"Plenty of sitcoms have lasted 10 seasons or more, enjoyed sky-high ratings and featured beloved and talented casts always associated with their roles. But no sitcom has endured in the pop-culture firmament the way Friends has," says Kelly Lawler, in marking Sunday's 25th anniversary of Friends' premiere episode. "Although many aspects of the series are clearly dated – from its frequent homophobic and transphobic jokes to its lily-white depiction of New York – Friends endures as a cultural touchstone for multiple generations. Seinfeld lives on in reruns, but nobody is asking Julia Louis-Dreyfus 10 times a day whether she'd do a revival. So what is it about Friends that prevents time (or even its own shortcomings) from erasing it from our collective consciousness?" Other sitcoms like Seinfeld, Cheers and M*A*S*H were simply better than Friends at being knee-slappingly hilarious and consistent, says Lawler. Designing Women and The Mary Tyler Show hold up just a little bit better on a modern-day rewatch, Lawler adds. "And even if you want to call Friends the greatest sitcom of all time, that doesn’t explain why it has no counterpart in drama that has endured as much," says Lawler. "What’s the greatest drama of all time, and why doesn’t it have a piece of furniture in front of the Eiffel Tower? Is it NYPD Blue? The Sopranos? ER? ER is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week, too, but you’d never know it. The advantage of Friends is that its greatness stems from a different place than its peers. It wasn’t so much the gang's antics that made the show great, although there were plenty of those, and they were often hilarious. It was the love fans have for the people who got into trouble. Friends was funny and familiar, but the familiarity was the real draw. It operated from a place of love and joy, rather than cynicism and sarcasm. Watching the series was, as the cliche goes, hanging out with some friends. And it's more comforting to settle into the couch with Phoebe and a rousing rendition of 'Smelly Cat' than hang out with Jerry Seinfeld.
# TOPICS: Friends, NBC, Courteney Cox, David Crane, David Schwimmer, Debra McGuire, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Bright, Lisa Kudrow, Maggie Wheeler, Marta Kauffman, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, Warren Littlefield, Generation X, Retro TV
The Ringer staff offers some ideas for making the Emmys interesting again: "The Emmys’ punishingly long winning streaks are still their biggest impediment to capturing the excitement of an institution like the Oscars, which experiences total turnover and a fresh crop of new faces each year," says Alison Herman. "So ban repeat winners! Opening final-round votes to the entire, 20,000-plus-strong membership still favors validating massive hits over elevating lesser-seen gems. So toy with eligibility again! Category fraud still runs rampant, with comedies passing themselves off as dramas, dramas as comedies, and anthologies as limited series. So add some new categories and crack down on existing ones! Game of Thrones’ seeming inevitability, and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s continued contention as a 'comedy' despite the supposed restriction of the category to half-hour series, continues to show ongoing bugs in the system. The plight of the awards watcher is that flaws may be obvious, but hope springs eternal."
"Once it started on its winning streak, it couldn’t be stopped, breaking one record after another and succeeding even when its own cast and crew thought everyone had moved on," Joanna Robinson says of the HBO drama. "Ask anyone at the beginning of this year and they would have said that the enormously popular, technically ambitious show would, of course, dominate the Emmys this year and, once again, claim the top prize. But that was before the controversial final season left a sour taste along with a torched King’s Landing. With enough time for the backlash to have fully settled in, will Game of Thrones stumble in its final run at the Emmys? Or is Thrones, like Daenerys’s favorite dragon, too big to fail? Early signs point to yes, but there’s a potential disrupter waiting in the wings." And that potential disrupter is Succession, which received 28.6% of HBO's Emmy For Your Consideration drama ad budget.
The Law & Order spinoff has had quite an evolution since its launch on Sept. 20, 1999. "For its entire history, SVU has served as a mirror of attitudes about criminal justice and feminism — not the attitudes of Americans generally, but of the fairly liberal audience it targets," says Dylan Matthews. "In its first decade, the detectives would make light of prison rape and vilify defendants. Today, the show often takes pains to acknowledge the humanity of even suspects who turn out to be guilty." As Matthews notes, "historically, SVU has not depicted the sex offenders targeted by its detectives with much nuance, let alone sympathy." But SVU changed its approach with the Season 17 episode "Sheltered Outcasts." "The episode is the culmination of years of evolution on the show toward a more nuanced and compassionate depiction of sex offenders — one that matches an emerging, more nuanced public conversation on the topic," says Matthews. "The public and the press are starting to acknowledge the horrible effects of sex offender registration laws, the difficult reality that some pedophiles do not want to act on their impulses and need support and therapy rather than punishment, and the ways in which our horror at sex crimes helps drive mass incarceration. And SVU is starting to adjust in turn."
U.S. District Court Judge George H. Wu granted the request by Michael Jackson's estate requiring HBO be bound by a 1992 arbitration agreement that HBO signed to televise Jackson's Dangerous World Tour rather than allowing the lawsuit to continue in the federal court system. The 1992 agreement stated that "HBO shall not make any disparaging remarks concerning (Michael Jackson) ... or do any act that may harm or disparage or cause to lower in esteem the reputation of (Jackson)." The agreement also contained a clause that all disputes regarding this agreement would be handled in arbitration.
"This season on The Rookie, I was sexually harassed by fellow actor Demetrius Grosse," Williamson wrote in an Aug. 4 Instagram post detailing her accusation. Now that Grosse has been cleared of wrongdoing in producer eOne's independent investigation, he is speaking out via Twitter. "As you can imagine, It's been an very challenging time.I am grateful to my family, friends and colleagues who have been so supportive," Grosse tweeted Friday night. "I will continue to be an assertive advocate for the respect acknowledgment and advancement for women both in-and-out of the workplace.Blessings."
Lost premiered on Sept. 22, 2004, kicking off a first season that won it the outstanding drama series Emmy. It would go on to inspire many failed copycats, from The Event to FlashForward -- "a quest that remains unfulfilled, a sign of the high bar set by the original," says Bill Keveney. The ABC drama, he adds, "smartly explored science fiction, religion and philosophy despite the crushing demands of broadcast TV, averaging 24 episodes its first three seasons. Despite that burden, Lost sparked with creativity well into its run, shocking viewers – in a wonderfully satisfying way – with the introduction of flash-forwards at the end of Season 3 and offering a brilliant treatise on time travel the next season with 'The Constant,' my favorite episode. The stretched seasons resulted in some wheel-spinning just to keep up with a rapid-fire production schedule, and eventually led executive producers (Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse) to force a restructuring of the traditional broadcast model, opening creative opportunities for programs that would follow. They negotiated a reduction in the number of episodes per season (from 24 to 16) and announced a series end date three years in advance, a revolutionary move in a medium that would typically grind advertising dollars out of a popular show long after it was creatively exhausted."
"Like many phrases and ideas in 2019, this one has been appropriated, bastardized, and misused to the point of not only betraying its original definition and its usefulness in checking the actual repercussions of reactionary censorship, but in fact has become almost meaningless," says Kevin Fallon of the ever-popular phrase "cancel culture." Fallon says Gillis’ jokes "were outwardly racist. They weren’t jokes about racism, or satire about race, or illuminating truths about the marginalized. They were racist jokes, and quite bland ones at that. People were pissed. Then people became pissed that people were pissed. Censorship! McCarthyism! Worst of all: Cancel culture!" Fallon adds: "Now, 'cancel culture' isn’t a diagnosis of a concerning trend that has become prevalent in recent years: Celebrity says something eyebrow-raising, ensure that the celebrity never works again! No, it’s morphed into an excuse used by those who wish to justify or endorse the very words and behaviors that are being flagged as offensive in the first place. You see, consequences are not 'cancel culture.' Just as entitlement is not a rationalization for offensive behavior." Gillis, says Fallon, "is a prime example of what is really happening, and how that reality is being skewered. No one, at least not the rational among the cultural critics, is denying Gillis’s right to make his jokes, no matter if they are racist and no matter if they are, above all of that, woefully lame. But just because Gillis has a right to make those jokes doesn’t mean he has a right to a bigger platform from which to make them. A job on Saturday Night Live is not owed to anybody. It is arguably one of the highest-profile gigs in comedy. Fans, audiences, and critics are right to expect some sort of responsibility or awareness, a certain standard, from those who are given that platform. They are right to be upset if it comes out that one of those benefactors has a history of espousing racist views. Gillis, in turn, had a right to respond to those who were angered. His response didn’t satisfy those critics, nor did it satisfy his employer. So he was fired. That is how jobs work."
"She’s an engaged interviewer capable of steering the conversation where it needs to go, even when the occasional games she tries to play with guests mostly end up more confusing than entertaining," Caroline Framke says of the A Little Late host. "There are definitely times when her age and advanced knowledge of what it means to Be Online clash with celebrities who are so used to late night softballs from smiling forty-something men (it’s no coincidence that her best interview of the week is the one with Tracee Ellis Ross, an extraordinarily game guest and bona fide Instagram savant in her own right). But even when the show isn’t totally on point, Singh’s ability to adapt and crack spontaneous jokes should get A Little Late on a steadier track before too long." ALSO: Singh's 96-episode first season will be taped, two shows per night four nights a week, over the next three months.
The Today co-host called in to the show from her bed Friday, telling her colleagues this is the worst she's ever felt. “I was talking to my mom yesterday and she was like, ‘Savannah, you have not gotten this sick in your entire life!’ and it’s really true. I have never been so laid out flat and really, it’s just a lot of misery,” Guthrie said. Guthrie isn't the only Today star on the mend. Al Roker returned home Friday, two days after hip replacement surgery.
Proceeds from the auction will help wounded veterans.
The former house of the late Dragnet creator and star, who died in 1982, is hosting an estate sale this weekend, featuring his wall of nine Sony TV sets -- one for each channel -- and four clocks for four U.S. time zones. "This is where Jack watched Dragnet and the competition simultaneously," explains Vintage L.A.'s Alison Martino.
Kelley is still the only producer to win Emmys for outstanding drama series and outstanding comedy series in the same year. Kelley says he's still stunned by he 1999 Emmys, especially since Season 3 of The Practice triumphed over the groundbreaking first season of The Sopranos. "I think I was stunned first that we’d gone up there. While we were just getting offstage and trying to process, somebody was telling me, 'You gotta go back out,'" Kelley recalls. “The first thing that hit me was that I was supposed to go back out and rightfully return the Emmy to The Sopranos."
"It's a pretty easy argument to say that HBO's Succession is one of the best dramas on television — and not in that vague, Top-20 kind of way, but very securely in the small handful of dramas that continue to surprise and confound in creative, impressive ways," says Tim Goodman. "There might be no area where Succession succeeds more than in how it makes mostly unlikeable family members open to fleeting stretches of viewer compassion, a particularly keen feat because they treat each other and virtually all the people they meet so shabbily. The more you watch, the more inconceivable this trick seems. Just when you want one member of the Roy family to extend the brief interludes of their best but faintest qualities (kindness, smarts, loyalty — whatever it may be) they invariably self-immolate and let you down. Ah, but the greatness lies partly in how, when the next opportunity arises, you bite again instead of giving in to cynicism. What that means, in short, is that series creator and writer Jesse Armstrong has not only created excellent, memorable characters, but he and his writing staff are very deftly using them to defy odds with the audience."
"There are a lot of reasons why ER became a huge, instant hit and remained one for a decade-plus," says Jen Chaney, reflecting on the NBC medical drama's 25th anniversary. "One is that the medical drama, when done right, will always find an audience. Certainly the cast of ER — which, in its early seasons, included Anthony Edwards, Noah Wyle, Juliana Margulies, Eriq LaSalle, and some guy named George Clooney — was enormously appealing. But I would argue that the directorial style of the series is what hooked people and kept them coming back every week. The way the camera zipped from one moment to the next implied that something unexpected could happen at any time, and it often did. You didn’t want to look away for a second or skip an episode. You might miss something." Director and producer Mimi Leder helped establish ER's look and feel after the pilot episode. As Leder explained to Indiewire, "my memories of the beginning of ER were of the building that set — (executive producer) John (Wells) and I looking at the floor and going, ‘That’s a great floor! Let’s use that!’ And I remember our D.P. going, ‘That’s awful.'" Another key part of ER's visual look was the use of steadicams. "Steadicams were not commonly used in television in the early ’90s, but they were central to ER and became a signature part of its approach, even if the average viewer wasn’t necessarily aware of what how they were being used behind the scenes," says Chaney. "When you picture ER, the first images that come to mind are probably of doctors working on a patient while shouting medical terms, as a camera swirls in circles around the operating table. That sense of fluidity was there from the beginning, even in smaller moments, because the cameras refused to just stay still."
If the Aaron Sorkin drama were to debut in 2019, it would be criticized for the whiteness of its cast, for "Sorkin’s irritating habit of writing strong and capable women who are only strong and capable so long as there’s no man around to render them tongue-tied" and for its neoliberal economics, where capitalism always wins, says Emily Todd VanDerWerff. "Twenty years later, The West Wing still holds a special idealistic thrill for many viewers, especially those on the left," says VanDerWerff. "To Google searches for the series spiked after the 2016 election of Donald Trump, and the show’s presence on Netflix allowed for a similar viewership rush. In an era of presidential blather and bluster, the quiet certitude of the Bartlet administration fills a need for a more optimistic view of what our politics could be. Yet at the same time, The West Wing has come under fire from one-time or would-be fans, who see in its vision of politics something that has come to hamstring the Democratic Party by forever tying it to stentorian speechifying and Clintonian third-way politics. The Bartlet administration, after all, represents a very ‘90s view of the left-wing coalition." VanDerWerff adds: "The West Wing has come to so thoroughly define the way that many in the center-left have come to think about Washington that it’s had a deleterious effect on their beliefs about how Washington should work. On the one hand, The West Wing holds up as ideal comfort food television. But on the other, its politics are profoundly limited." ALSO: The West Wing's patronizing, treacly BS has, in hindsight, dramatically soured its reputation.
"Telling a story that runs the better part of 100 years necessitates some tough editorial decisions," says Stephen Thomas Erlewine, "but Burns seems singularly disinterested in all the gaudy elements that define a good portion of the country music business; he moves through novelty records, tacky outfits, and sticky sentimentality with the speed of lightning. During the earliest segments, when the music is still at a formative stage, this isn’t really a hindrance, but once the film reaches Hank Williams at the mid-century point, Burns’ appreciation for singular stories begins to defy what actually happened in country music during the latter half of the 20th century. He treats each era with such warped affection, he winds up with a narrative where there are no villains, only select heroes." Erlewine adds: "Burns has acknowledged that he went into the project as no big fan of country music. While this certainly isn’t required for a historian, there is a certain subdued disconnection lurking throughout the film, along with its accompanying box set and book. What Country Music does offer is a measured, effective overview of a genre that’s too often dismissed as cheap entertainment for rubes. With its tapestry of interviews and archival footage, Burns shines a spotlight upon the intelligence and soul behind country music. For neophytes and skeptics, this thoughtful telling should be enough to spark some curiosity. But for those who already know country’s wild heart, Burns falls short in telling the tale."
"In the nine years since Downton’s first season, the series has had a remarkable impact on both tourism and television production in the U.K.," explains Kate Lloyd, marking the release of the Downton movie. "That’s in part because the show exported a romanticized idea of 'Britishness' around the world. The U.K.’s historic traditions, royal family, history, and class systems were turned into a backdrop for soap story lines. And fans loved it. Stately homes reported a significant rise in tourists after Downton came out in 2010. The show also triggered a trend for butlers in China. Nowadays, there’s an official line of Downton teas and a Highclere Castle gin. You can even buy a souvenir Downton bell, like the ones used to call servants in old country manors. The only people who export this twee, pro-aristocracy idea of Britishness more successfully are the actual royal family, with viewing figures for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding nearly reaching the 2 billion mark. Meanwhile, it’s hard to imagine that Netflix would have spent $130 million producing Season 1 of The Crown in the U.K. without the success of Downton. Or that Poldark would have become such a blockbuster show around the world."
Australian TV chef Curtis Stone, who made it to Week 10 of Season 3 of Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice, was invited to Trump's state dinner in honor of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday night. He was accompanied by his wife, Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Lindsay Price.
In a Paley Center for Media featurette, Schur says landing Kristen Bell and Ted Danson helped his show tremendously. “Once you have them, you can do whatever you want," he joked.
The Simpsons star is the Panda!
Davis Guggenheim’s three-part docuseries, now available on Netflix, "risks losing its audience with its first episode, which keeps the Gates biography to a minimum, and instead dedicates a lot of its run time to various designs for better public toilets that are meant to improve the water supply in poorer villages and neighborhoods," says Noel Murray. "The episode demands some fascination with plumbing and a high tolerance for images of fecal matter — both in graphic video footage and in the animated illustrations Guggenheim uses throughout the series. If Netflix subscribers only have time to watch one Inside Bill’s Brain episode, they should pick the second, which comes closest to doing some 'decoding.'" ALSO: Inside Bill's Brain demolishes Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers Theory.
There’s a lot Abbi Jacobson's Bean needs to fix on Matt Groening's Netflix animated series, and when she’s trying to better herself the show works," says Kayla Cobb. "Disenchantment can casually flick between some of the most elaborate action sequences in modern animation to genuinely funny one liners without ever losing the emotional thread of Bean’s latest adventure," she says. "But when the series tries to pull back and become a buddy comedy, it loses that carefully constructed momentum. At times it feels as though there are two dueling shows hiding in Disenchantment: one a situational comedy with best buds; and the other a silly but ambitious chosen one narrative. It’s impossible to know which one will take over an episode until its final moments. That divide can be frustrating because when Disenchantment leans into its serialized structure its characters emerge richer from it."
The police interrogation series that presents criminal investigations spread across four different countries — Spain, England, France, and Germany -- is more of an experimental show than something you'd want to binge-watch, says Matt Zoller Seitz. "The filmmakers treat each story as an exercise in filmmaking logistics, and the result often feels like an absorbing and kinetic movie adaptation of a stage play, where the goal is to make things as visually interesting as possible without contriving reasons to have characters leave the 'set' to go out into a park or take a walk on the beach for no defensible reason," he says. "Criminal: U.K. in particular is a marvel of acrobatic camerawork and clever transitions, using the video images of the suspect under surveillance in the interrogation room to transfer from one room to the next, in long takes that seem to defy basic rules of geography. Fans of formal experiments will eat the show up — at least at first. At a certain point, though, the lack of narrative and visual variety starts to leach away the novelty."
Creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch will return as showrunners for the 10-episode fourth and final season of the critically acclaimed wrestling drama. Flahive and Mensch spoke last month of ending Season 3 on a cliffhanger. "We have a full story to tell and whether or not we’re idiots for not giving ourselves an ending this season remains to be seen," said Flahive with a laugh in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "We've played it this way every season, where we’ve sort of left it all on the field. This show has a big heart and a big cast and big story to tell, and other people are not going to set that limit for us. We can’t do that, because it wouldn’t be fair to what we’re trying to do. We’d love to have the opportunity to give the show a satisfying ending." Also last month, Variety's Caroline Framke wrote how Season 3 made the case for a great Season 4. Season 3, she wrote, "is the clearest example of how much Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch’s show has evolved in such a relatively short amount of time. Though the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling have now relocated to a glitzy Las Vegas hotel, their stories include far less of the actual wrestling than before. Instead, three seasons in, the show takes advantage of the fact that it’s now freer to move past everyone’s basics and explore their issues in more depth. It also sets up several storylines that could pay off big should GLOW get a deserved fourth season order." ALSO: Alison Brie reacts to the renewal: "I wish I never had to say goodbye to these characters, but I am so grateful to get one more round with our incredible team. You better believe we’re GLOWing out with a bang!"
ABC's announcement that Seacrest will be back comes one month after ABC announced that the Idol judging panel of Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie will all be returning with no mention of Seacrest. “American Idol has been my home for 17 seasons and I can’t wait to return to the stage,” said Seacrest, who will continue co-hosting ABC's Live with Kelly and Ryan. “It’s the greatest gift to be able to play a part in discovering new talent with a franchise that has been such a relevant part of American culture for so many years.”
Gina Riggi, who worked as Rose's makeup artist on his PBS show for 22 years, is suing him and Bloomberg LP, describing “a toxic work environment suffused with sexual harassment and gender-based abuse." Riggi accuses Rose of "using the Show as an instrument of his predatory sexual behavior and the Bloomberg studio where he recorded it as a sexual hunting ground.” Riggi says Rose "targeted young, attractive women just beginning their journalism careers," promising them internships and jobs, many of which never materialized. The ones who did get jobs faced harassment, her lawsuit states. Riggi also accuses Rose of verbally abusing her on a daily basis, berating her about her weight and swatting away at her hand while she worked. She describes once instance of him allegedly “forcefully grabbed and twisted her arm, physically hurting her.” Riggi also says she witnessed Rose inappropriately touching and ogling his female employees, including “holding a female intern on his lap.” Riggi's lawsuit joins a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Rose by three of his former assistants.
An anonymous comedian spoke to Vulture about Saturday Night Live's audition process, saying: "I started hearing the term 'red-state appeal' a few years ago only in regard to SNL." The anonymous comedian auditioned at the same time as Gillis and didn't recall any vetting process. "Red-state appeal has been a thing that SNL has been looking for since Trump got elected," the anonymous comedian said. "I imagine it’s because they want to appeal to people in the middle of the country who they feel they’ve alienated with all their left-leaning political sketches. It’s just something that I’ve heard from comedians and reps. It’s a term that has gotten thrown around a bunch in the last couple years (in regard to SNL). I imagine that’s why they’re always trying to go for the 'bro' — the guy with the brown hair and the, you know, the face. (Laughs.) They’re really hoping, I guess, that they’ll be able to do some stuff that appeals to Middle America or the South. They think of the South and Middle America as stupid racists, I guess. Maybe that’s kind of harsh, but this is a constant problem in Hollywood: The people who make things think their audience is stupid, when in reality they’re not. And as far as Shane goes, I met him just in the hallway before the audition, and he was a really polite, nice guy. He didn’t hang out with everybody as much … There was a big group of people hanging out in the hallway, and he was mostly in his green room hanging out."
Whang, who hosted the HGTV show for nine years from 1999 to 2007, died Tuesday after a battle with breast cancer. Whang was also an actress with credits on NYPD Blue, Criminal Minds and Las Vegas. “For thirteen years she confronted cancer with courage, humor, determination and optimism,” Whang's longtime partner, Jeff Vezain, wrote on her Facebook page. “I know she would prefer that her life be celebrated, as opposed to her passing mourned, but I also know how vehemently she disagreed with anyone being told, 'Don’t cry.' So…cry if you will.” UPDATE: HGTV pays tribute to Whang: “Suzanne was warm, funny and kind with a distinctive voice that made everyone feel at home. Our HGTV family mourns her loss and wishes to express deepest condolences to her friends, fans and family who knew and loved her.”
Durance will reprise her Lois Lane role for the Arrowverse‘s “Crisis on Infinite Earths."
Season 3 averaged 13.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen. But NBC says that Hulu and NBC App viewership boosts that number to 16.6 million.
Episode 1 is now available on available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Roku, CBS.com and the CBS app ahead of next Thursday's premiere.
Lifetime picked up Seasons 10 and 11 of the reality show one week after Season 9 ended on a series high. When Married at First Sight returns in January, it will feature five new couples and two-hour episodes for the first time, up from four couples and 90-minute episodes in recent seasons.
Levine tells Zane Lowe for Apple Music's Beats 1 show that being on The Voice "kind of launched me into the bizarre territory of being, I guess for lack of a better phrase, a household name...So then people's grandparents know who you are, and then you know, it's a different thing."
The ABC daytime talk show got heated amid a debate over the whistleblower scandal involving President Trump.
"We should just rename this category the Peter Dinklage category," the actor, who's up for outstanding actor for a drama series for a second time, tells Jimmy Kimmel. Dinklage has won three Emmys playing Tyiron Lannister.
Ubach will recur on the Fox Southern Gothic family drama in a mother role described as "a fighter who knows how to win and a career gambler who’s always willing to take a chance."
The Netflix CEO spoke about the bidding wars between rival streamers during a speech at the Royal Television Society’s Cambridge Convention in Britain, saying: “Some day The Crown will look like a bargain.” He added that "we got outbid for Fleabag," calling the Phoebe Waller-Bridge comedy "the one" that got away.
The Season 3 teaser shows the Queen as a "settled sovereign." The Netflix drama's third season premieres globally on Sunday, Nov. 17.
Watch the trailer for Season 2, Part 2 of the Hulu supernatural thriller.
The hundreds of millions shelled out for streaming rights, respectively, for The Office, Friends, The Big Bang Theory and Seinfeld "will certainly make some studios rich and assure fans the shows will exist online, somewhere, for the foreseeable future. But it ignores a fundamental question: How exactly are these shows valued?" says Steven Zeitchik. "More important, it ignores the fact that nobody seems to know the answer." As experts point out, "the profit-and-loss statement is out the window, being replaced by … nobody knows," says Zeitchik. "The value of classic shows was once easily quantified, via the syndication model. There was practically a formula. A buyer calculated the ratings in first-run and repeats. Then they looked at how much ad money a show thus rated could garner. Then they agreed to prices accordingly. The equation was simple: You wanted to sell enough ads to justify your cost. It didn’t always work out, of course. But there was a road map. Streaming now, though, appears to be a total gamble. How do you measure the value of a show to a streamer? The number of people who signed up for the service specifically because of that show? Well, that’s probably not very many, at least who are documentable. What about the general luster a top-tier comedy hit accrues back to a streaming brand? Sure, but how exactly do you measure that, let alone put a dollar figure on it?"
"The launch was an hour-ish of the writers and frequent director Bradley Buecker saying, 'You like GLOW? You like Stranger Things? You like the '80s? Remember those summer camp killer movies? Reference! Reference! Reference!'" says Daniel Fienberg. He adds: "Forgive me for having expected more from this potentially fertile intersection of camp and campiness. The season's plot is intentionally thin."
"We are a civilization built on the concepts of redemption and forgiveness because we want to believe that people can learn from their mistakes and become better people," says Abdul-Jabbar of the comedian fired from Saturday Night Live on Monday over his offensive racist and homophobic jokes. "Had Gillis understood this, he might have survived with his integrity, if not his job." The problem is Gillis' apology -- "I’m happy to apologize to anyone who’s actually offended by anything I’ve said" -- "is distilled from every reality show ever," says Abdul-Jabbar. "Let’s start with his willingness to apologize to anyone 'actually offended.' This is what pretty much every Real Housewife grudgingly says on almost every episode when forced to apologize for bad behavior: 'I apologize if you took offense.' This is not an admission of wrongdoing, but a disingenuous side-eye accusation that the other person took unreasonable umbrage. Gillis’ justification that to be the best he must take risks is what every chef, singer, fashion designer, etc., who competes on a reality show trots out to excuse their failures. Racism isn’t an artistic risk, it’s just an expression of cultural ignorance and professional laziness." Abdul-Jabbar adds that Gillis declaring himself a "comedian who pushes boundaries" is the "weakest of all defenses." "He’s right that artists push boundaries of cultural conventions. Lenny Bruce, Dick Gregory and Richard Pryor were all boundary pushers," says Abdul-Jabbar. "The difference between an artist and an artisan is the artist’s willingness to poke at the audience’s comfort level in an effort to unveil weaknesses, discrepancies and hypocrisies." But, he adds, "we are under no obligation to financially support self-proclaimed 'artists,' like Shane Gillis, whose work promotes hatred toward groups based on ethnicity, gender identity and religion. Gillis’s humor doesn’t so much expand boundaries as shrink them back to where they were in the 1950s. His failure does not mean subjects now should be taboo or that we should not have comedy that offends."
On Thursday morning, four of the six Friends (Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer) posted identical tributes on Instagram in honor of the hit comedy's 25th anniversary, which is coming up on Sunday. That left two who didn't post a tribute. Of the two, Jennifer Aniston isn't on social media. But Matthew Perry is, with a verified Twitter account. On Thursday night, Perry attempted to tweet an image that was likely a Friends tribute. But he instead posted the image's file name and root directory, prompting Kudrow to tweet in response: "Oh how perfect."
Like Son, Like Father revolves around Nick, "an out and proud gay man, who finds himself in the unenviable position of assuming the role of his newly outed father’s gay mentor and new roommate." The potential comedy is from Forever co-creator Matt Hubbard and writer Nick Lehmann.
DuVernay realized that as a Netflix series, people would be watching the four-part miniseries on a wide variety of screens, including smartphones. "This story was a chance for me to continue exploring how to capture skin tone with actors of color in dark spaces," she says. "I was really pushing myself in terms of the color grade. It was the work with Mitch Paulson (supervising digital colorist on several DuVernay projects, including A Wrinkle in Time) that was new, the furthering of playing with the image and seeing what it can do. We were asking, 'How far can you push an image before it breaks?'" For instance, she says, "the section of episode four where Korey Wise is in solitary. It’s shot dark but then we put light in, and that forced the picture to break apart a little bit. It’s barely noticeable to some eyes, but on other screens, you can really see it. That’s important to us because when we’re talking about Netflix, we’re talking about no uniformity of screens, right? It’s gonna look different to someone with an old TV, as opposed to somebody who bought one this year or last year. This is a consideration filmmakers have to really pay attention to now."
Chappelle's much-criticized Netflix special Sticks & Stones "is using comedy to ask difficult questions about the intersections of race and gender, power and privilege," says Sonny Bunch. "Sure, it might bother more-progressive viewers that he describes the LGBTQ community as 'the alphabet people,' but the bit raises serious points about who is leading the charge for equality in that community (white dudes) and who is being forced to sit in the backseat (everyone else)." He adds: "If you don’t defend the right to be offensive no matter the situation and no matter the stakes, you create a situation in which the right to offend slips away. Whatever you think of Shane Gillis’s comedy, this is why brilliant comedians like Burr, Jim Jefferies and Norm Macdonald criticized his firing from Saturday Night Live. They fear losing that right by failing to defend the principle involved. And once you lose the right to make anyone uncomfortable at any time for any reason, you’ve removed an arrow from the comedic quiver — rendering it a bit more difficult for us to see the world from a different, funnier perspective." ALSO: Chappelle and Burr realize they don't understand society in 2019, and they don't want to try.
Ghosted should be dramatic and thrilling, but it has less than half of the charisma and the know-how to follow through of Catfish.
Ted Danson recalls spilling the beans on the big Season 1 twist to John Krasinski.
President Obama's episode from 2014 comes in at No. 3 in this Vulture list.
The ABC comedy, returning for Season 11 on Wednesday, celebrates its 10-year anniversary on Monday.
“It feels much better now. And I’m going through some psychological things right now too, so that doesn’t help,” Chapman, who was hospitalized earlier this week with a heart ailment, told Colorado station FOX31 and Channel 2 on Wednesday of grieving over the loss of Beth Chapman three months ago. “I think, basically, I had a broken heart. And of course, it’s going to heal.”
"A nod to the original (1996 movie) in structure only, First Wives Club features three long-married college friends who reunite after some years of passive estrangement to support each other through divorce, adultery and plain-ole matrimonial discontentment," says Robyn Bahr. "But that's about where the parallels end. Instead, executive producer Tracy Oliver (co-writer of Girls Trip, one of 2017's funniest hits) uses the franchise name to launch a new story centering successful black women suddenly tossed aside in favor of shinier prospects. It's a winning conceit for a TV reboot, but the broad, blue humor — which works well in a 100-minute film — renders each half-hour episode a slog. This may be the first single-cam comedy I have ever wished were multicam. At least a laugh track, an illusion of mirth, would alert me that an actual joke had been made. The show's hyuk-hyuk comic tone may have jelled better with the stagey hyper-reality that multiple cameras evoke." ALSO: First Wives Club embodies the defiant spirit of the original film.
Watch as they begin to send complimentary food and drinks each other's way for a Tonight Show sketch.
Fox has given a straight-to-series order to the multi-camera comedy Carla, based on Miranda Hart's hit BBC comedy Miranda, which is reuniting the former The Big Bang Theory co-stars. Parsons will serve as executive producer while Bialik will star and also serve as executive producer. Written by Darlene Hunt, Carla revolves around "a 39-year-old woman (Bialik) who struggles every day against society and her mother to prove that you CANNOT have everything you want — and still be happy. Which is why she spent the money her parents set aside for her wedding to open a Cat Café in Louisville, KY," per Deadline. Miranda, airing from 2009 to 2015, was one of the top-rated British comedy series of the last 10 years, with Hart playing what Deadline describes as "an exaggerated, bumbling version of herself, a quirky and agoraphobic woman who often lands in awkward situations, posher than most of her friends and a constant disappointment to her mother, who is desperate for her to find a husband."
Instead of a series finale of back-to-back episodes on Oct. 27, The Affair will say goodbye on Nov. 3. Jim Carrey's Kidding, meanwhile, will return for its second season on Feb. 9 after it was originally scheduled to premiere on Nov. 27. Kidding will be paired with Homeland's final season.
David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc all posted the same image this morning with similar captions. "Celebrating a Thursday night 25 years ago," they each wrote. Friends celebrates its 25th anniversary on Sunday.
The late Debbie Reynolds played Bobbi Adler, the mother of Debra Messing's Grace Adler, on the NBC comedy. Lourd will guest-star as Grace's niece, Fiona Adler, and granddaughter of Bobbi (and daughter of Grace's older sister, who was portrayed by Mary McCormack). “The episode is especially meaningful because of Billie’s relationship to the show,” says Will & Grace co-creator/executive producer Max Mutchnick. “We’re thrilled to have Billie. And best of all — she’s really good.”
Harris' ABC teen prodigy dramedy, created by Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley, premiered on Sept. 19, 1989, when the actor was 16 years old. It would go on to run for four seasons. Harris tells USA Today the milestone makes him "feel like I've lived a whole lot of chapters, adding: "I look back on that with fondness. That was a very remarkably wonderful chapter for somebody who had never really been in the entertainment business before."
"I don't want you to think I'm too pro-Trump," Gillis said while performing at the Stand in New York City last night. "I will say this: Of all the presidents I've been alive for, Trump would definitely be the funniest one to see get shot. Like, without a doubt, that'd be funny. I'm not asking for that; I don't want that to happen, but it would be funny to see. He'd be on stage talking (expletive), the shooter would be coming at him, and he'd be like, 'Sit down.' He'd definitely make a funny noise when he got hit. … It would be funny." ALSO: Comedy clubs in Minnesota, Indiana and New Jersey axe upcoming Gillis performances.
Their TV adaptation of Taylor Jenkins Reid's acclaimed novel revolves aroud Monique, "a struggling 20-something journalist who is handpicked by Hugo, an iconic starlet from the Golden Age of Hollywood, to write her final tell-all book," per Deadline. "In success, the drama will be told during dual time periods and follow both women at the precipice of adulthood in their early 20s as they navigate career challenges, racial identity and sexuality and find love. Evelyn's influence pushes Monique to take risks and discover her true self — even as Evelyn evades the long-standing secret that irrevocably binds them together." Chaiken and Beals have been friends since working together on Showtime's The L Word.
In her new role, the longtime Jimmy Fallon producer will guide programming strategy and act as the network liaison for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers and A Little Late with Lilly Singh.
Lee, who is autistic and blind, plans to buy grand pianos in every color with his winnings. "We knew there was something really special about him. And then as we kept working with him, he just kept blowing people's minds everywhere we went and we just—we knew. We knew we had to share him with the world," said his mother, Tina Lee, in an interview with E! News. AGT judge Gabrielle Union told E!: "Kodi, literally changed the world. For so many families who fight day in and day out for resources and opportunities to give all of our kids shots at winning in life. He's changed everything."
"I’ve turned down stuff. I’ve said, ‘They know my character’s going to die because I’m in it!'" he tells The Sun. “I just had to cut that out and start surviving, otherwise it was all a bit predictable."