Hey, Aren't You... is a short (15 min) DVD extra featuring interviews with many of the actors who played supporting characters on Seinfeld and the impact the show had on their life.
Grant Tinker was one of the best known and most successful producers of network television shows of the 1970s and 1980s, and also the man who rescued NBC after the disastrous years of Fred Silverman's chairmanship. He founded MTM Enterprises in 1970 to create a television property for his then-wife, Mary Tyler Moore. [more inside]
The Simpsons by the Data: Analysis of 27 seasons of Simpsons data reveals the show’s most significant side characters, a pattern of patriarchy, declining TV ratings, and more.
AT&T Agrees to Buy Time Warner for More Than $80 Billion [The Washington Post] “AT&T’s ambitious move to acquire Time Warner for more than $80 billion, which the Wall Street Journal first reported could be announced as soon as Saturday, would singlehandedly turn America’s second-largest wireless carrier into a content powerhouse and one of the most prominent TV, film and video-game producers in the world. AT&T and Time Warner did not immediately respond to requests for comment.” [more inside]
The Ringer puts forth an interesting exercise: "draft" a TV show, spending a total of $250 on actor's salaries, time period, setting, special effects, intellectual property, and miscellaneous expenses ($12 for "gritty", $7 per pun in title). Readers submitted their own ideas, ranging from James Marsden and Geena Davis on a miniature golf course to a remake of Up with Charles Barkley and Matt LeBlanc.
One month before Election Day, with the Trump campaign reeling from enough October Surprises to fill an advent calendar, the Washington Post's intrepid David Fahrenthold has landed what may be the mortal blow: vulgar 2005 footage of the Republican nominee bragging about his sexual abuse of married women, just months after marrying his third wife, Melania. "When you’re a star, they let you do it," the future presidential candidate declares. "Grab 'em by the p***y. You can do anything." The bombshell has forced GOP leaders to recoil from Trump and issue a parade of rebukes, with Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz revoking support, House Speaker Paul Ryan cancelling a joint rally, and top donors pulling funds and demanding a new candidate. Hours after a terse press release from the then-59-year-old calling it "locker room banter," Trump released a rare apology in a midnight video maligning the Clintons while vowing to attend the presidential town hall debate Sunday. Betting markets aren't so sure. Unfortunately for the GOP, there’s no longer any way to boot Donald Trump from the ballot. [more inside]
Rachel Brewson, Dating Editor, has written for xoJane and Thought Catalog, loves craft beer, the beach, and warm LA nights, and does not exist. The team of men behind Rachel Brewson, the fake woman whose breakup went viral.
TV needs far more seething, devastating women like Fleabag - The creation of Phoebe Waller-Bridge (interview), Fleabag started as a finely tuned one woman play and made the jump to television, becoming "a precision black-humor mechanism" in the process.
The Great British Bake Off disaster: why the BBC got burned - thought with Mel and Sue leaving the show Channel 4 may have "just bought a tent."
Son of Zorn [YouTube] [Trailer] An animated warrior from a faraway island in the Pacific Ocean returns to Orange County, CA, to win back his live-action ex-wife and teenage son. [more inside]
Prolific actor Jon Polito, who worked with the Coen Brothers many times and will be forever known to film geeks as Johnny Caspar, has passed away at the age of 65.
For 20 years Roger Ailes ruled the $1 billion a year Fox News empire, expecting a culture of fear to stop widespread sexual harassment from being exposed. Then, beginning with the Gretchen Carlson lawsuit against him, it was all exposed. How Fox News women took down the most powerful, and predatory, man in media.
Season six of American Horror Story premieres in the US on September 14th. Unlike previous seasons of the anthology, however, FX is keeping this season's theme under wraps, teasing the audience with no fewer than 19 promos, each depicting a different potential show (which themselves reference different horror movies.) [more inside]
"Delay of audience gratification has been a staple of episodic storytelling for a long time, but no show advanced the practice more than the grandfather of plotblocking, Lost. No matter how well-written the various flashbacks often were, the writers knew that what kept us hooked was the mystery of the island — and that storyline was illiberally meted out like capfuls of water to a thirsty man. Just enough to keep us alive. I’ve actually found that the shows that are the most “binge-worthy” are the most narratively stingy. You start each new episode almost out of frustration, hoping it will deliver a morsel of satisfaction, an inch of forward progress." Writer-director Andrew Matthews on Stranger Things and his idea of "plotblocking".
"If you watch a lot of television and you don't know what could happen to lesbians if they don't die, this is a show about that. I promise you, no lesbians die in this show." Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito play a lightly fictionalized version of themselves -- a married couple who co-host a standup comedy show in Los Angeles -- in their new sitcom, Take My Wife. [more inside]
"“A lot of our audiences are kids and teens, and they want to be in on the joke. And they’ll listen again. We’re just a little looser with this stuff than most traditional first ladies.”" -- Michelle Obama, interviewed by Variety.
In the days before widespread cable TV with electronic menus, people relied on print guides to know what to watch and when to watch it. The regional New York paper Newsday had its resident staff artist Gary Viskupic provide illustrations for the movies, specials, and day-to-day programs. Nostalgia blog don't parade on my rain has a collection of scans showing Viskupic's trippy, macabre line art, giving a certain amount of panache to the rather pedestrian world of TV Scheduling. Part 1 (including: Kubrick's 2001, NBC Reports: But is this Progress?, Hellstrom Chronicle) and Part 2 (including: Rosemary's Baby, The Marx Bro's Coconauts, Bunny of the Year Pageant). [more inside]
"In the midst of a wild and unpredictable presidential campaign, Comedy Central is upending its late-night lineup and canceling Larry Wilmore’s show." "The cancellation makes Mr. Wilmore, 54, an early casualty of a television late-night comedy slate that has been vastly reordered over the last two years. With the retirement of David Letterman, Jay Leno and Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert’s move from Comedy Central to CBS, a series of new hosts have stepped into the spotlight, including James Corden, Samantha Bee and Mr. Noah. Jimmy Fallon, the host of “The Tonight Show,” has most formidably filled the power vacuum left by his predecessors, with the highest ratings of any late night show." [more inside]
Comedian Billy Domineau has written a spot-on spec script that takes place 3 years after the show went off the air: "Seinfeld - The Twin Towers".
Starting Aug 1, cable channel VH1 Classic will disappear and be replaced by MTV Classic. The debut hour of television will replicate the first hour of MTV, aired 35 years previously to the day. After that, the format will include reruns of TRL and Unplugged and Beavis & Butthead and Daria and a lot of other favorites. Plus, apparently, music videos! The Hollywood Reporter has the most complete scoop on the change / debut / reboot.
Mad Men to Seinfeld: TV's most criminally overrated shows — The Guardian's reviewers unburden themselves. [more inside]
“As a general rule, if you loved it in the book, it is probably going to end up on your screen.” - Neil Gaiman on Bryan Fuller's TV series of his American Gods. First trailer here.
Marvel and Netflix releases a Luke Cage trailer at SDCC Plus: Iron Fist teaser. Plus: Defenders teaser. Also: Daredevil season 3 confirmed. More from the Luke Cage panel.
Like These Books? Here Are 60+ Things You Might Also Like ... [NPR.org] Welcome to the second installment of Read, Watch, Binge! our summer recommendation series. As you may recall from last month's list [Like These Movies? Here Are 100+ Things You Might Also Like ...], we were tired of algorithms that only matched books to books or movies to movies. So this month, we've enlisted the help of real live humans to pair books with movies, musicals, TV, comics, podcasts and more.
The Hollywood Reporter has, once again, released excellent roundtable discussions with notable television actors: Comedy Actor Roundtable (Rob Lowe, Aziz Ansar, Jeffrey Tambour, Tony Hale, Anthony Anderson, Keegan-Michael Key, Jerrod Carmichael) [1h7m], Comday Actress Roundtable (Allison Janney, Lily Tomlin, Gina Rodriguez, Rachel Bloom, Niece Nash, Ilana Glazer) [52m], Drama Actor Roundtable (Cuba Goodling Jr., Rami Malek, Paul Giamatti, Forest Whitaker, Wanger Moura, Bobbay Cannavale) [55m], Drama Actress Roundtable (Kirsten Dunst, Julianna Marguiles, Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington, Sarah Paulson, Regina King, Constance Zimmer) [lh13m]
Dan Aykroyd grew up with psychic researchers and seances, which lead to the original Ghost Smashers idea, which in turn would become the Ghostbusters film. As he and his father, Peter, discussed on Q TV, their shared interest in the unexplained continued. A significant work of theirs was Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, a Canadian science fiction drama television series co-created by Peter Aykroyd and Christopher Chacon, a researcher of psychic and parapsychological phenomena, and episodes are hosted by Dan Aykroyd. You can now see the show, as archived by fans, on YouTube (72 episode playlist). [more inside]
This groundbreaking new ad [60s] depicts the challenges faced by transgender people in accessing public restrooms—and highlights the lack of state and federal nondiscrimination protections for transgender people. The ad will have its national TV debut on FOX News Channel next Thursday, July 21, during the final night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. It will air nationwide again on MSNBC during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia one week later.
And a chair as well! There's people with games and stories to tell. It's Play School. The much loved Australian children's television program celebrates 50 years on the air. [more inside]
Minnesota's nickname is the "Land of 10,000 Lakes." But for local reporter Boyd Huppert and photojournalist Jonathan Malat of KARE-11, Minneapolis, it's also the Land of 10,000 Stories. Their long-running news segment highlights touching, local, human interest pieces, and has won multiple awards for excellence in journalism. A special hour-long compilation of eight popular stories aired last year.
"I don't know why it's so hard for you to believe I could be happy." The official trailer for season three of Bojack Horseman is out now, following the release of the teaser trailer in May. Bojack Horseman previously: 1, 2, 3 and in FanFare.
The Game of Thrones Graveyard [Slate] [Spoilers] If you watch Game of Thrones, chances are you’ve watched the show kill off a character who mattered to you: a lord, a sellsword, a queen, a knight; someone you loved, or someone you loved to hate. It’s so hard to say goodbye, even when the deceased are fictional. That’s why we’re opening the Game of Thrones Graveyard, where the show’s most well-known characters rest for eternity. Buried in this sacred ground are brave souls who George R.R. Martin took from us too soon, likely by beheading them, filling them with crossbow bolts, slitting their throats, or all of the above. Others lasted far too long and died far too easily considering their depravity. But good or evil, they all touched our lives in some way. Leave a flower for a fallen character.
"I have found a new way to watch TV, and it changes everything" — Jeff Guo of Wonkblog discusses how his new habit of fast-forwarding TV relates to the history of reading, and considers the role of the content creator in an age of hackable content. (non-WaPo link)
Route One is a 24 hour live broadcast by Icelandic state television RÚV of a drive on the Ring Road, which goes all the way around Iceland. Underneath a procedurally generated 24 hour remix of a new Sigur Rós song called Óveður will be playing. It starts now.
Proving that satire (and/or bad acting) is alive and well in the Arab world, Egyptian television show "Mini Daesh" takes the concept of a prank show to its ultimate extreme, pretending to have Egyptian television celebrities kidnapped by ISIS..
An interview with Q's Shad, on telling the story of facing midlife, as a woman (CBC) Kim Cattrall discusses working through her own questions around mortality through her remake of the BBC series Sensitive Skin.
The Chris Gethard Show started at UCB, moved to public access (previously), and can now be seen on Fusion TV and online. It's a talk show, a call-in show, a Skype-in show, a comedy show, an audience-participation show, and a grand, weird, and delightful tv experiment that also isn't afraid to explore mental health issues (previously - cw: suicide.) Season 1 full episodes (22:00 ea.). Season 2 full episodes (44:00 ea.). Wikipedia List of show regulars, characters, and celeb guests. [more inside]
Some of you may already be aware that the looooooong gestating miniseries based on Stephen King's "Dark Tower" books has finally begun filming (previously) with MeFi favorite Idris Elba in the lead role of Roland (Pictures have already been taken of him on set). As with any beloved piece of literature, fans have their reservations about what changes may occur from the original text. But as any Dark Tower fan will tell you, this is no ordinary book series. And it looks like Stephen King is hinting that the miniseries will follow in kind (Spoilers ahoy).
Established in 1982, the [San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive] preserves 6000 hours of newsfilm, documentaries and other TV footage produced in the Bay Area and Northern California from the Twentieth Century. We are a part of the J. Paul Leonard Library’s Department of Special Collections and oversee material owned by local TV stations KPIX-TV, KRON-TV, KQED and KTVU. All 1,659 items in the collections can be streamed. A few notable inclusions within. [more inside]
Remaking 'Roots' In this version, accuracy is at the forefront, Mr. Wolper said one day last fall, in his production office in New Orleans, where the walls were covered with images of slave ships, plantation houses and African beads. “I’m not being modest here,” he said. “We have to make it better than the first ‘Roots.’ Otherwise, why bother?”
Myles McNutt is on a mission: Bringing greater attention to unrealistic acting with coffee cups on television.
Creator of long-running soap opera Neighbours and widely considered "father of Australian TV" Reg Grundy dies aged 92. [more inside]
I Love Serial Entertainment And So Can You - We don’t binge on television because we like it, we like television because we can binge on it.
"'Too many children think that scientists are all middle-aged white males in laboratory coats,' Edward Atkins, 3-2-1 Contact's director of content, told The New York Times in 1983." The Kids' Show That Taught Me to Ask "Why?", an ode to 3-2-1 Contact. [more inside]
"CBS says it brought in a new executive producer for “The Late Show” so Stephen Colbert could focus on hosting. Now the network has to give him room to do what he does best." [more inside]