Oct 19, 2017
2:01 pm

CBS Renews Series (TVWeek, YouTube)

CBS will be bringing back a drama series for another season. The broadcast network unveiled plans today for a second season of its summer thriller “Salvation,” starring Santiago Cabrera, Jennifer Finnigan, Charlie Rowe, Jacqueline Byers, Rachel Drance and Ian Anthony Dale.

Season two of the serialized drama received a 13-episode order, with the season to unspool in summer 2018.

The series centers on Liam Cole, an MIT grad student, and tech whiz Darius Tanz, who bring Pentagon official Grace Barrows the news that an asteroid is just months away from colliding with Earth. With the added threat of nuclear war on the horizon, they work together with Secretary of Defense Harris Edwards in an attempt to divert the asteroid, stop the war and save humanity before time runs out.

Liz Kruger, Craig Shapiro, Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin, Stuart Gillard and Peter Lenkov are executive producers for CBS Television Studios in association with Secret Hideout.

Oct 19, 2017
1:44 pm

George W. Bush Unleashes ‘Anti-Trump Manifesto’ (Washington Post)

Former President George W. Bush delivered a speech today at a George W. Bush Institute event in New York that The Washington Post is calling an “anti-Trump manifesto.”

The Post describes the speech as “an unexpected and rather eloquent speech against Trumpism and its offshoots,” adding: “It marked the first time the former president seemed to weigh in at length on what has happened during Trump’s brief tenure. And while a lot of the blows weren’t totally direct, the target of the speech became clearer as it went on.”

The paper published an interactive annotated transcript of the speech, which you can see by clicking here.

Here is a video of the speech, published by The Washington Post …

Oct 19, 2017
1:37 pm

Why Bill Cosby’s Lawyers Are Celebrating (Vanity Fair, Facebook)

Attorneys representing fallen TV icon Bill Cosby are celebrating a win in federal appeals court in Boston, after the court decided on Wednesday not to revive a defamation suit against Cosby that was filed by Katherine McKee, Vanity Fair reports.

The report notes that McKee is a former girlfriend of Sammy Davis Jr. and former acquaintance of Cosby who has alleged that Cosby raped her at a party in the 1970s.

“Cosby’s lawyers met that story with a letter demanding a retraction,” Vanity Fair reports. “McKee’s suit claims the letter constituted defamation, but a panel of judges did not agree. The letter was protected by the First Amendment, the Boston court ruled, and the fact that McKee had made her story part of public record disqualified her case.”

Judge Sandra Lynch reportedly wrote: “McKee took concerted steps meant to influence the public’s perception of whether Cosby was, in fact, a sexual predator.”

The report notes that Cosby’s lawyers posted a victory statement on Cosby’s Facebook page, where news of the court victory followed a post celebrating the 33rd anniversary of “The Cosby Show.”

Cosby’s retrial on criminal charges in Pennsylvania remains on track for next April.

Here’s a portion of the Facebook post on the court decision …

Oct 19, 2017
1:31 pm

Cable Channel Unveils Plans to Wrap Signature Drama Series — and Is Already at Work on Its Replacement (THR)

Wrap plans have been unveiled for one drama series along with a straight-to-series order for the show that could be its replacement at BET. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the cable channel will bring its signature drama “Being Mary Jane” to a close with a two-hour series finale movie that will air in 2018.

Meanwhile, the Viacom-owned channel, which is freshening up its scripted roster, gave a 10-episode straight-to-series order to the legal drama “In Contempt,” starring Erica Ash.

“The procedural is in the fast-paced world of a legal aid office in New York City and follows Gwen Sullivan (Ash), an opinionated attorney whose passion for her job and clients make her arguably the most talented public defender in her district,” THR reports.

Created by Terri Kopp (“Law & Order,” “Third Watch,” BET’s “Rebel”), the show is in production in Canada with Kopp as showrunner.

Oct 19, 2017
1:17 pm

Award-Winning Series Renewed (TVWeek)

A series that has been a big hit with critics and has been getting attention on the awards circuit just picked up a renewal. FX announced today that it will bring back the Pamela Adlon comedy series “Better Things” for a third season.

Better Things, the Peabody-winning comedy series co-created by and starring Pamela Adlon, has been renewed for a third season, it was announced today by

Eric Schrier and Nick Grad, presidents of Original Programming for FX Networks and FX Productions, announced the pickup for the Peabody Award-winning series, which is currently running its second season on FX.

Said Schrier: “’Better Things’’ success is testament to the creative genius of Pamela Adlon as a writer, director and actor. It has been a joy for everyone at FX to support Pamela and see the critics and industry recognize this series as one of the very best shows on TV.”

The claim is backed up by critical approval for season two, which has a Metacritic score of 96. Season three will bow in 2018.

Tonight’s episode, “Eulogy,” was written by Louis C.K., who’s an executive producer on the series.

Please click here to see the season two trailer along with a roundup of comments from critics about the show and additional details in today’s announcement.

“Better Things” (Pamela Littky/FX)

Oct 19, 2017
12:59 pm

His Name Is Jean-Claude Van Damme and He Used to Be ‘Super-Famous’ (TVWeek, Amazon)

Action star and martial arts expert Jean-Claude Van Damme declares at the outset of the new trailer for his upcoming Amazon series “Jean-Claude Van Johnson” that he “used to be super-famous,” and indeed, the project parallels, to some extent, his own life.

The new series comes out Friday, Dec. 15, on Amazon Prime Video. The new trailer, released today, can be seen below.

Van Damme plays a version of himself as an undercover operative who’s also an unhappily retired Hollywood star. In his life as a secret agent, he uses the alias “Johnson.”

Along with Van Damme, the series stars Kat Foster (“Your Family or Mine”), Moises Arias (“The Middle”), and Phylicia Rashad (“Creed”). The show is executive produced by Dave Callaham (“The Expendables”), Peter Atencio (“Key & Peele”), Ridley Scott (“The Good Wife”), David W. Zucker (“The Man in the High Castle”) and Van Damme.

From Scott Free Productions, the series is directed by Atencio, and written and created by Callaham.

Here’s the new trailer …

Oct 19, 2017
10:44 am

New Marvel Series Gets Launch Date
(TVWeek, Netflix)

An eagerly anticipated new Marvel series now has a launch date, along with a new trailer. The series, “Marvel’s The Punisher,” starring Jon Bernthal, rolls out Nov. 17 on Netflix.

Netflix provides the following description of the show in promotional material released today:

“After exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife and children, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) uncovers a conspiracy that runs far deeper than New York’s criminal underworld. Now known throughout the city as The Punisher, he must discover the truth about injustices that affect more than his family alone.”

The series is executive produced by showrunner Steve Lightfoot (Hannibal), Jim Chory (Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Marvel’s Luke Cage) and Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Daredevil, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Marvel’s Luke Cage), who also serves as Marvel’s Head of Television.

“Marvel’s The Punisher” is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix. The cast also features Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Girls, The Lake House), Deborah Ann Woll (Marvel’s Daredevil, True Blood), Ben Barnes (Westworld, The Chronicles of Narnia), Amber Rose Revah (Emerald City, Indian Summers), Michael Nathanson (The Knick, Wolf of Wall Street), Jaime Ray Newman (Bates Motel), Jason R Moore (A Lonely Place for Dying), Daniel Webber (11.22.63) and Paul Schulze (Nurse Jackie).

Here’s the new trailer …

Oct 19, 2017
8:59 am

Howard Stern Takes Shots at Weinstein (TVWeek, ABC)

Howard Stern went into a rant about the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal last night during an appearance on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

“First of all, when did this guy have time to make movies,” said Stern. “I thought moviemaking was hard.” He went on to call Weinstein and other harassers “freaks,” referring to Weinstein as “this big, fat guy” and questioning the disgraced movie mogul’s alleged strategy of asking women to watch him shower.

“There is no girl on the planet that wants to see Harvey Weinstein naked and is going to get aroused,” said Stern.

The Weinstein material begins around 4:40 in the clip below, posted by ABC …

Oct 19, 2017
7:57 am

Netflix Pumps Up Its New Jim Carrey Project (TVWeek, Netflix)

Netflix will soon be unveiling a new project focusing on Jim Carrey, and specifically his time spent immersed in the role of fellow comedian Andy Kaufman for the 1999 film “Man on the Moon.”

The new project, “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond,” directed by Chris Smith, comes out globally on Netflix on Nov. 17.

“Jim Carrey earned critical acclaim and a Golden Globe for the performance, but many of the production’s most Kaufmanesque moments played out behind the scenes, thankfully captured on video by Andy’s former girlfriend, Lynne Margulies, and former writing partner, Bob Zmuda,” Netflix says in an announcement released today. “In ‘Jim & Andy,’ Carrey looks back at the resulting footage 18 years later, reflecting on how he and Andy came up in oddly parallel universes, his experience channeling Andy and Tony [Clifton] and more broadly the spiritual journey of his career.”

Here’s a look …

Oct 18, 2017
5:01 pm

Polarizing Talk Show Canceled (TVWeek, Twitter)

A talk show that generated mixed reviews and polarized viewers during its two-season run has been canceled. Chelsea Handler announced on Twitter that she’s pulling the plug on her Netflix series “Chelsea.”

Handler said she will not do a third season of the show, but will instead focus her energy on political engagement.

“My goal is to be better informed, raise my voice, and participate in a more meaningful way,” she wrote. “I want to travel the country and visit areas and people I don’t know enough about, speak at colleges and listen to students, and gain a better understanding of our political divide.”

New episodes of “Chelsea” will continue to be released weekly by Netflix through the end of the year.

Here’s Handler’s Twitter post …

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