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TVBIZWIRE
Apr 26, 2018
4:47 pm
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Patton Oswalt Credits His Late Wife With Helping to Solve the Golden State Killer Case (AP, TVWeek, NBC)

Following an arrest this week in the Golden State Killer case, comedian Patton Oswalt is crediting his late wife, Michelle McNamara, with helping to solve the case.

“McNamara died in her sleep at 46 in April 2016,” the AP reports. “She had been in the middle of her hunt for the killer and her book, ‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer.’

“Oswalt helped finish the book after McNamara’s death. It became a No. 1 New York Times best-seller.”

The AP notes that McNamara coined the name “Golden State Killer” for the man responsible for at least 12 killings and 50 rapes throughout California in the 1970s and 80s.

Oswalt discussed the case Wednesday night during an appearance on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” Here’s the clip …

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 26, 2018
4:11 pm
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Whoa! Take an Aerial Gondola to Dodger Stadium — L.A. Mayor Unveils the Plan (TVWeek; KCBS, YouTube)

The mayor of Los Angeles says fans of the L.A. Dodgers will be able to to ride in an aerial gondola to Dodger Stadium for games.

The tram system, which could be operational by opening day in 2022, would run from Union Station to the baseball stadium, a ride that will take an estimated five minutes.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the plan this morning at a meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The system will cost an estimated $125 million, with part of the cost to be covered by Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC, a company founded by Drew McCourt, the son of former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.

Here’s a video that ran about the project on KCBS in Los Angeles that we found on YouTube:

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 26, 2018
4:01 pm
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New HBO Drama Tracks Family That Owns a Big Media Company (TVWeek, HBO)

A drama series premiering soon on HBO centers on a family that controls one of the world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerates. “Succession,” tracking the lives of Logan Roy and his four children, premieres June 3.

The plot finds the family’s aging patriarch beginning the process of stepping back from running the company while the kids figure out what to do with it.

The series stars Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Hiam Abbass, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Alan Ruck, Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfadyen, Natalie Gold, Peter Friedman and Rob Yang.

“Succession” was created by Jesse Armstrong, with the pilot written by Armstrong and directed by Adam McKay. Jesse Armstrong, Adam McKay, Frank Rich, Kevin Messick, Will Ferrell, Jane Tranter and Mark Mylod executive produce; Armstrong serves as showrunner.

Here’s the trailer …

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 26, 2018
3:44 pm
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CBS Rolls Out New Celebrity Edition of ‘Undercover Boss’ (TVWeek, CBS)

CBS is about to premiere a celebrity season of “Undercover Boss,” and has lined up Gabby Douglas, Idina Menzel, Bethany Mota and Deion Sanders to help get the season rolling.

“Undercover Boss: Celebrity Edition” premieres Friday, May 11. Additional stars and airdates are still to be announced.

Three-Time Olympic Gold Medal gymnast Gabby Douglas will be featured in the premiere episode May 11, followed by Tony Award winner and multi-platinum recording artist and actress Idina Menzel on May 18.

The May 25 show focuses on YouTube sensation Bethany Mota, with NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders stepping into the spotlight on June 1.

Please click here for additional details in today’s announcement.

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 26, 2018
2:17 pm
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Two ‘SNL’ Cast Members to Co-Host This Year’s Primetime Emmys Ceremony (TVWeek)

This year’s Primetime Emmy Awards, which will air live coast to coast from the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 17, will be co-hosted by “Saturday Night Live’s” Colin Jost and Michael Che.

The “SNL” connections don’t end there. The ceremony will be broadcast by NBC and executive produced by “SNL” creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels. NBC announced today that the telecast will also feature special appearances by other “SNL” cast members.

Please click here for quotes and other details in today’s full announcement from NBC.

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 26, 2018
12:09 pm
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Hit Drama Series Renewed, Gets Time Slot Upgrade (TVWeek)

A drama series that is currently in its third season will be back for a fourth after being renewed by Showtime. The pay-cable channel announced the pickup today for “Billions,” starring Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis.

The show’s third season premiered March 25 and has been airing on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. Showtime announced that the series will move to 9 p.m. starting May 6 to anchor the channel’s Sunday night lineup.

On May 6 “Billions” will be the lead-in to the season two premiere of “I’m Dying Up Here.”

“The season three premiere of ‘Billions’ was its highest-rated ever, up 23 percent from last year,” Showtime announced. “‘Billions’ ranks as the network’s No. 2 drama series behind ‘Homeland.'”

Gary Levine, president of programming for Showtime Networks Inc., announced the renewal.

“‘Billions’ continues to build its audience as it explores the heights of power and wealth even as it plumbs the depths of the human psyche,” Levine said.

Showtime released the following description of the current season:

“Season three of ‘Billions’ finds Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti) and Bobby Axelrod (Lewis) in a world that has shifted on its axis. Both men are still determined to destroy the other, but must also battle for their own survival amid new forces and powerful enemies. Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff), Chuck’s wife and Axe’s performance coach, is all in for both of them, an uneasy and dangerous position for her, and one that ultimately puts her to a decision that could alter the direction of her life irrevocably. Money, power, justice and revenge are all on the line for each of these characters as well as those played by the rest of the stellar cast, including Malin Akerman, Toby Leonard Moore, David Costabile, Condola Rashad, Asia Kate Dillon and Jeffrey DeMunn.”

The series is created and executive produced by showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien. ‘Billions” was also created by Andrew Ross Sorkin.

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 26, 2018
10:44 am
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Ford Will Stop Producing All Passenger Cars Except for One Model (Car and Driver)

In a move that the automotive press says amounts to a declaration that the car wars are over and the crossovers have won, Ford says it will stop building all sedans and hatchbacks and will shift its production to crossovers and trucks.

“It is, by far, the company’s most dramatic production change in its 115-year history since Henry Ford adopted the assembly line,” Car and Driver reports. “In its first-quarter statement on Wednesday, the company said it will sell only two car models for the U.S. market within the ‘next few years’ and that it will ‘not invest in next generations of traditional Ford sedans for North America.’”

The one exception appears to be the Mustang, which will reportedly continue to be produced as a regular model.

“In its statement, Ford said it will rely solely on a two-car lineup, the new Focus Active — a raised, body-cladded version of its all-new Focus hatchback (a crossover, in other words) — and the Mustang,” Car and Driver reports.

The report notes that Ford’s president of global markets, Jim Farley, said in a post on Medium that Ford’s trucks and SUVs will soon account for 86% of the company’s U.S. volume.

“Since Ford recently refreshed its Fusion sedan for the second time, that car will stick around the longest — at least for the next couple of years, according to company spokesman Said Deep,” Car and Driver reports. “The Taurus, which still sits on the same Volvo-based platform as the current Explorer, will cease production by March 2019. The subcompact Fiesta sedan and hatch will die in May 2019. The C-Max, Ford’s only dedicated hybrid in the U.S. market, will disappear this May. The plug-in C-Max Energi was dropped last year.”

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 26, 2018
10:11 am
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‘Star Wars’ TV Series to Premiere This Fall (TVWeek)

Disney continues to find outlets for its “Star Wars” franchise, announcing that production has begun on “Star Wars Resistance,” an anime-inspired series focused on the time period prior to the events of “The Force Awakens.”

The animated adventure series tracks Kazuda Xiono, a young pilot recruited by the Resistance and tasked with a top-secret mission to spy on the growing threat of the First Order.

The series will premiere this fall on Disney Channel, followed by a rollout on Disney XD and around the world.

“Star Wars Resistance” will feature the beloved droid BB-8 alongside ace pilots, colorful new characters and appearances by fan favorites, including Poe Dameron and Captain Phasma, voiced by actors Oscar Isaac and Gwendoline Christie, respectively, Disney announced.

Please click here for additional details in today’s announcement.

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 26, 2018
10:01 am
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New Western Series Marks First Regular TV Role for Kevin Costner — Here’s a Look
(TVWeek, Paramount Network)

Kevin Costner has had a pretty good run in the Western genre on the big screen — including winning Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director, along with a nomination for Best Actor, for his 1990 epic “Dances With Wolves.”

Now for the first time in his career, Costner will take on a regular TV role — and he’s back in the Western genre. His new project, “Yellowstone,” is a contemporary Western drama series premiering June 20 on Paramount Network.

The series is written and directed by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, known for “Wind River,” “Hell or High Water” and “Sicario.”

“‘Yellowstone’ stars Costner as John Dutton, who controls the largest contiguous ranch in the United States, under constant attack by those it borders — land developers, an Indian reservation, and America’s first National Park,” Paramount Network says in an announcement released today. “It is an intense study of a violent world far from media scrutiny — where land grabs make developers billions, and politicians are bought and sold by the world’s largest oil and lumber corporations. Where drinking water poisoned by fracking wells and unsolved murders are not news, they are a consequence of living in the new frontier. It is the best and worst of America seen through the eyes of a family that represents both.”

Along with Costner, the cast includes Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille, Dave Annable, Danny Huston, Gil Birmingham, Josh Lucas, Jefferson White, Gretchen Mol, Jill Hennessey, Patrick St. Esprit, Ian Bohen, Heather Hemmons and Denim Richards.

Here’s the trailer, released today …

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 26, 2018
9:44 am
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It’s Become an Awards Magnet and Hulu’s Signature Series — Here’s What One of the Show’s Stars Revealed About ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ (TVWeek)

In its freshman season alone, Hulu’s acclaimed drama series “The Handmaid’s Tale” not only chalked up awards left and right, but also helped establish Hulu as one of the serious players in the streaming space.

The series won eight Primetime Emmys last year, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actress (Elisabeth Moss), Outstanding Supporting Actress (Ann Dowd) and Outstanding Directing (Reed Morano), not to mention Golden Globes for Best Drama Series and Best Actress in a Drama, again for Moss.

With Hulu just releasing the first two episodes of the show’s eagerly anticipated second season, TVWeek Open Mic writer Hillary Atkin interviewed actress Yvonne Strahovski, who plays Serena Joy. Click here for Stahovski’s insights into the series.

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