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TV Review: ‘Disjointed’ From Chuck Lorre

43 minutes ago

Is “Disjointed” better if you’re stoned? Well, of course. Pot has been adding another dimension — and improving the flaws of bad television — for almost as long as we’ve had the medium. And “Disjointed,” in particular, seems designed to satisfy a mellower state of mind. It’s slow and spacey and visually kinetic, with a, well, disjointed format that frames traditional multi-camera set pieces with fake commercials, animated segments, and fictional YouTube videos. For a show on Netflix, it’s amusing how much effort “Disjointed” has put into looking like something syndicated on a forgotten cable channel; it makes use of visual nods to technologies that the streaming service has effectively made obsolete, like commercial breaks and VHS fast-forwarding. But that is part of what makes “Disjointed” so bizarrely intriguing, especially to the high among us; it’s so scattershot that it appears to imply meaning, when the fact is, it »


- Sonia Saraiya

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‘This Is Us’ Season 2: Watch a Heartbreaking Scene From the Premiere

46 minutes ago

A new clip from NBC takes “This Is Us” viewers back to a familiar location — the hospital.

Before getting there, the three minute clip starts with Randall (Sterling K. Brown) telling Rebecca (Mandy Moore) that his wife isn’t totally on board with his adoption plans. He asks his mother about how she and her late husband Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) decided to adopt him. With some prodding, she hesitantly admits, “It’s complicated.”

A flashback cuts to Jack and Rebecca looking at a newborn Randall in the hospital. Having just lost a triplet during childbirth, Rebecca confessed she initially said no to adopting. “But your father was so sure I was tired and I was grieving, and he just kept pushing me,” she recounted. “He was so determined that you were meant to be. Meant to be ours.”

Rebecca reflected back on her marriage and left her son with encouraging words. “Sometimes »


- Rebecca Rubin

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‘Mr. Robot’ Releases Recap Ahead of Season 3 Premiere (Watch)

48 minutes ago

In preparation for the Season 3 premiere, “Mr. Robot” released a seven-minute recap covering all vital storylines from the previous season.

The summary video begins with a newscast of President Barack Obama revealing an attack by Tyrell Wellick and fsociety before launching into a montage of Season 2’s pivotal moments.

Season 3 picks up following last season’s cliffhanger, and explores each character’s motivations and the disintegration between Elliot and Mr. Robot. The series follows cyber-security engineer Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), hacker Mr. Robot (Christian Slater), and hacktivists known as fsociety, who team up for cyber missions.

Carly Chaikin, who plays Elliot’s sister Darlene Alderson, explained earlier, “Season 1 was about plot, Season 2 was about character, and Season 3 is both.”

From Universal Cable Productions, “Mr Robot” stars Malek, Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, Martin Wallström, Grace Gummer, Michael Cristofer, Bobby Cannavale, Stephanie Corneliussen, and Bd Wong. Sam Esmail writes and executive produces along with Anonymous Content executive producers »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Godless’ Gets Premiere Date, First-Look Images at Netflix

1 hour ago

Godless,” a new seven-part original limited series from creator Steven Soderbergh, will premiere on Netflix Nov. 22.

The western stars Jeff Daniels as notorious criminal Frank Griffin, who, along with his band of outlaws, is on a mission of revenge against Roy Goode (Jack O’Donnell), who betrayed Griffin and his men. While on the run, Roy seeks refuge with hardened widower Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery), an outcast herself, in the worn-down, isolated mining town of La Belle, N.M., which is governed mainly by women. When word reaches La Belle that Griffin is headed their way, the town bands together to defend itself against the murderous gang in a lawless western frontier.

Godless” is exec produced by Casey Silver and Soderbergh and written and directed by Scott Frank, who is also an executive producer.

The series marks Daniels’ first television appearance since 2014, when he appeared as Will McAvoy in HBO’s “The Newsroom.” It »


- Erin Nyren

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Epix Renews ‘Get Shorty’ for Season 2

3 hours ago

Epix has given a second-season pickup to its latest original series, MGM Television’s dark comedy “Get Shorty.”

Epix has ordered 10 more episodes of the show, exec produced by Davey Holmes and Alan Arkin. The adaptation of the 1990 Elmore Leonard novel stars Chris O’Dowd, Ray Romano, Lidio Porto, Megan Stevenson, Sean Bridgers, and Carolyn Dodd premiered Aug. 13. The show joined spy drama “Berlin Station” and the political comedy “Graves” on Epix’s original series roster.

“ ‘Get Shorty’ is our most successful original scripted series to date, and continues to deliver phenomenal performances. We are thrilled to be working again with MGM Television, Davey Holmes, Chris O’Dowd, Ray Romano and the Get Shorty team on a second season,” said Epix chief Mark Greenberg.

The hourlong series revolves around O’Dowd as a hitman from Nevada who struggles to shed his criminal past after he moves to Hollywood to become a movie producer. The »


- Cynthia Littleton

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Showtime Acquires Prince Concert Film ‘Sign o’ the Times’

4 hours ago

The Prince 1987 concert film “Sign o’ the Times’ has been acquired by Showtime and will premiere on Sept. 16. The broadcast marks the first time in more than a decade that the rarely seen film, which was directed by Prince, will air on American television. It was never issued on DVD.

“Sign o’ the Times” was originally conceived as a companion to the 1987 Prince double album of the same name. Among the songs to break out of that release were “U Got the Look” (with Sheena Easton), “If I Was Your Girlfriend” and “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man,” in addition to the title song and a rendition of the Prince classic, “Little Red Corvette.”

Footage for the 84-minute concert doc was shot primarily at Prince’s Paisley Park Studios. Additional filming took place on tour in the Netherlands and Belgium.

“Sign o’ the Times” was produced by Robert Cavallo, Joseph Ruffalo »


- Variety Staff

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Robert Zemeckis, Jeff Rake Score Put Pilot Order for Missing Plane Mystery Series at NBC

4 hours ago

Robert Zemeckis and Jeff Rake have gotten a put pilot order at NBC for a new series that centers around a plane that mysteriously disappeared, Variety has confirmed.

The series, currently titled “Manifest,” follows the passengers of a plane that disappeared from radar and returns five years later after being untraceable and presumed lost at sea. No time has passed for those on the plane but, for their loved ones at home, a long five years have gone by.

Rake will executive produce and write. Zemeckis will executive produces through his Compari Entertainment banner Compari’s Jack Rapke will also executive produce, while Compari’s Jackie Levine will co-executive produce. Warner Bros. Television, where Zemeckis is set up under an overall deal, will produce. Zemeckis and Rake are repped by Wme.

This is Zemeckis’ second put pilot order in the past few weeks, with ABC giving out such an order for a “Jetsons” live action series that »


- Joe Otterson

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Espn Faces Criticism for Announcer Switch on University of Virginia Football Game

5 hours ago

Espn has come under fire Wednesday for the decision to switch announcer Robert Lee from the University of Virginia’s opening game on Sept. 2 because his name is the same as the Confederate general who figured into the violence that erupted in the college’s home town of Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month.

Lee had previously been scheduled to call Uva’s home game against College of William and Mary. But after the shocking incidents at the Aug. 12 white supremacists rally in Charlottesville that left a local woman dead, Espn executives and Lee came to the mutual decision that it would be better for him to shift to another game that day.

The spark of the violence in Charlottesville was the white supremacist protest over the city’s decision to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee from a local park. News of Espn’s switch was first reported Tuesday evening by the sports news website »


- Variety Staff

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‘Grace and Frankie’ Writer Lands Put Pilot Order for Single-Cam Comedy at Fox

5 hours ago

Fox has given a put pilot order to a new single-camera comedy project from “Grace and Frankie” writer Billy Finnegan.

The currently untitled project tells the story of a girl who meets a boy, but the boy does not notice. But when the girl “meets” a bus, the boy notices…sort of.

Finnegan will write the pilot and serve as an executive producer. Nahnatchka Khan will also executive produce with Mandy Summers through Khan’s Fierce Baby Productions banner. Khan is currently set up under a pod deal at 20th Century Fox Television, which will produce.

Finnegan also serves as a supervising producer on “Grace and Frankie” in addition to writing. His other credits include writing for “The Real O’Neals,” “Bad Teacher,” and “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23,” where he previously worked with Khan. He is repped by CAA and Rise Management.

This marks the second put pilot order for Fierce Baby »


- Joe Otterson

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Former ITV Exec Dan Gopal Joins eOne in New Emea Sales Role

5 hours ago

Former ITV executive Dan Gopal has joined eOne in a newly created role as executive vice president of sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa. The appointment was announced Wednesday by Stuart Baxter, president of eOne Television International.

In the new position, Gopal will lead all Emea film and TV content sales efforts to broadcasters and over-the-top platforms for free TV, pay TV, Svod and Avod. He joins eOne from ITV Studios Global Entertainment, where he was executive vice president of Emea distribution and global digital partners. He had previously worked in media distribution for The Walt Disney Co. and managed Emea distribution for Miramax. He will report to Baxter.

“As the company continues to invest more in content and creative partnerships, we need a bigger and stronger distribution team to drive our commercial growth,” said Baxter in a statement. “Dan’s experience at ITV, Disney and Miramax as well as his relationships across Europe will be »


- Robert Mitchell

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Frenzied News Cycle Challenges Creatives of Late-Night Shows

6 hours ago

The presidency of Donald J. Trump and his penchant for using his personal Twitter account has led to a political climate where a 24-hour news cycle is often whittled down to a scant six hours or so. For most of the Emmy-nominated variety talk series that means having to be ready to write a new joke or rip up and rewrite an entire monologue at a moment’s notice. At CBS’ “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” that scenario has become so commonplace executive producer Chris Licht says the show has adjusted its process to it.

“About a year ago when we did the live shows… that was such a really good training exercise for the creative side of the show,” Licht says. “We actually have a term for it. It’s like, ‘Hey, we’re in live-show mode.’ It’s happened so much that it has become part of just how we operate. It »


- Gregory Ellwood

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Composers for Marvel’s TV Universe Strike a Different Chord

6 hours ago

Traditionally, when comic-book super-heroes are adapted for the screen, they are accompanied by big orchestras playing heroic themes. Think John Williams’ “Superman” theme or Danny Elfman’s “Spider-Man” music.

For its TV series, however, Marvel has thrown out the old rulebook. Like the Marvel Universe itself, not every hero is alike; some of them don’t even wear colorful costumes. No fewer than 13 series based on Marvel Comics are either on the air now or will be by this time next year, and their scores are as diverse as the characters themselves.

“I love what Marvel has done,” says Dawn Soler, senior vice-president for music for ABC Studios, which oversees most of the Marvel series. “They are not locking into a ‘Marvel sound.’ Super-heroes are becoming a different thing than they were way back when. They are worlds apart. Every score is different.”

The approaches vary widely, from the psychedelic colors of “Legion” to the noirish »


- Jon Burlingame

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Watch First-Look Teasers for Nick Kroll’s Animated Netflix Comedy ‘Big Mouth’

6 hours ago

Fear not, teenagers, because Nick Kroll is here to guide you through the awkward journey of puberty.

Netflix released a first-look at its new raunchy animated comedy “Big Mouth,” from co-creators Kroll and Andrew Goldberg.

Comedian John Mulaney lends his voice to the character of Andrew, while Kroll voices many, including best friend Nick. The two recently teamed up on Netflix for the two-man show, “Oh, Hello on Broadway.” Frequent Kroll collaborators including Maya RudolphJason Mantzoukas, Jordan Peele, Fred Armisen, Jenny Slate, and Jessi Klein also lend their voices in the series.

All genders are treated equally in the glorious nightmare of puberty, and in the first new clip, Andrew is greeted by the hormone monster for an uncomfortable encounter during a sleepover at Nick’s. In the next teaser, the hormone monstress offers some sound advice on how to become a rebellious teen. “You wanna shoplift lipstick, you wanna listen to Lana Del Rey on »


- Rebecca Rubin

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TV Ratings: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Easily Tops Tuesday

7 hours ago

Tuesday’s episode of “America’s Got Talent” was easily the top-rated and most-watched show of the night, according to Nielsen overnight data.

The NBC competition series averaged a 2.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 12.6 million viewers, airing from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. It was approximately even with last week’s episode.

After “Agt,” a new episode of “Hollywood Game Night” (1.1, 5.2 million) was also even.

On ABC, “Bachelor in Paradise” (1.1, 3.9 million) was even with last week’s Tuesday episode. Afterwards, “Somewhere Between” (0.4, 1.7 million) was up in the key demo.

Fox, CBS, and The CW aired only repeats.

NBC handily won the night with a 2.1 and 10.1 million viewers. ABC was second in the demo with a 0.8 but third in total viewers with 3.1 million. CBS was third in the demo with a 0.6 but second in total viewers with 5.1 million. Fox was fourth with a 0.4 and 1.5 million. The CW averaged a 0.2 and 691,000 viewers. »


- Joe Otterson

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Jordan Klepper Declares ‘China Isn’t Real’ in First Trailer for Comedy Central Show ‘The Opposition’ (Watch)

8 hours ago

Jordan Klepper shares some outrageously controversial opinions about current events in the first trailer for his upcoming Comedy Central show “The Opposition With Jordan Klepper.”

“The mainstream establishment has poisoned your mind,” Klepper says. “They say we should investigate Trump. I say, impeach Hillary.”

Klepper stands in front of a screen that flashes intimidating images as he spouts conspiracy theories at the camera. “They say our children should learn Chinese?” he questions. “I say, China isn’t real. No one I know has, like, ever been there. And I know a ton of people.”

Klepper is best known as a “Daily Show” correspondent, first under Jon Stewart, then then Trevor Noah. In June, his one-hour special “Jordan Klepper Solves Guns” debuted on Comedy Central, taking on the issue of gun violence in America.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, Klepper described what he hopes to achieve with the show. “We »


- Seth Kelley

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BBC Acquires John Singleton’s ‘Snowfall,’ Commissions New ‘League of Gentlemen’

8 hours ago

The BBC has acquired John Singleton’s “Snowfall” for BBC Two and commissioned five new productions for the channel, including the return of cult comedy “The League of Gentlemen,” it was announced Wednesday by the controller of BBC Two, Patrick Holland. Holland said BBC Two had “a mission to question and innovate” and was evolving to become “ever more timely, challenging and mischievous.”

“These new commissions demonstrate my ambition for BBC Two – to bring the increasingly complex and changing world to the audience through challenging perspectives, human engagement and great storytelling,” said Holland, speaking at the Edinburgh Intl. Television Festival.

Snowfall” (pictured) marks Singleton’s first TV drama and is set to air on BBC Two in the fall. The 10-part drama, set in Los Angeles in 1983, follows an ensemble cast of characters set on an intense collision course, exploring the infancy of the crack cocaine epidemic and the major impact it had on American society and »


- Robert Mitchell

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Sage Steele Brings Heavy Mettle to Espn’s A.M. ‘SportsCenter’

10 hours ago

Sage Steele worked at Espn’s “SportsCenter” for seven years. When she returns to the network’s franchise on Monday, she will be joining something entirely different.

SportsCenter Am” isn’t your dad’s “SportsCenter,” and it’s not supposed to be. Espn launched the 7 a.m. program early last year after Super Bowl 50 – the earliest the show has aired in the Walt Disney network’s history. The hosts – Steele will team with Randy Scott and Jay Harris (pictured, above) –  are supposed to offer viewers the latest in breaking news and clips while connecting the dots with analysis and opinion. Those are all things Steele has in ample supply.

“That has always been my goal – make it conversational, not question and answer,” says Steele, holding forth over a glass of grapefruit juice recently at a Manhattan diner. Espn has made no secret of the value it sees in her, going so far as to issue a statement »


- Brian Steinberg

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Sky, HBO Take Minority Stake in U.K.’s Bad Wolf

10 hours ago

Sky and HBO are set to take a minority stake in British production company Bad Wolf (“The Night Of”) as the first investment in the two broadcasters’ co-production deal.

The deal, announced Wednesday, will see Bad Wolf , the production company set up by Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner in 2015, formalize its role to supply high-end, large-scale drama for Sky and HBO’s $250-million multiyear co-production partnership, which was unveiled in April.

“Sky and HBO share a common creative culture, and this deal deepens our relationship and maintains our leadership position in world-class content,” said Gary Davey, managing director of content at Sky. Davey will join Bad Wolf’s board at part of the deal alongside Glenn Whitehead, HBO’s executive vice president of business and legal affairs.

“Our experience working with Bad Wolf on ‘The Night Of’ laid the groundwork for what I know will be a very fruitful production partnership alongside our friends at Sky, one »


- Robert Mitchell

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Sinclair Defends Tribune Acquisition as Crucial for Broadcast TV’s Future

10 hours ago

The future of local television is threatened unless TV station owners are allowed to bulk up to compete more effectively with MVPDs and digital competitors. That’s what Sinclair Broadcast Group is telling the FCC in its reply to the flood of comments and petitions opposing Sinclair’s pending $3.9 billion buyout of Tribune Media.

Today is the deadline for Sinclair to respond to more than 1,000 comments that poured in to the FCC from individuals and competitors urging the commission to block the deal. The union of Sinclair and Tribune would create a broadcast TV behemoth with more than 200 stations reaching 72% of U.S. TV households.

Sinclair’s 173-page filing reiterates the company’s main selling points to investors and regulators since the merger agreement was reached in May. Local TV station owners need to achieve greater scale to compete with MVPDs and digital upstarts that have also been in consolidation mode. Replies »


- Cynthia Littleton

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Hillary Clinton Calls Donald Trump a ‘Creep’ in New Book

11 hours ago

Hillary Clinton says her skin crawled as Donald Trump loomed behind her during the second presidential debate. In an excerpt from her new book “What Happened,” the former Democratic Party nominee admits she’s not sure she handled Trump properly.

“Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye, and say loudly and clearly, ‘back up you creep. Get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women, but you can’t intimidate me so back up,'” Clinton writes in an excerpt released Wednesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

The second match-up between Clinton and Trump was a charged one. The Oct. 10, 2016 face-off took place days after tape had been released that had Trump bragging to “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush about grabbing women “by the p—y.” The audio threatened to derail Trump’s White »


- Brent Lang

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