Now that he's won Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time tournament, Jennings tells Variety he doesn't expect to compete on the game show again. “I don’t see how I can top it,” he says. “The win was great. It’s a great punctuation mark, and I absolutely mean what I said about not wanting to play past my prime. And at some point Alex (Trebek) is going to retire, I assume, and it just wouldn’t feel right to play with a different host. It’d be like cheating on Alex. I think this is a perfect time to go out on top.” Besides, Jennings says that despite his recent performance, his Jeopardy!-playing skills are diminishing. “It’s not like how running backs pretty much have to retire at 29 because their bodies fall apart,” says Jennings, who turns 46 in May. “But in this case I had noticed myself slowing down – mostly (in the way of) recall, no longer automatically quick to remember names and facts like I used to. And I notice it every day; it’s like living inside ‘Flowers for Algernon’ – you feel a tiny bit dumber every day, as I move into my 40s. And I think there’s a reason why all the big Jeopardy! champs are men and women around 30.”
One year after participating in Amazon's Lorena docuseries, Lorena Bobbitt will serve as executive producer of her own Lifetime biopic. "Lorena Bobbitt became a household name and made tabloid headlines when after years of abuse by her husband, she cut off his penis with a knife in 1993," says Lifetime. "Now nearly 30 years later, Lorena tells her story, and hers alone, for the first time with Lifetime. This fully authorized film in which Bobbitt serves as an executive producer, follows her journey from a wide-eyed, immigrant bride to a battered wife into an unlikely media sensation. I Am Lorena Bobbitt also documents her ultimately emerging as a strong, thoughtful woman who has devoted her life to advocating for other abused women.” In Smart Justice, Smart -- who famously escaped her abductors after being kidnapped at age 14 -- will help victims "on their journey to healing," says Lifetime. "Each hour-long episode of Smart Justice will present real case evidence, including police video, crime scene materials, interrogation tapes and courtroom footage, as well as interviews with the actual victims, family members and others who will offer their first-hand recollections of the crimes. As a survivor of trauma herself, Elizabeth will elicit new information on each case, as she takes viewers through all the twists and turns of these horrific stories.”
The NBA legend-turned-pop-culture writer's documentary will tell the story of the most significant black figures from the Revolutionary War era, including Crispus Attucks, Peter Salem, Phillis Wheatley and James Armistead Lafayette. Black Patriots premieres during Black History Month on Feb. 19.
The cable network will celebrate President's Day Weekend with the three-night docudrama Washington, produced by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Jeff Daniels will narrate Washington, airing over six hours between Sunday, Feb. 16 and Tuesday, Feb. 18, featuring interviews from former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. History also announced it will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberaation of the Auschwitz concentration camp with the Auschwitz Untold, a Ben Kingsley-narrated two-hour documentary telling the chilling story of the Nazi persecution and extermination of European Jews. ALSO: Watch Washington trailer.
The four-hour docuseries will follow a similar format to Surviving R. Kelly, telling the story of the late disgraced billionaire financier who was accused of sexually assaulting and trafficking numerous underage girls.
All the reward and immunity challenges in Season 40 will be blasts from the past. "It’s all classics," Survivor challenge producer John Kirhoffer tells EW. "We’ve switched up, as we sometimes do. A different classic front end with a different classic back end. So we might have a front end of a challenge from Heroes v Healers v Hustlers with a puzzle from Kaoh Rong, which is something we actually have. So that type of stuff. But it’s classics that you’ve seen."
Liza Koshy's "tasker" comedy will be back for a third season.
The magician's first special since ABC's Beyond Magic in 2016 will not air on TV. YouTube is promising that Blaine's stunt, though "death-defying," will be something that is "lighter and brighter" than the darker and more mysterious stunts he's known for.
Australian twins Rachelle Banno and Karina Banno will star as Ruby and Giselle, respectively, in the Ruby movies based on Andrews' Ruby Landry character.
The buzzworthy social media-influenced Netflix reality show looks like a setup for the typical reality show drama. "But that’s because you haven’t gotten to the real premise of The Circle," says Aja Romano. "Improbable as it might seem, that premise boils down to a subversion of the famous reality TV code: What if everyone was here to make friends? Unlikely as it might sound, The Circle differentiates itself from other relationship-focused reality competition shows by emphasizing that, in fact, its contestants really like each other — or at least, they’re really good at pretending they do. It’s less Big Brother and more The Great British Compliment-Off. And Netflix viewers seem to have embraced it as genuine." Romano adds that one of the key's to The Circle's success is embracing inauthenticity as part of human nature. "Historically, one of the biggest and most fear-mongering tropes about the internet is that it allows people to hide themselves from you, with the built-in assumption that if someone is hiding or pretending to be someone they’re not, their motives must be purely duplicitous or malevolent," says Romano. "The Circle doesn’t bother to do any of that. Instead of treating 'being fake on the internet' as a shocking betrayal, The Circle embraces it as something we all do in big and small ways, often in the service of making friends and fitting in."
“He’s back. And nothing has changed," touts an HBO promo for Season 10, premiering Sunday. Ben Lindbergh recently rewatched Season 1 and parts of Season 9, and says he "was struck by how little difference the 17 years between them made. Time hasn’t taught TV Larry how to play well with others, and he hasn’t talked others into living like he does. His surroundings have changed in one noteworthy way: Cheryl moved out, and Leon moved in." Curb is able to stay constant because HBO doesn't dictate the pace of production. "David makes new seasons whenever he has new ideas, not when the broadcast schedule says so, so it makes sense that the quality of the output wouldn’t fluctuate wildly," says Lindbergh. "And because Curb comes and goes, it doesn’t wear out its welcome: Its 10-episode seasons last less than three months, and by the time the show returns, the preceding season is distant enough that the old seems somewhat new again. More than that, though, this immutability stems from the fact that for better or worse, David largely hasn’t tried to adapt to shifting tastes, borrow from flavors of the month, overhaul his craft, or comment on current cultural events. His humor, and his series, stay in their well-liked, lucrative lane." ALSO: Curb presents "The Sounds of Susie."
Aronofsky and his One Strange Rock team will use “their signature high-end cinematic style” to “capture Hemsworth’s epic mission to discover how we all can live healthier, smarter and longer lives,” National Geographic Channel announced at the TV press tour. “No stranger to the pursuit of fitness and health (including the recent launch of his popular app Centr), Hemsworth aims to transform himself by training for six extraordinary challenges, showing how to fight aging at every stage of life.”
The forthcoming streaming service will run no more than five minutes of ads per hour and will remember how often a particular ad plays for each subscriber. Most importantly, Peacock wants to connect commercials to the viewer. "In a different time in the business, viewers understood that 'a word from our sponsor' helped make their experience possible," says Brian Steinberg. "The title of Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theater ensured that. But the modern TV model, with handfuls of commercials breaking through to interrupt linear viewings of everything from Sunday Night Football to Better Call Saul, appears to have sundered that connection. TV no longer relies on a 'word' from sponsors, but rather a cacophony. By the time the audience gets through back-to-back-to-back-to-back runs of national ads from Burger King, Apple and Geico and local spots from the regional car dealership, they may well have forgotten what they were watching in the first place. NBCU intends to change that system."
Even though the David Fincher crime thriller hasn't officially been canceled, it's not surprising that another Netflix show that looked like something special is in limbo, says Jeva Lange. She points out that the Mindhunter team originally had a five-season plan. "While it's true that in-demand directors and producers are often overextended and forced to abandon projects before they're completed, it's not like a third season of Mindhunter would have blindsided Fincher," says Lange. "What's more, Fincher is a veteran of Netflix television: his six-season House of Cards helped establish the streamer as a respectable studio way back in 2013, so he knew what he was committing to with his five-season proposal. But even with the door supposedly open for Fincher and Mindhunter to return down the road, with the actors now released from their contracts, they can potentially commit to other TV series, meaning if there ever were an opportunity to return, they might not even be available to do so. If it weren't for the wishy-washy statement by Netflix, Mindhunter's cancellation would almost be expected at this point."
Nearly seven months after the death of his wife Beth Chapman, Duane "Dog" Chapman is without a TV show. "He is working on a pardon from the state of Texas, which could help him realize a boyhood dream: becoming Sheriff Dog," says Adam Popescu in a New York Times profile of the reality star. "(In 1976, a failed drug deal led to Dog’s murder conviction. Dog says he didn’t pull the trigger — he was in the car — but, according to Texas law, he was an accessory.) He would be a real sheriff, in a real town that needs cleaning up, he said." Popescu adds: "Dog says he has 12 children, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He also says he has had four wives, been convicted of robbery 18 times and captured 10,000 fugitives. And he claims God promised to make him famous." As Dog explains, “I need the attention. I wake up every day and say, ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the baddest bounty hunter of them all?' I need love.” Meanwhile, Dog is trying to make money doing what he knows best -- bounty hunting because "I'm broke."
Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin's IFC variety show-inspired series hasn't yet been picked up for a second season. But it'll return this summer for an hour-long "Black History Month Spectacular," which will be shown on the bigger AMC cable network. “I’m really excited to see how it does on AMC, I think they deserve to be put in front of bigger audiences," says AMC Networks president Sarah Barnett. "It’s cool, I love brands like BBC America and IFC incubating and giving birth to these really original ideas and then migrating them (to AMC) and see what happens,” she said. Barnett adds she'll decide whether to order a second season after the special airs.
"The Mandalorian might not be in such a hyperactive mood, but it would be hard to deny that its commitment to fan service isn’t as deep as The Rise of Skywalker’s," says James Whitbrook. "So what is it about The Mandalorian—a show that made some people scream in adulation over a return to the Mos Eisley Cantina and some sand—that makes its catering-to-fans approach so well received in a way The Rise of Skywalker’s hasn’t? If anything, it’s a question of scale. If what makes Rise’s indulgent approach equal parts eminently frustrating and delightfully silly is the fact that its stakes are so grand—that it is shaping our understanding of what Star Wars is, what the Skywalker Saga at large is, on a galactic scale—then having a preponderance for calling back to what came before gets in the way of what could’ve been set up for the future. In turn, The Mandalorian’s intimacy is one of its greatest strengths. To us as an audience, the existence of Baby Yoda is a huge event because we only know of one such other being of his species on the galactic scale, but for Din Djarin and the rest of The Mandalorian’s heroes and villains? The Child is just that: a child. Who he is and where he’s from are concerns, but they are concerns because they want to see the Child protected from harm (or, in Werner Herzog’s case, exploited by the ashes of the Empire). The thrust of The Mandalorian’s season arc is not in fleshing out Baby Yoda’s Wookieepedia page, it is Din coming to care for his new ward and how it changes him as a man and a bounty hunter." ALSO: Why there's no point being outraged over Trump fans trying to co-opt Baby Yoda.
Nat Geo and Nat Geo Wild will kick off April 22, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with Born Wild: Earth Day Live, an hour-long broadcast, followed by the two-hour documentary special, Jane Goodall: The Hope. Robin Roberts will host Born Wild: Earth Day Live from the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, the largest marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation hospital in the world.
“Singing is my second language, the rumor is true, I do sing live on set,” Erivo said at the TV press tour, promoting Season 3 of the Nat Geo Genius anthology series. “It allows me to connect to her music in a way, to open up and be vulnerable and to express the things that you can’t say. It means I can be in the moment and don’t have to fabricate it, it’s there in the words and the moment and the lyrics.”
The Netflix Aaron Hernandez docuseries from Angus Wall and Geno McDermott "details Hernandez's convictions, childhood, NFL career, various stints in prison, his psyche, sexuality, and the effects football had on his body," says Tricia Crimmins. "However, despite the complicated, intense, and fatal outcomes of Hernandez's story, Killer Inside moves carefully and comprehensively when exploring the motives behind his actions. More than that, Netflix uses Hernandez's life story as a cautionary tale and seemingly as a call for change. Hernandez's struggles are treated with a lot of care thanks to the baseline understanding by Wall and McDermott that the tight end's experiences throughout his football career — namely his internal conflict surrounding his sexuality and the chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as a result of his head injuries — were not unique to him. In this way, Killer Inside is empathetic to those in situations similar to Hernandez's, less so to Hernandez himself. His life is not used as an excuse or worthy explanation throughout the docuseries for why he was violent and, ultimately, very dangerous...Importantly, Killer Inside is constructed in a way that acknowledges that Hernandez's story has been sensationalized enough."
The head of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority asked the Netflix star via Twitter if she'd like to record bus announcements after Comedy Central struck a deal with New York City's MTA for Awkwafina to call subway stops to promote her new show Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens.
"How about them apples?," Lowe tells EW with a laugh. "I had lunch with him and told him how much I loved Nip/Tuck and he was horrified as well (that it didn’t work out)," Lowe says of Murphy. "It’s one of the great Hollywood stories! For 15 years, we’ve been trying to find something (to do) together, but I’ve always been unavailable for the most part. I’m a big fan of what he, Brad (Falchuk), and Tim (Minear) did with the genre. I love action; I love a good procedural, but that kind of special sauce they throw on it makes it not only really interesting to watch but really, really interesting as an actor. In any given episode, I’m playing comedy, I’m playing a leading man, I’m playing action, and I’m playing really raw emotion. You just don’t get many opportunities as an actor to go to the kind of places that you can in Ryan, Tim, and Brad’s shows."
They'll co-star in the second Psych movie, named after Tim Omundson’s Santa Barbara Police Chief Carlton Lassiter.
"t would have been easy for Generation Q to feel like a relic of a different time, or worse, completely unneeded," says Patricia Hernandez. "But as it nears the first season finale, the show’s visibility and gloss makes a fierce case for why its voice is still vital. A series can have a queer character or two, but few of these media properties carry the weight of the L Word brand, at least for queer people. Its mere existence is an event, and Showtime is treating it that way, too." She adds: "The genuine queer perspective allows Generation Q to be about more than just standard queer issues. This is a huge departure from the original L Word, which starred Jenny Schecter (Mia Kirshner), a straight white woman who stumbles upon a world that is totally alien to her...Generation Q, meanwhile, seems unafraid to make straight people at least slightly uncomfortable."
The Fox animated comedy has staggeringly produced more than 150 tracks across 183 episodes.
"The Witcher, a sprawling Netflix fantasy series that catapulted itself into massive popularity since premiering three weeks ago, is a show that makes no sense," says Kathryn VanArendonk. "You can’t talk about The Witcher without starting there, because its illogic is the first thing you confront when you start watching, and it’s what you’re still grappling with when the season ends eight episodes later. But the other thing to say about The Witcher, which is just as important to say right up at the top, is that it’s really fun. Its fantasy trappings and its large audience makes it sound like Game of Thrones, but where that show was marked by bleakness, The Witcher is full of goofy absurdity and catchy tunes. If The Witcher is an indication of what viewers want in the successor to Game of Thrones, then what viewers want is more silliness. Watching it is like riding a roller coaster that short-circuits your higher-order thinking, bypassing reason entirely in favor of spectacle. It is immeasurably stupid; it is extremely enjoyable. And instead of opposing each other, The Witcher’s storytelling works by making those two qualities fuel each other." ALSO: The Witcher has the best memes.
"As it stands, Chambers’s exit serves as a reminder: Attachments to characters can get awfully tricky when they’re intrinsically tied to opaque, behind-the-scenes drama," says Alanna Bennett. "And for Grey’s, which has never been a show without mess, onscreen or off, it’s one more blow for a show that’s become known for its sloppy good-byes. It can be hard to emotionally invest in a show when it has the same turnover rate as the average media company. Viewers mourn every loss — most involving viscerally realized characters who were in their lives more continually than most art ever is. Most series with similar longevity to Grey’s are procedurals or daytime soaps, but while Grey’s has heaping elements of both, it is at its core a character drama. And when you’re watching for the characters, what happens to them at the end of the day really matters."
In filming Season 2, Badgley tried to reflect on his character's misdeeds by reading Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. But, Badgley says, “there’s no way that I could understand what it would take for a person like Joe to be redeemed.” So he ended up frequently listening to the rapper Saba. "He’s African-American, in Chicago, witnessing a lot of mental illness and death and murder in his life,” Badgley says. “I started to trace back the reality of white privilege. How many white men in the days of slavery were slaveowners? Or were adjacent to the murder and torture of people because of the color of their skin?” Saba’s music, he says, helped him understand “that the violence of Joe is not that far from the reality of not that long ago," adding: "It seems to me that Joe is an allegory for the history of our country, maybe.”
"There has never been more to watch for fans of the genre," says John Koblin, pointing to Saturday's release of BBC's Seven Worlds, One Planet on Netflix. "Netflix, Disney and Apple are investing heavily in wildlife programming as part of their efforts to lure subscribers to their streaming services. And nature shows are thriving on cable and public broadcast networks, with roughly 130 original nature series airing in 2019, more than the previous three years combined, according to Nielsen." Koblin adds: "Interest has been renewed as environmental coverage has migrated from scientific journals to mainstream news outlets, a change that coincided with the rise of high-definition television and streaming services. Netflix and its rivals consider wildlife programming a smart bet because it is appropriate for all ages and works well internationally." ALSO: Seven Worlds, One Planet contains some of the exact same scenes shown in Our Planet.
Eugene Levy was the first to suggest that he and son Dan Levy cast his longtime collaborator O'Hara as Moira Rose. But O'Hara insisted that her character not be a snob or mean-spirited -- she didn't want Moira Rose to have a "hardened bitterness." “In the pilot, Moira was full of insults — to anyone, especially townsfolk. I think their idea was to have her be very dry and funny and caustic,” O’Hara said, adding that she successfully pushed for her charcter to “show that I loved and supported my husband, and that I always held hope, right to the last second, that he was going to work out a way to get us out of here.” The key to Moira, she believes, is “that self-delusion that we all have, especially in hard times, when we think we’re holding it together. Instead of a futile bitterness, I wanted there to be a weird optimism.” As Dan Levy says: "It’s about kindness, and the power of love and acceptance. There’s nobody that is mean on our show.”
"It’s a fish-out-of-water tale like My Cousin Vinny, a road movie like To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (in which RuPaul acted), an odd-couple comedy like Twins, and a precocious-kid caper like Home Alone," Spencer Kornhaber says of RuPaul's Netflix comedy. "To be sure, it’s also a Netflix TV show, which means its episodes bloat to an hour long, with no scene economical enough that you’d miss its gist by waxing your eyebrows during it. But the writing and performances are harsh in a way that once felt like the essence of slapstick and now feels unsuited for easy streaming. Characters are always screeching at one another, or inflicting pointless cruelty, or adopting puppies they can’t care for. For a show so uplifting, it’s weirdly stressful. What’s most retro, in this moment, is the story it tries to tell. Drag may be a subversive art form, but RuPaul rejects the sense of grievance that defines much of LGBTQ politics. If the individualistic 'self-esteem' movement of the ’80s and ’90s has been replaced on the left by calls for 'self-care' couched in terms of political and social oppression, AJ and the Queen wants to rewind. It portrays America as a fundamentally okay place, and the achievement of self-love as simply an internal matter. Cops, doctors, and social workers all do their jobs with sensitivity and humor. Intolerance presents only minor obstacles, surmountable by charm and persuasion. Even the homophobic protesters at a drag convention are humanized and laughed along with. One of the season’s best gags is about how catchy their chants are." ALSO: AJ and the Queen is a happy, important mess.
“It’s not a mistake that they’re all dressed like hikers from Oregon," Schur said on The Last Laugh podcast. "That’s the most overtly political that we’ve gotten and it’s just a straight-up frustration over what I see from Democrats in Congress and other local governments where it’s like, ‘We’re not just going to be reasonable, we’re going to overcompensate and just concede a bunch of stuff.’ That’s not being reasonable. Conceding all the things that you care about and that you want fight for unilaterally is not being reasonable, it’s being stupid. It’s betraying your own value system and it drives me nuts. There’s this weird impulse that progressives have sometimes of ‘let’s be not just reasonable but overly solicitous of the other side. And even when they’re very obviously acting in bad faith, let’s go along with it because that puts us on some sort of moral high ground.’ And it doesn’t work that way. It’s a one-way street. So the Good Place Committee is just my personal frustration with that aspect of progressivism.” ALSO: Jason Mendoza's Season 4 line that left the cast and crew laughing uncontrollably revealed.
Jim Cantore and Jen Carfagno said in a video tweeted by The Weather Channel's AMHQ that the game show got nor’easter wrong. "You know what, Alex, I’m surprised you didn’t catch that," said Cantore. ALSO: Jeopardy! fans rally to support Thursday's contestant who struggled with anxiety.
Sofi Tukker, a duo made up of college friends Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, created the song "Good Time Girl" as a "tongue-in-cheek song about navigating this nebulous thing called a ‘casual relationship." But, as Morgan Baila notes, in creator Paolo Sorrentino's "whimsical hands, the song morphs into one about nuns grinding on a neon cross in silk white night gowns to synth-y lyrics about being a not-so good girl."
Anderson slow-motion beach run was remade for an Aussie Ultra Tune car care commercial.
The drama series telling how a Cuban-American girl named Elena became president of the United States is wholesome, well-intentioned and solidly produced, but it's aimed at a younger audience, says Daniel Fienberg. "Ilana Peña's Diary of a Future President, the first new scripted Disney+ show to premiere since November — and actually the first Disney+ show from an outside studio (CBS TV) — isn't likely to be a Mandalorian-sized, all-ages sensation, but it's full of sweet moments, positive messages and an admirably progressive streak, even if marks a bit of a bait-and-switch as Gina Rodriguez's first post-Jane the Virgin project," he says. Fienberg adds: "Rodriguez, who directs the pilot with requisite empathy and a light touch, doesn't appear again in the five episodes sent for review, nor is Elena's future status mentioned. I'm not sure the show requires Rodriguez's onscreen presence or the overt foreshadowing to work, but it's an odd thing to promise and then move away from." ALSO: How Crazy Ex-Girlfriend helped inspire Diary of a Future President.
"Sex Education doesn’t just make its adult characters as horny as its teen characters; it rather boldly asserts that there are no real differences between teen and adult sexuality," says Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya. "It’s all the same sticky mess of feelings, fantasies, desires, self-loathing, passion, and hormones. Jean (Gillian Anderson) has been obsessing over her son Otis’ pubescence—and lacking boundaries along the way—but she too begins a major hormonal change in season two: perimenopause." Upadhyaya adds: "The wealth of stories season two tells in its eight hourlong episodes is overwhelmingly impressive. In most ensemble shows, there are a handful of characters whose arcs feel undercooked or who function more like plot devices in the stories of others instead of standing on their own. Sex Education doesn’t let that happen in its second season, even as it threads in new characters and goes deeper on some of the other characters who exist in season one but who we don’t really know until now...So many teen dramas challenge tropes like the Bad Girl, the Idiot Jock, the Bookish Nerd, the Bully, but none do so quite as incisively as Sex Education. The writing, brought to life with effusive and grounded performances, is impeccable on a character level but also in the way it weaves those characters’ stories together."
"After watching Cheer’s first 55 seconds, I knew I was going to spend the next six hours of my life breathing, consuming, Googling, and social media-stalking everything about the show," says Alex Abad-Santos of the Netflix cheerleading reality show. "I knew then that it was my favorite new show of this very young year. Cheer focuses on a competitive sport that fuses turgid, erotic tribalism with the body-breaking violence of muscular humans flinging tinier, lighter humans into the air and then catching them — callused hands atop thickly taped wrists, clawing into triceps and ankles. To that mixture, the show adds the us-against-the-world mentality of Charles Xavier’s X-Men and the small-town glamour of Friday Night Lights. This is competitive junior college cheerleading at the dynastic Navarro College. This is Cheer. And this show is ballistically addictive."
The comedy from Please Like Me's Josh Thomas is like fellow Freeform series Party of Five: "a variation on the teen-screen tradition of the Orphan Emancipation Fantasy...But where its channelmate deals with a socially and financially precarious family, Gonna sets its kids up comfortably," says James Poniewozik. He adds: "If there is a term for gasping, laughing and crying simultaneously, that is what this scene made me do. Gonna is an ’80s-sitcom premise, executed not at all sitcommily. The series explores story lines that practically scream for teen-show melodrama — drinking, drug use, bullying — and treats them with audacity and deft humor. A story arc involving Matilda’s becoming sexually active seems to be barreling toward very-special-episode territory, but takes a left turn into a nuanced, tricky examination of autism and consent."
"The beauty of this production is that it never has to make that point with pro- or anti-immigration rhetoric, or with heavy-handed narratives that pit the huddled masses against a cruel, intolerant establishment," Lorraine Ali says of the Apple TV+ immigrant anthology series from Lee Eisenberg, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. "The stories breathe on their own, thanks in part to the inclusion of actors and directors who often share the same county of origin with the characters they bring to life on screen. Each episode opens with music from the protagonist’s homeland, and an 'inspired by a true story' tagline in their native tongue, be it Spanish, Farsi, Arabic ..." Ali adds: "Little America is the crown jewel in the current wave of TV shows steeped in the idea of immigration as a quintessentially modern American story. Its fish-out-of-water narratives are painful and uplifting, funny and heartbreaking. But above all, each story is unique to the individual at its core. The real-life inspirations for these tales are shown at the close of each episode, which seals the deal in terms of the show’s authenticity, and speaks to the aspirational spirit of a nation built on the dreams of Nigerian cowboys, Mexican squash champions and young Indian entrepreneurs."
"There are many surprises contained within Avenue 5, HBO’s new sci-fi comedy about a space cruise to Saturn that goes awry," Alan Sepinwall says of Veep creator Armando Iannucci's HBO space comedy. "Some of these are good, and it would ruin many of the show’s jokes to reveal them here. But the biggest surprise is a disappointing one: that Veep creator Armando Iannucci’s first TV series since he left behind Selina Meyer is kind of an unwieldy mess. The good surprises may eventually solve the bad one, but it’s hard to tell based on the four episodes provided for review." Sepinwall adds: "Comedies take time to reach their full potential, even ones from brilliant creators like Iannucci. Veep arguably didn’t come into its own until its second season (when Selina became more crucially involved in her president’s administration, and Ben and Kent were added as additional foils for her). The way Avenue 5‘s mysteries gradually unfold makes it hard to suggest waiting for a key episode down the line. (The fourth installment is by far the best, but it also depends on having seen how the captain gets to the emotional place he’s in.) This means the show will require patience — more than one might have hoped for from Iannucci’s reunion with HBO (he left Veep after Season Five), but about right for many series from lesser mortals."
"All we know there is I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s someway to transition it or something," Azaria told Slashfilm at the TV press tour while promoting the final season of Brockmire. Azaria added that it was a mutual decision between him and The Simpsons producers. “We all made the decision together,” Azaria said. “We all agreed on it. We all feel like it’s the right thing and good about it.” Azaria added: “What they’re going to do with the character is their call. It’s up to them and they haven’t sorted it out yet. All we’ve agreed on is I won’t do the voice anymore.” Azaria stepping down comes less than two years after he told Stephen Colbert he was willing to step aside from the role. “I’ve given this a lot of thought, really a lot of thought, and as I say my eyes have been opened," he said in the April 2018 Late Show interview. "And I think the most important thing is we have to listen to South Asian people, Indian people in this country and they talk about what they feel and how they think about this character and what their American experience of it has been.” The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean has yet to comment on Azaria's reported remarks. The character Apu has become increasingly scrutinized in recent years as more Indian-Americans become prominent in mainstream media. Comedian Hari Kondabolu's 2017 TruTV documentary The Problem with Apu especially drew attention to accusations that the Apu character is racist. In response to Azaria's comments, Kondabalu said he hopes The Simpsons keeps Apu. "If @HankAzaria is indeed no longer doing the voice of Apu, I do hope they keep the character & let a very talented writing staff do something interesting with him," Kondabolu tweeted. "If not to better the show, then to atleast spare me some death threats. My documentary The Problem with Apu was not made to get rid of a dated cartoon character, but to discuss race, representation & my community (which I love very much). It was also about how you can love something (like the Simpsons) & still be critical about aspects of it (Apu). Most people who saw the documentary like it & those that didn’t see it...hate it. You can see it on Amazon, truTV app & other places. Feel free to watch it by legal or illegal means. I don’t get paid more either way & it’s the message of the film that has the most value to me."
A USA Today story receiving widespread attention saying "HBO won't pursue second season of Watchmen after creator bows out" was based on Damon Lindelof telling the newspaper earlier this week that he won't return for Season 2 and HBO programming president Casey Bloys saying Wednesday he's unlikely to renew Watchmen without Linfelof. But as Ben Travers points out, there's something fishy about USA Today's report. As Travers explains, "Bloys’ non-update update (on Wednesday) was sticking with what he’s always said when asked about the future of Watchmen, but then came a USA Today article claiming to have an answer from Lindelof. After citing their own version of the above quotes from Bloys, the piece states that Lindelof has no interest in a second season. While that may seem as open-and-shut as the headline implies, there are a few red flags here: For one, they spoke to Lindelof 'this week,' which implies he’s not responding to Bloys’ statement, but instead a similar question about Watchmen’s future obtained earlier, likely on the red carpet for the Critic’s Choice Awards. For another, none of Lindelof’s statements are direct quotations. Lastly and most importantly, this is what Lindelof has been saying for ages. Even if he was responding to Bloys’ statements directly (which he’s not), Watchmen’s future is still up in the air." Bloys appeared to confirm that Watchmen isn't dead by tweeting out a Decider article with the headline: "Watchmen Season 2 Still A Possibility At HBO, Despite Reports."
Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, the documentarians behind the untitled music industry #MeToo documentary, say that Oprah was closely involved in the making of the film over the past year. “She loved, loved, loved what we did,” Ziering told the Los Angeles Times this week. “And then she saw it numerous times throughout the editing process. We had a very close working relationship and very, very positive — enthusiastically positive. There weren’t any issues.” So they were taken aback last Friday when -- with 20 minutes notice -- they learned that Oprah was dropping out as executive producer, which meant that the film wouldn't be shown on Apple TV+. Oprah pulling out came in the aftermath of backlash and pressure, not only from Simmons but from other prominent artists like 50 Cent. In a New York Times interview published today, Oprah admits she was pressured to disassociate herself from the documentary -- but insists that's not why she dropped out. “He did reach out multiple times and attempted to pressure me,” Oprah says of Simmons. According to The Times, Oprah says Simmons told her that the woman at the center of the film who is his main sexual misconduct accuser, Drew Dixon, was lying about their interactions. In addition, Ms. Winfrey says, she received phone calls from other people, whom she would not identify, who also questioned Dixon’s credibility. Oprah says she still believes Dixon, but points to inconsistencies in her account that weren't adequately addressed, in addition to other issues with the film. It is for those reasons, and not due to Simmons' pressure, that she decided to pull her support. “I told him directly in a phone call that I will not be pressured either into, or out of, backing this film,” she says. “I am only going to do what I believe to be the right thing.” Meanwhile, Dixon tells The Times she feels that Oprah abandoned her. “I feel like I’m experiencing a second crime,” says Dixon. “I am being silenced. The broader community is being intimidated. The most powerful black woman in the world is being intimidated.”
Black-ish spinoff Grown-ish has been picked up for a fourth season one day after its Season 3 premiere. The Fosters spinoff Good Trouble has been greenlighted for Season 3.
Last Summer, written by Bert V. Royal, takes place over the summers of 1993, 1994 and 1995 "in a small Texas town when a beautiful and popular teen, Kate, goes missing," per Variety. "Then, seemingly unrelated, a girl named Jeanette goes from being a sweet and awkward outlier to the most popular girl in town and, by ’95, the most despised person in America. Each episode is told from the POV of one of the two main girls."
"It was a tough decision because you don’t ever want to let go of a character that you love," says Christopher Lloyd. "And I’ve always loved that character. However, we are in the final season, we’re looking to find more meaningful topics to deal with."
Jeff Goldblum's docuseries renewal comes ahead of its Season 1 finale on Jan. 24. “Jeff has captured the imagination and curiosity of our audience with his distinct perspective and illuminating adventures,” said Ricky Strauss, president of content and marketing at Disney+. “We can’t wait to see where Jeff and our partners at National Geographic take us in season two.”
The epic ”Day Drinking with Jonas Brothers, Meyers Brothers and Jack McBrayer” will air on Tuesday's Late Night.
The 85-year-old studio will now be known as "20th Century."
The docuseries from the acclaimed documentarian was inspired by the company's "Dear Apple" marketing campaign. Dear... will approach its subjects' biographies by using letters written by those whose lives have been changed through their work.
The Grace and Frankie stars also interviewed Phoebe Waller-Bridge and their co-stars Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston while filling in for Ellen DeGeneres on today's show.
Dr. Death -- starring Jamie Dornan, Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater -- is the latest TV series that the High Fidelity and The Queen director has signed up for. He's also directed episodes of Quiz, A Very English Scandal and The Loudest Voice.
The reality competition will pit three highly skilled and imaginative chefs to bring to life famous fictional dishes, including Scooby-Doo’s Scooby Snacks, Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper, Rick and Morty’s Eyeholes and The Flintstones' Baby Back Dinosaur Ribs.
“I think when I started, the reason I wanted to do it was because basically I knew one thing about Catherine the Great,” says Tony McNamara, creator of the Hulu series starring Elle Fanning as a young Catherine. “Which was — maybe she fornicated with a horse.”
The trio of shows "are all emblematic of our unscripted programming strategy – highly entertaining, personality driven premium programming that lives up to the National Geographic brand,” Nat Geo Global Television Networks president Courteney Monroe at the TV press tour. ALSO: Nat Geo orders a second Life Below Zero spinoff: Life Below Zero: Next Generation.
Part 1 on Wednesday was watched by 4.5 million, a high for The Rachel Maddow Show. About 4.3 million watched Part 2 last night.
"As producers we get to employ hundreds and hundreds of artists and activists and we can do that in environments that are safe and embody our values,” said Washington at the TV press tour. About eight years ago, Witherspoon says she “wasn’t happy with the choices that were being made for me and I didn’t see a place to exist within the industry that we had. There just wasn’t a spectrum of storytelling for women that was reflective the world that we walked through.”
Watch Elliott reprise his role as a broncobuster, reciting the lyrics to Lil Nas X's hit song.
Evian announced it will make a special water bottle with King's slogan: "so good you’d do anything for it."
“I didn’t want to redo High Fidelity without making this change,” executive producer Veronica West says of flipping genders for the Zoë Kravitz-led series. “When you watch a lot of romantic comedies with female leads the problem always seems to be you can’t find the right man or you’re desperate to get married or you’re self-destructive in some way. When a man gets to be the lead, the problems are internal. It was interesting for us to put that in a woman’s point of view and let her issues with romance really just be about learning how to figure out herself and not finding mister right.”
The drama series from Will Ferrell and Adam McKay tells an alternate history of America where witches have agreed to fight for the U.S. in exchange for an end to their persecution. Motherland: Fort Salem premieres March 18.
The comedy icons and longtime pals are teaming with This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman on a true-crime spoof. The untitled New York-set comedy, created by Martin and Grace and Frankie executive producer John Hoffman, revolves around three strangers who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one. Martin and Short will play two of the strangers, while the third stranger is expected to be a young woman. The comedy is based on an idea by Martin, who has barely done television in his long career, outside of SNL, Letterman and the short-lived 1984 comedy series Domestic Life (which he produced). “When you’re lucky enough to have lunch with Steve Martin, and halfway through the meal he says ‘hey, I have an idea for a TV show’ – it’s a pretty good day,” Fogelman tells Deadline. “This is as exciting as it gets.” This will be Fogelman's first non-broadcast series.
The Emmy-winning Veep alum has signed a sweeping overall deal with the streaming service to develop new projects. The deal also reunites her with former HBO boss Richard Plepler, who recently signed an Apple deal. "I am thrilled about this new partnership with my friends at Apple,” said Louis-Dreyfus. "Also, many thanks and kudos to my representatives for structuring the deal in such a way that I am paid in AirPods."
Clinton, speaking at the TV press tour, said of director Nanette Burstein's docuseries: “It’s really hard watching yourself for four hours. Thank god it was only four hours.” Hillary premieres March 6.
Huntsman, who is leaving to help lead her father Jon Huntsman's campaign to recapture the Utah governor's office, said one final goodbye on Friday -- while also attempting to quash rumors of backstage drama. "People go nuts with rumors on this show, and this week has been no exception,” she said. “But I just want to be as clear as I possibly can. This has been a dream come true. This has been an incredible job. I do love everyone on this table.”
“That ending was Rob Thomas’ decision,” said Craig Erwich, Hulu's senior vice president of originals, at the TV press tour. “He has been the creator and longtime steward of that franchise. And I support the decision that he made. For me, we talk about the volume of conversation, but the other thing that (we’re) looking for is the intensity of conversation. And I think the intensity of that reaction was a testament to how much people like the show.”
The Twilight star will play the oldest son of Headey's title character, described as a former bad boy who can do no wrong in her eyes.
Both series have been picked up for a second season.
Bourdain fans have speculated that the episode's absence is due to the United States' current conflict with Iran. But Hulu says that's not the case. "Hulu does not license Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown directly — we only receive the on-demand episodes that are provided by the network," Hulu said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "This particular episode has never been made available to Hulu, but we would welcome it on our service if provided."
On Watch What Happens Live, Andy Cohen brought up contestant Tyler Neasloney throwing shade at Kloss. "I'm sure I'm not the only person in this country who does not necessarily agree with their family on politics," Kloss responded. "I voted as a Democrat in 2016 and I plan to do the same in 2020."
Johnson honored his WWE icon father with a free verse poem posted to Instagram. "I love you," the poem begins. "You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world / I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar / The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am / The boy you raised with the toughest of love / The intense work / The hard hand."
The shocking ending to Thursday's episode proves that Robert and Michelle King are willing to go where few others shows would go. Or as Kimberly Roots puts it: "'This show is from the creators of The Good Wife?!' you say? 'From the creators of The Good Wife AND BrainDead,' I reply. You remember BrainDead, Robert and Michelle King’s one-season political drama in which alien bugs — like, actual insects — infiltrated the minds of several members of Congress? If that show was the Kings letting their freak flag fly, Evil is them waving it like Enjolras at the barricade." ALSO: Robert and Michelle King explain the end of Thursday's Evil episode.
Disney has declined to comment on the removal of such items as Baby Yoda dolls. Etsy declined to comment on the takedowns but pointed to its 'Intellectual Property Policy,' which says that “Etsy reserves the right to disable any listing, shop, or account” in response to intellectual property claims.
NBC's announcement that The Tonight Show and Late Night will be offered early to Peacock Premium subscribers will probably have minimal impact in terms of drawing viewers away from primetime shows, says Josef Adalian. "Still," he adds, "local affiliates will very likely gripe because NBC is putting a key part of its offering on a digital platform before it airs on their stations. While networks have experimented with previewing shows on digital or even airing reruns of shows that first ran on cable platforms before coming to NBC, this is a rare and possibly unprecedented case of two tentpole network shows shifting to streaming for their debut window. That exclusive-to-streaming window is, of course, incredibly small — barely more than 200 minutes. But what will concern affiliates is the precedent it sets, and the signal it sends: The future of TV is streaming."
In an extensive conversation with the Los Angeles Times, AMC Networks president Sarah Barnett said "we did this study and we realized the reason people liked a show like Orphan Black was not because it was sci-fi. They liked it because it was propulsive, it was surprising, and it was one of the few shows at that time that had complicated representations of women, that had a lot to say about sexual identity, that had stuff to say about women and their bodies and science. ... I don’t know that we’d have gotten to Killing Eve if we hadn’t done that research, because I think you would have thought that it was, frankly, not a good use of investment to go for something that wasn’t sci-fi." As for The Walking Dead, Barnett says the Negan-focused episodes "became a little too hopeless for audiences. I think that there was creative intention behind it that was really smart and thoughtful, but it I think it probably pushed people to a place where it was a lot to take at a time when maybe people just didn’t want to see that." ALSO: Sarah Barnett says analytics-based streaming shows "will hurt the quality and diversity of television and we stand to counter to that."
Ramy Youssef, fresh off his Golden Globe win for best comedy actor, returns for Season 2 of his Hulu series on May 29. Catherine the Great drama The Great starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult premieres May 15. And the animated Solar Opposites, about a family of aliens from Rick & Morty alums Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan, debuts May 8.
The comedian will write, direct and star in a series based on Tyler Falbo’s digital shorts, "described as an outrageous psychological thriller series exploring how far 'normal' people will go to get what they desire – but with unpredictably, inevitable consequences following as the story unfolds...Featuring some of big names in stand-up comedy, each episode opens with a character facing a desperate desire: love, fame, money, intelligence, family, power and intelligence, among a number of other hot-button topics. When an extremely unethical decision offers each character the chance to get exactly what they want. Expect uncomfortable, funny and perversely wrong ending for each character’s story."
Meerkat Manor: Rise of the Dynasty, premiering in 2021, is follow-up to the BBC and Animal Planet hit series that aired from 2005 and 2008. BBC America says it will follow "descendants of the legendary meerkat matriarch, Flower."
Judy Garland biopic Judy screenwriter Tom Edge created Vigil, starring Jones as a detective who investigates the mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death onboard a Trident nuclear submarine.
Madagascar: A Little Wild features the lovable foursome Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo as they reside in the Central Park Zoo. TrollsTopia is based on the hit Trolls franchise. And The Mighty Ones "follows the hilarious adventures of a group of creatures: a twig, a pebble, a leaf and a strawberry. These best friends, self-named The Mighty Ones, live in an unkempt backyard belonging to a trio of equally unkempt humans whom they mistake for gods."
Rich Eisen's daytime radio and TV talk show may be coming to an end if it doesn't find a new home when Audience Network shuts down in February.
Here's looking back at the TV icon's career.
The BBC America series has yet to announce a specific premiere date for Season 3.
The Hulu limited series based on Celeste Ng's 2017 novel premieres March 18.
The 12-episode limited series based on Sally Rooney's bestselling novel premieres this spring. Hulu describes Normal People as "an exquisite, modern love story about how one person can unexpectedly change another person's life and about how complicated intimacy can be. It follows Marianne and Connell over several years, as they embark on an on-again/off-again romance that starts at school and continues through college, both testing their relationship as they explore different versions of themselves."
Segel's AMC anthology series starring him, Sally Field, Richard E. Grant, Eve Lindley and Andre Benjamin, follows "a group of ordinary people who stumble onto a puzzle hiding just behind the veil of everyday life. They will come to find that the mystery winds far deeper than they ever imagined." Dispatches from Elsewhere premieres March 1.
Hank Azaria's IFC comedy returns for its final season on March 18.