop culture references to Jane Fonda workout tapes and early 2000s music feel forced, like strategically-placed nostalgia trying too hard to hook millennial viewers. It's understandable to long for a world before technology played such a heavy role in our love stories, but a lot has changed since 2005. Dropping buzzwords related to dating apps and internet slang isn't enough to make this modern series stand apart from the dated blueprint it's using as inspiration. In order for How I Met Your Father to succeed, writers can't solely rely on replicating morsels of HIMYM's magic and tapping into nostalgia. They'll need to fully embrace their modern-day setting and lean into what makes relationships, communication, and life so different today. Four screeners in, the laugh track does the heavy lifting for jokes that don't play, including one line two minutes into the pilot that actually made me cringe. But that's not to say the show's all bad. Duff brings a heavy dose of charisma to the role, and her talented castmates have enough chemistry and charm to keep viewers coming back for Season 1's ten episodes."
        • HIMYF feels like a pale imitation: "If old episodes of HIMYM feel like comfort food in 2022, HIMYF feels less like an updated recipe than the prepackaged Trader Joe’s version," says Angie Han. "It’s good enough to pass in a pinch, but not quite good enough to surpass the real deal. The new series’ clearest advantage is Duff, who seems born to be a rom-com queen. Her delicate balance of starry-eyed and grounded keeps Sophie on just this side of relatable, even as she sighs after 87 failed first dates in a row that the next first date is going to be when she meets the man she’ll spend the rest of her life with. (Forget what such a grueling track record means for her emotional state, how does she find the time?)... There’s only so much these performers can do, however, with the tepid observations they’re given on subjects as picked-clean as Tinder, Grindr, FOMO and viral “fail” videos, and with characterizations that veer too familiar, too bland or, in Sid’s case, both. The vivid personalities, crackling chemistry and memorable one-liners that mark a great hangout show elude them so far, although the show offers flashes of hope here and there that it could yet grow into them."
        • HIMYF is the sad cover version of a show that's best left forgotten: "Hearing the affected patter of How I Met Your Father educes the same reaction: they're not saying anything offensive, it's the way they're saying it – as if they're playacting 2022 from the perspective of 2005," says Melanie McFarland, adding: "Aside from incorporating a few racy elements that never would have made it through CBS' standards and practices department, like a visual gag involving a technologically advanced sexual aid for men, its main change is that Tinder features prominently. You know, the same as in every show about the difficulties of mating and dating in in today's world."
        • Francis Raisa wanted to be part of HIMYF because of Hilary Duff's involvement: "I heard Hilary Duff was a part of it and I was like, 'OK, well everything she touches turns to gold so let's see this,'" she says.
        • HIMYF fans haven't seen the last of Leighton Meester
        • Co-creator Isaac Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger loved adding HIMYM Easter eggs: "These shows are so much fun because they are puzzles," says Aptaker. "They take simple moments, very grounded moments, and make them feel huge, all by storytelling and how information is very carefully revealed. We’re a big fan of elements like that, and people should certainly be watching for them.” 
        • Hilary Duff, Chris Lowell and Tien Tran discuss how "freaking amazing" it is to work on HIMYF and escape from the real world: "I’m in New York right now, and to live in a world where I can be walking around the New York streets without an N95 mask on, where the biggest stress of my life is what my Tinder profile looks like, is a wonderful world to live in," says Lowell. "It’s a wonderful way to experience New York, that I frankly miss dearly and hope will come back soon. But I think you said it all in your question, being able to spend time with people that I genuinely love and being able to be put in scenarios where I have to try not to laugh all day long is a great way to go to and come home from work."
        • How Hilary Duff landed on HIMYF after only being somewhat familiar with HIMYM: "I got a call from my manager saying that there was this project that they wanted to chat with me about," the actress tells EW of looking for a new project as Younger was ending. "Then I heard the title and I was like, 'Are you kidding me? What?!'" That familiarity made the star nervous, though. "The original show is so, so beloved and was just so spot-on perfect, that I'm like, 'Ohh, I don't wanna do reboot,'" says Duff. But after talking with Aptaker and Berger, Duff was reassured. "They could literally sell me a bag of dirty laundry," she jokes. "They're so enthusiastic about what they do and they're so talented. I was a little bit nervous about the sitcom of it all because I've never done multi-cam, but I read the script and it was just everything you want a comedy to be. There were lighthearted moments, but there (were) funny moments and it was a little dirty at times. It was just perfect. I signed on board and was like, 'Yeah, I need five months — I'm having a baby right now.'"
        • HIMYF is using the exact apartment from HIMYM: "It’s not a replica," explains the Los Angeles Times' Ashley Lee. "The studio quietly held it in storage after wrapping production on the original in 2014, with its upholstered valances and window blinds still intact." But why use the old set? “This is very much its own show and we’re telling an entirely new story here,” says co-creator Elizabeth Berger. “But at the same time, we wanted to pay tribute to the original and give this loyal fan base — and we are part of that fan base — something special.” HIMYF even used the original swords from HIMYM, borrowing them from HIMYM co-creator Carter Bays.

        # TOPICS: How I Met Your Father, Hulu, How I Met Your Mother, Chris Lowell, Elizabeth Berger, Francia Raisa, Hilary Duff, Isaac Aptaker, Tien Tran

      • Bull ending after six seasons
        Source: Variety

        Michael Weatherly announced via Twitter that his CBS legal drama inspired by Dr. Phil McGraw's early career will end after the currently airing Season 6. CBS confirmed the cancelation. "Hello all! It’s been my privilege to play Dr Jason Bull but after 6 Seasons of incredible storylines, I’ve decided it’s time to pursue new creative challenges and bring his story to a close," Weatherly tweeted. "It has been an honor to work with this talented cast, crew and writing/producing team who helped reinvent the legal drama. Stay tuned for a big series finish…Thanks to all the fans from the bottom of my heart. You will always be a part of our Bull family!" Bull infamously made headlines in 2018 after The New York Times revealed CBS paid Bull guest-star Eliza Dushku $9.5 million over her allegations that Weatherly sexually harassed her on set. “For six seasons, Bull has established itself as a ratings winner with its fresh take on the judicial process never before seen on television,” CBS said in a statement. As Variety notes, Bull ending will mark the first time in nearly two decades that Weatherly won't be on the network's primetime lineup. Weatherly began starring in Bull in 2016 after starring on NCIS from 2003 to 2016.

        # TOPICS: Bull, CBS, Michael Weatherly, Cancelations, Renewals & Pickups

      • MTV cancels The Hills: New Beginnings after two seasons
        Source: TMZ

        The Hills reboot won't return for Season 3 for a number of reasons, according to TMZ, which adds: "one source close to the show tells us producers recently explored the thought of bringing younger cast members into the fold to diversify things, but several of the original stars were not on board. We're told some of those OGs also had major issues with the reboot ... believing it wasn't the show MTV promised them, and feeling like it was, at times, forced with fake storylines and confessionals. All in all ... we're told many of them said the reboot didn't have the same feel as their first go-round and it created an impasse between some stars and the network." Another source tells TMZ that filming Season 3 proved too challenging due to the pandemic protocols.

        # TOPICS: The Hills: New Beginnings, MTV, Cancelations, Renewals & Pickups, Reality TV

      • Allison Tolman urges TV writers to "take the jokes about weight out of your scripts"
        Source: TVLine

        "I promise they aren’t funny. And even if they were, they won’t hold up well. And even if they did, they’re unkind-either to your characters and actors or someone in your audience or crew. It’s not worth it," says the veteran Fargo and Why Women Kill actress in a lengthy Twitter thread posted Tuesday afternoon. "Jokes about weight don’t have to just be jokes about a characters body," she tweeted, adding: "And when you’re ready, begin to wrap your mind around removing body descriptors from your scripts altogether, including character descriptions and the names of minor roles. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use adjectives. But please don’t say 'Linda- the main character’s cousin, thin and witty' unless there’s an actual reason Linda needs to be thin. And please don’t say 'Fat Lady In Theater' when you mean 'Annoying Lady In Theater'. Oh! And also, people think it’s okay if they’re using descriptors for small bodies, because they’re considered complimentary. Like, you’re auditioning for 'Skinny Intern', congratulations! But do you see THAT IS THE EXACT POINT AND SURELY YOU UNDERSTAND HOW WEIRD THAT IS. The audience only knows the values you assign to different body types if you have characters saying lines about them. But the rest of your script? That’s your crew, writers room, everyone in the office, executives, creative partners- all the people helping you make your show."

        # TOPICS: Allison Tolman, Body Portrayals and TV

      • Former Jimmy Kimmel Live! set dresser sues, accusing the show of retaliation, allowing drug use and other labor violations
        Source: The Blast

        Brian Ballard, who worked on Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show from 2005 until the pandemic began in 2020, says nothing was done after he reported a fellow employee who “was under the influence of drugs on the job," reports The Blast. After he was laid off at the beginning of the pandemic, Ballard says “most if not all of the members of the production crew were notified that they were re-hired and returned to work on the show" in January 2021, including the employee he accused of drug use. Ballard says he wasn't hired back. Ballard's lawsuit accuses Kimmel's production company of several labor code violations, including unsafe working conditions and retaliation after he filed a complaint.

        # TOPICS: Jimmy Kimmel, ABC, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Night, Legal

      • Fox passes on Kyle Killen's The Last Police pilot
        Source: Deadline

        The Lone Star, Awake and Mind Games creator's potential next series is dead. Based on Ben Winters’ sci-fi mystery novel The Last Policeman, The Last Police followed "a small-town police detective, who, as an asteroid races toward an apocalyptic collision with Earth, believes she’s been chosen to save humanity, while her cynical partner can’t decide what he’ll enjoy more: her delusional failure, or the end of the world itself."

        # TOPICS: The Last Police, FOX, Kyle Killen, Cancelations, Renewals & Pickups

      • The Bachelor Clayton Echard says social media criticism has started to get to him
        Source: People

        Echard told the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast Tuesday he's been following online chatter from the get-go. "And then the first episode aired and all of a sudden, it just opened the floodgates and at that point, I started to get overwhelmed," he said. "I'd be lying if I said it was all sunshine and roses. I have definitely fallen victim to reading everything, which everybody's told me, 'Stop reading all the comments,' but my thought was if I know what's out there, there's no surprises." 

        # TOPICS: Clayton Echard, ABC, The Bachelor, Reality TV