Jul 27, 2017
11:41 am

Larry David Finds Out He’s Related to Bernie Sanders (Huffington Post, NBC)

It turns out it’s no accident that Larry David pulled off those uncanny Bernie Sanders impressions on “Saturday Night Live” during the presidential campaign. David didn’t realize it at the time, but he and Sanders are related.

“During an event with the Television Critics Association on Wednesday, David said that he recently found out that he and Sanders are not-so-distant relatives,” The Huffington Post reports. “Sanders, David said, is a ‘third cousin or something.’”

The family ties surfaced as part of an investigation for the PBS show “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr.”

“I was very happy about that … I thought there must have been some connection,” said David. The “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star noted that the information was supposed to be kept secret until the episode aired, but the report points out that the leak may actually boost the episode’s ratings.

David, 70, and Sanders, 75, were both born and raised in Brooklyn.

Here’s David performing as a “Curbed” version of Sanders on “SNL” …

Jul 27, 2017
11:16 am

Series Presents a Groundbreaking — and Colorful — History of America (TVWeek)

It was the Roaring ’20s as no one had ever before seen them — in living, nearly breathing, full-spectrum color.

That footage of flappers and good time Charlie-types living it up in an era of newfound affluence and social and political freedom for women, which looks as though it could’ve been shot a few decades ago but is actually nearly a century old, was the opening of a five-part documentary series currently running on the Smithsonian Channel.

America in Color” chronicles many of the most significant moments of the 20th century — from the Jazz Age to the Great Depression to the World War II era to the first moon landing — that have only previously been seen in black and white.

David Royle, EVP of programming and production for Smithsonian Channel, says the series represents the most ambitious colorizing of historical images ever undertaken on U.S. television.

TVWeek Open Mic blogger Hillary Atkin goes behind the scenes of the series, including presenting the thoughts of producer Samuel Francois-Steininger. Please click here to read her full report.

Jul 27, 2017
10:54 am

Univision Names President of Ad Sales and Marketing (TVWeek)

A new president of advertising sales and marketing has been named for Univision Communications Inc. The company announced today that it has appointed Steve Mandala to the post.

Mandala was previously executive vice president of advertising sales. He will continue to be based in New York and will report to Chief Revenue Officer Tonia O’Connor.

Mandala replaces Keith Turner, who has said he is retiring at the end of the year.

“In this role, Mandala will oversee advertising sales and marketing for UCI’s suite of media offerings, including the Univision Network, UniMás, UCI’s cable networks including Galavisión and UDN (Univision Deportes Network), as well as Local Media and Digital,” the company said in its announcement.

Mandala will work closely with Turner during the transition.

“Steve is an exceptional media industry leader whose reputation for being effectual and original precedes him,” said O’Connor. “His unique sales and marketing acumen and strong leadership has been instrumental in delivering UCI’s engaged audiences to our advertising partners across the portfolio. We are delighted to have Steve at the helm of our sales team to continue to foster existing relationships as well as introduce new ones to UCI.”

Mandala added: “I am honored to lead our remarkable UCI Advertising Sales and Marketing team as our industry and our company continue to rapidly evolve. I have the utmost respect for the Company’s ubiquitous, valuable brand and the service it renders to our growing audiences. As the industry continues to evolve and diverse audiences, including U.S. Hispanics, influence our country and culture, UCI will provide unparalleled experiences for advertisers to interact with these consumers. We have the finest sales professionals in the industry and, as we work even more collaboratively across UCI, I am excited about the future before us.”

Steve Mandala (Univision)

Jul 27, 2017
10:34 am

Oscar Winner Lands Lead Role in ‘True Detective’ Season Three (TVbytheNumbers)

The third season of HBO’s “True Detective” has yet to officially get the green light, but that appears to be just a formality after news broke Wednesday at the TCA summer press tour that Oscar winner Mahershala Ali will play a lead role.

“Casey Bloys, head of HBO Entertainment, says Ali (‘Moonlight,’ ‘Luke Cage’) has closed his deal, and he’s liked what he’s seen so far from creator Nic Pizzolatto and ‘Deadwood’ mastermind David Milch, who’s collaborating with Pizzolatto on scripts,” TVbytheNumbers.com reports.

Commenting on the five scripts he has read so far, Bloys is quoted saying: “They are terrific. We are talking to directors, and when we have a director we want to hire, it will be a go.”

Jul 27, 2017
10:23 am

Comedy Series Renewed (TVWeek, TBS)

A comedy series airing on cable received a renewal today. In announcing the pickup of “Angie Tribeca” for a fourth season, TBS also noted that Bobby Cannavale will join the series.

Cannavale is a two-time Emmy winner, for “Will & Grace” and “Boardwalk Empire.”

The series stars Rashida Jones and is the brainchild of Nancy and Steve Carell, who serve as executive producers along with showrunner Ira Ungerleider.

“The first of TBS’s new crop of comedies to garner a fourth-season renewal, ‘Angie Tribeca’ has scored two consecutive seasons of growth among adults 18-49, including +13% for last year’s second season and another +8% for the just-completed third season,” TBS notes in its announcement. “The show also ranks as one of cable’s Top 10 comedies for the quarter across all key demos.”

TBS ordered 10 episodes for season four, which is slated to launch in 2018.

Jul 27, 2017
8:38 am

Voice of Rocky the Squirrel and Many Other Beloved Cartoon Characters Dies
(TVWeek, YouTube, Emmy TV Legends)

One of the most accomplished and beloved voice performers of all time died Wednesday at age 99.

June Foray, who for decades performed on cartoon series including “Woody Woodpecker,” “Huckleberry Hound,” “The Jetsons,” “Tom and Jerry,” “Mister Magoo,” “Bugs Bunny,” “Yogi Bear,” “Road Runner,” “Scooby-Doo,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “The Smurfs,” “DuckTales” and “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show,” died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles, according to media reports.

Foray’s many characters included Rocky the Squirrel and Natasha on “Bullwinkle,” Jokey Smurf, Cindy Lou Who, Lucifer from Disney’s “Cinderella,” Witch Hazel, and Granny from the Friz Freleng Warner Bros. cartoons, to name just a few.

Foray not only provided the voice of Talky Tina on the “Living Doll” episode of “The Twilight Zone,” but also was the voice of the original “Chatty Cathy” doll from Mattel.

One of her career disappointments was losing out on the part of Betty Rubble on “The Flintstones” to Bea Benaderet.

Foray began in radio in the late 1930s and was a part of radio programs including “Cavalcade of America,” “The Lux Radio Theatre,” “The Life of Riley,” “The Jimmy Durante Show” and “Amos ‘n’ Andy.” She began a long collaboration with Stan Freberg during this period, going on to work with Freberg in multiple media, including recording albums with him.

Foray did some acting in live-action film, but made her biggest mark with her voice work. She was a presence across many platforms, including in video games later in her career — as Magica De Spell in “Disney Think Fast” and “DuckTales: Remastered” and as Granny in a number of “Looney Tunes” games, among others.

Her most recent television work including voicing Granny on “The Looney Tunes Show” as recently as 2014, along with playing a number of roles on “The Garfield Show” and “The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.” She was Lezah the Wicked on “Duck Dodgers,” Madame Argentina on “The Powerpuff Girls” and Rat on “Cave Kids,” and revived her Rocky J. Squirrel character for “Family Guy.”

Foray’s many awards include a Daytime Emmy for “The Garfield Show” in 2012, a Grammy for “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” in 1968 and the Governor’s Award from the Primetime Emmys, awarded in 2013.

She was a driving force behind the creation of the Annie Awards for accomplishments in animation, first awarded in 1972, and in 1995 became the first recipient of its juried award named for her, the June Foray Award. Foray also worked to help establish the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, first awarded in 2001.

Here’s a clip from 2010 in which Foray talks about her work on “The Bullwinkle Show” …

Jul 27, 2017
7:31 am

HBO Unveils Programming Plans Moving Forward (TVWeek, HBO)

HBO provided a detailed roadmap for its programming in the coming months, along with what’s in the works at corporate cousin Cinemax. The full roundup can be seen by clicking here.

Included are plans for the drama series “Game of Thrones,” “The Deuce,” “Westworld,” “Sharp Objects,” “My Brilliant Friend” and “Gentleman Jack,” along with an untitled Alan Ball series, and the comedies “Ballers,” “Insecure,” “Vice Principals,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Tracey Ullman’s Show,” “Veep,” “Silicon Valley,” “Divorce,” “Barry,” “Crashing,” “High Maintenance” and “Animals.”

The announcement also updates the series “Room 104,” “Real Time with Bill Maher,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” “Vice,” “Vice News Tonight” and the venerable “Sesame Street.”

Projects that are in the works from HBO Films include “Fahrenheit 451,” “My Dinner With Herve” and “Notes From the Field,” along with the untitled Barry Levinson project on Joe Paterno starring Al Pacino.

HBO also updates the miniseries “Chernobyl” and comedy specials from George Lopez, Felipe Esparza and Michelle Wolf, along with the documentaries “Baltimore Rising,” “Brillo Box (3 Cents Off,” “Clinica de Migrantes,” “Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution,” “Elvis Presley: The Searcher,” “David Bowie: The Last Five Years” and “May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers.” Other documentaries focus on Steven Spielberg, Rolling Stone magazine and Muhammad Ali.

In sports programming, “Hard Knocks” embeds with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while “24/7” goes behind the scenes of preparations for the Canelo-Golovkin fight. Other sports programming includes “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley” and a documentary on Andre the Giant.

On the Cinemax side, programming highlights include “Mike Judge Presents: Tales From the Tour Bus,” “Strike Back,” “Rellik,” “Warrior” and “Outcast.”

Click here for the full rundown.

Jul 26, 2017
2:27 pm

Angelina Jolie Reveals Serious Health Issue (Vanity Fair, TVWeek)

Actress and director Angelina Jolie reveals in a new interview that she was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, a condition that can cause partial facial paralysis.

Jolie made the revelation in a cover story for the September issue of Vanity Fair. She said the condition was caused by nerve damage, and resulted in one side of her face drooping.

Jolie says she used acupuncture to treat the condition, and it led to a full recovery from the paralysis.

She also mentions that she developed hypertension last year.

Elsewhere in the interview, Jolie, who recently purchased the 11,000-square-foot mansion in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles that was the longtime home of filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, discusses the difficulties of her divorce from Brad Pitt.

She has recently been involved with directing the Netflix film “First They Killed My Father,” about the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia.

Jul 26, 2017
2:19 pm

21 Million Viewers Tune In to Simulcast (TVWeek, Disney)

A simulcast that ran across broadcast and cable channels attracted a massive audience. Based on Live+3 data, Friday’s simulcast of Disney’s “Descendants 2” delivered 21 million viewers, Disney Channel announced today.

The premiere was the No. 1 cable TV telecast in the past two years among kids 2-11, kids 6-11 and tweens, Disney noted. Additionally, the soundtrack is now the No. 1 album on iTunes.

The program aired across ABC, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Freeform, Lifetime and Lifetime Movies.

The audience of 21 million viewers includes 8.1 million kids 2-14 and 6.9 million adults 18-49, Disney noted.

Click here for more of the numbers and additional details about the telecast.

Jul 26, 2017
2:11 pm

Plans Locked In for Return of ‘MythBusters’ (TVWeek, Science Channel)

The beloved series “MythBusters” is coming back, with a return date now locked in along with details about the new season and new team. The show is coming to Science Channel for a 14-episode season premiering Nov. 15.

The show will have a new team in place featuring Brian Louden and Jon Lung, who earned the gig with their performance during “MythBusters: The Search.” The season promises to include rocket-powered swords, exploding gas tanks and airbag disasters, among other myths.

The original version of the show wrapped up its 14-year run on Discovery Channel in 2016, having earned eight consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Reality Program from 2009-2016.

Click here for more about the show’s return.

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