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Apple Music Delays Launch of ‘Carpool Karaoke’ Series

5 hours ago

Apple is pumping the brakes on its own original-series version of “Carpool Karaoke,” the viral recurring sketch that originated with “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”

Originally scheduled to launch on Apple Music in April, the tech giant told Reuters on Monday that the debut has been pushed back to a still-to-be-determined date “later this year,” according to a statement the company issued that didn’t explain why the postponement was made.

CBS Television Studios, which is producing the series, also issued a statement. “We’re excited about our ‘Carpool Karaoke’ for Apple Music, and look forward to everyone seeing it later this year.”

As recently as February, Apple content czar Eddy Cue had been promoting the upcoming launch, sharing a trailer at an industry conference. Unknown is the fate of another original series, “Planet of the Apps,” that Apple had designated for spring.

“Karaoke,” will feature a unique pairing of celebrities in each episode, such »

- Andrew Wallenstein

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‘Bates Motel’: Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin on ‘Bittersweet’ Series Finale (Spoilers)

7 hours ago

Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched the series finale of “Bates Motel,” titled “The Cord.”

After five seasons of love, loss, and a few too many bodies, “Bates Motel” wrapped up its run with a heartbreaking finale. Mother and son were finally reunited — albeit tragically in death, when Dylan (Max Theriot) was forced to shoot Norman (Freddie Highmore) when he charged at him with a knife. At least Dylan got a happy ending, as we got a glimpse into a future where he, Emma (Olivia Cooke) and their daughter seemed to have put their painful past behind them.

Here, executive producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin break down the road to the epic series-ender.

This finale was five years in its planning, given that you were able to set your own end date for the series. How are you feeling about it now?

Cuse: It’s always bittersweet. I »

- Debra Birnbaum

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Freddie Highmore on ‘Bates Motel’ Series Finale: ‘It’s the Fitting End to a Love Story’

7 hours ago

Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched the series finale of “Bates Motel,” titled “The Cord.”

He may have risen to fame as as a child actor, but Freddie Highmore proved his very adult acting chops on the final season of “Bates Motel” — as he was called on to play not just Norman Bates, but to also embody Norman-as-Norma, and even Norman-as-Norma-as-Norman. But Norman’s struggle with (in)sanity finally came to an end in the series finale, as he realized the fragile world he’d tried to construct with Mother’s mummified body couldn’t last — and he forced his brother, Dylan, to kill him.

Here, Highmore talks about ending the show he’d called home for the last five seasons as actor, writer and director, what it meant to have Dylan be the one who ended it all, and what he learned from the experience.

Were you happy with the finale?

I »

- Debra Birnbaum

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‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ Takes Over Bill O’Reilly’s Timeslot — and Delivers the Same Bombast (Column)

8 hours ago

It would seem that nothing has changed.

With characteristic, disingenuous smarm, Tucker Carlson debuted “Tucker Carlson Tonight” at the 8 p.m. hour on Fox News, taking over from disgraced anchor Bill O’Reilly. Carlson began the hour with a statement about O’Reilly that lionized the former Fox News host: “I watched Bill O’Reilly at this hour for years and I always marveled at how well-prepared he was, how tough he was, and how crisply and directly he expressed his views. What O’Reilly did was not easy — he set a high bar — and I’m going to do my best to meet it. Thanks for sticking with us.”

Carlson’s program then proceeded to follow a template of the exact same demonizing, disingenuous rhetoric that has characterized his style for years and Fox News’ strategy for decades. When O’Reilly was let go from the network, the Murdoch family stated that they were prioritizing a »

- Sonia Saraiya

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Advertisers Return to Fox News’ 8 P.M. Slot As Tucker Carlson Starts New Run

8 hours ago

Madison Avenue has rediscovered Fox News Channel’s 8 p.m. hour.

Mercedes-Benz, one of the first advertisers to announce it was yanking commercials from Fox News Channel’s flagship program, “The O’Reilly Factor” in the midst of a recent controversy surrounding its host, has returned to that program’s timeslot now that a new offering is in its place. The automaker joined other former O’Reilly advertisers like Jenny Craig and custom-shirt maker Untuckit.com in support of the ousted anchor’s successor, Tucker Carlson.

Fox News’ inaugural broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” at 8 p.m. carried what appeared to be 18 national spots from marketers including Honda, ExxonMobil, Choice Hotels, Bp and Infiniti. In contrast, some of Fox News’ more recent airings of “The O’Reilly Factor,” with and without Bill O’Reilly at the helm, carried as few as ten ads, many of them from direct-response marketers and lesser-known brands. O »

- Brian Steinberg

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Emmys: Allison Janney Goes Lead for ‘Mom’ as Campaigns Jockey for Position

9 hours ago

After three-straight supporting actress Emmy nominations, including back-to-back wins, “Mom” star Allison Janney will be submitted in the lead actress comedy category for the show’s fourth season, Variety has learned.

Janney’s camp — spurred by press reaction suggesting lead consideration — felt the show had evolved to a place where it was more of a two-hander between Janney and co-star Anna Faris. And after all, changing categories didn’t hurt the 11-time nominee when she did it over a decade ago; Janney won twice in supporting for “The West Wing” and then twice again when she went lead.

These kinds of maneuvers often reflect an organic progression, but they can also be a reaction to the competitive environment. Changing to a thinner category could pave an easier path to recognition, etc. But Janney isn’t exactly moving into a weaker stream. Indeed, the comedy categories on the whole are as competitive as ever. Top »

- Kristopher Tapley

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‘Flip or Flop’ Stars Returning for 20 More Episodes of Hgtv Show Amid Divorce

9 hours ago

Flip or Flop” stars Tarek and Christina El Moussa have signed on for another full season of their hit Hgtv show.

The announcement of the hosts’ — and former couple — return to the home improvement series comes amid a highly-publicized divorce that followed a domestic altercation last spring. When the duo announced their separation after seven years of marriage this past December, the future of the Hgtv series was unclear and reports surfaced that the seventh season would be shortened.

Hgtv has ordered a whopping 20 episodes for the seventh season — more episodes than any season in the past of the home improvement show. Season 7 is slated to debut in December 2017.

According to Hgtv’s website, their cameras for Season 7 “captured the ups and downs of Tarek and Christina’s house flipping business as well as their family life. While the couple has separated, each one has turned the page to a new life that includes a continued commitment »

- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Midseason Premiere Soars in Delayed Viewing

10 hours ago

The “Pretty Little Liars” Season 7 midseason premiere saw a major boost in the ratings thanks to delayed viewing.

The episode, which aired April 18, originally drew 1.3 million total viewers and a 0.7 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic. In Live-3, the episode rose by 54% in total viewers (2.0 million vs. 1.3 million), by 54% in Adults 18-49 (1.3 million vs. 843,000) and by 39% in viewers 12-34 (1.2 million vs. 865,000).

In addition, it was Tuesday’s number one telecast in women 18-34, viewers 12-34, and females 12-34, the number one cable telecast in adults 18-34 and the number one scripted cable TV telecast in adults 18-49 and women 18-49. And that is not even including the show’s powerful social media presence, which saw it generate 13.1 million total engagements across Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter, according to Freeform. More than 400,000 tweets alone were generated during the live broadcasts.

Only nine more episodes remain until the show signs off for good. The »

- Joe Otterson

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Bill O’Reilly Breaks Silence After Fox News Ouster: ‘I’m Very Confident the Truth Will Come Out’

11 hours ago

Bill O’Reilly has broken his silence following his departure last week from Fox News.

In his first media appearance since signing off of “The O’Reilly Factor” April 11 for what he said was a planned vacation, O’Reilly posted a new installment of his “No Spin News” podcast Monday on his website, billoreilly.com.

“I am sad that I’m not on television anymore,” O’Reilly said. “I was very surprised how it all turned out. I can’t say a lot, because there’s much stuff going on right now. But I can tell you that I’m very confident the truth will come out, and when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised – but I think you’re going to be shaken, as I am. There’s a lot of stuff involved here.”

In his message, O’Reilly promised to begin delivering a 15-minute podcast every day — a »

- Daniel Holloway

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TV News Roundup: Eliza Dushku to Develop ‘The Black Company’ Books as TV Series

11 hours ago

In today’s roundup, Eliza Dushku is adapting a well-known book series for TV, IFC premiered for two new comedy series, and Norman Lear will host a new podcast. 


Im Global Television, Eliza Dushku, and David S. Goyer will develop a television adaptation of “The Black Company” based on Glen Cook’s fantasy series. Dushku’s Boston Diva Productions optioned the ten-book fantasy series, with Dushku set to star as sorceress “The Lady.” The adaptation will include the forthcoming book “Port of Shadows,” which takes place between the first and second books in the series. The stories follow the Black Company, a mercenary unit that carries out nefarious deeds across a Tolkeinesque landscape, often at the behest of The Lady in order to maintain her power. When the men of the company discover that the embodiment of good has been reborn, they must re-examine their loyalties. David S. Goyer and Kevin Turen will executive produce, as »

- Erin Nyren

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Ron Howard Remembers ‘Happy Days’ Co-Star Erin Moran: ‘Feisty, Spirited Girl’

12 hours ago

While visiting “The Talk” on Monday, director Ron Howard spoke about his “Happy Days” co-star Erin Moran, who died on Saturday at the age of 56.

“What a great, irrepressible spirit, you know, and a wonderful talent, and you know she was always the kid on the set,” he said.

He went on to share a memory of Moran on the set of “Happy Days,” which he called a kind of “boys club.”

“I do remember a particular moment where we were in rehearsal… and somehow it was kinda turning into a shaving cream fight, and she did sneak up behind Henry Winkler with a pretty good shaving cream pie and get him,” he remembered.

Moran played Joanie Cunningham, Howard’s younger sister, on the 1970s sitcom. Her body was found unresponsive by authorities in Indiana, with the coroner citing stage-four cancer as the cause of death.

Moran continued her role as Joanie in a spin-off show, “Joanie Loves Chachi »

- Erin Nyren

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Steve Harvey’s New Daytime Show Lands Exec Producer, Premiere Date

12 hours ago

Daytime veteran Shane Farley has been tapped to serve as executive producer of comedian Steve Harvey’s new daytime talk show. The new show, “Steve,” will premiere Sept. 5. Set to air on NBC-owned stations and other leading station groups, the new talker has been picked up in 95% of the U.S.

The show is set to tape in Los Angeles. Harvey’s current daytime show, “Steve Harvey,” tapes in Chicago.

In November, Harvey set a sew deal with NBCUniversal and Img to launch a syndicated daytime talk show that would give him a sizable ownership stake and control over the production. Harvey has spent five seasons as the host of an eponymous daytime talk show produced by Endemol Shine North America and distributed by NBCUniversal Domestic Television.

Harvey’s new show, also distributed by NBCUniversal, will tape on a new set on the Universal lot. Farley will executive produce alongside Gerald Washington and Img’s Mark Shapiro and »

- Daniel Holloway

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TV Review: ‘Genius’ on National Geographic

13 hours ago

One of Albert Einstein’s many accomplishments was unlocking entirely new ways of thinking: His theories about how time and space operate led to radical shifts in how physicists — and many ordinary people — view the building blocks of the universe.

So it’s odd that “Genius,” a clunky adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s sprightly biography of Einstein, doesn’t more effectively make use of the basic elements of Einstein’s eclectic and well-traveled life. If the goal was to fill out the pop-culture image of Einstein — who’s been depicted in many a dorm-room poster as an impish rebel with his tongue stuck out — this series is only occasionally successful. “Genius” is more often hampered by an approach that is often unsubtle and unworthy of such a precise and rigorous thinker. 

Episodes one and two jump around to a few different periods in the Nobel Prize winner’s life, but in the early going, “Genius »

- Maureen Ryan

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‘Fargo’ Season 3 Premiere Outpaces Season 2 in Delayed Viewing

13 hours ago

The “Fargo” Season 3 premiere on April 19 saw enough lift in Live-3 to put it a notch above Season 2 in total viewers.

According to Nielsen data, the Season 3 premiere grew to 3 million total viewers over three days, putting it 8% above Season 2’s opener (2.78 million). In the key adults 18-49 demographic, Season 3 was down 2% percent compared to Season 2. The most recent lift was good enough to elevate “Fargo” to the number five show of the night in the demo.

In the live-same day ratings, Season 3 was down from Season 2. This season’s opener drew 1.4 million viewers and a 0.4 rating. Season 2 opened to 1.6 million and a 0.5 rating, for a decline of  12.5% in total viewers and 20% in the demo season-to-season. While the series has never been a ratings juggernaut, it has been a critical darling and a consistent awards winner. To date, the series has been nominated for three Golden Globes, winning one, and 36 Emmy Awards, of »

- Joe Otterson

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Ingrid Michaelson/Liz Tigelaar Comedy Project ‘The Way I Am’ In the Works At Hulu

14 hours ago

Ingrid Michaelson rose to fame for having her songs on a TV show — now she’s about to get a show of her own.

The singer/songwriter, who first broke through on “Grey’s Anatomy,” has a project in development to Hulu, which she created with Liz Tigelaar (“Casual”).

“The Way I Am,” a single-camera comedy, is loosely based on Michaelson’s life. She’ll also be starring in the project, playing a heightened, fictionalized version of herself — a singer/songwriter who’s described as being at the height of her career, even if everyone thinks she’s Lisa Loeb.

Hulu is said to have won the project in a competitive bidding situation, with multiple networks bidding on the project.

Tigelaar penned the script and will serve as an executive producer, along with Michaelson and Lynn Grossman.

This project is a continuation of Tigelaar’s relationship with Hulu, who currently serves as showrunner of Golden-Globe nominated comedy »

- Debra Birnbaum

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Scott Baio on ‘Happy Days’ Co-Star Erin Moran’s Death: ‘For Me, You Do Drugs or Drink, You’re Gonna Die’

15 hours ago

It’s been two days since “Happy Days” star Erin Moran was found dead in her New Salisbury, Indiana home, and her former co-star Scott Baio is already questioning what really killed the 56-year-old actress.

Monday morning, the Harrison County Coroner’s Office and Sheriff’s Department issued a joint statement saying Moran passed due to complications with her stage 4 cancer. The statement added there were no illegal narcotics found at the scene, but Baio thinks her lifetime of drugs and alcohol abuse may have had something to do with her untimely death.

During an interview with “The Bernie & Sid Show,” also Monday, Baio admitted he was “not completely shocked” by his “Joanie Loves Chachi” co-star’s passing.

“I’m Ok, a little shocked but not completely shocked that this happened. My thing is, I feel bad because her whole life, she was troubled, could never find what made her happy and content. For »

- JD Knapp

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Biz Holds Breath as WGA, AMPTP Return to Bargaining Table on Tuesday

15 hours ago

As the industry awaits the results of the WGA’s strike authorization vote, the real test of whether the biz should brace for labor unrest will come on Tuesday when the guild and the major studios return to the bargaining table.

In the week since the Writers Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers suspended contract negotiations, the WGA has held membership meetings in Los Angeles and New York to update writers on the state of the talks and to rally votes for the authorization. Amid all this activity, there is a growing sense among plugged-in people on both sides of the negotiations that the pathway to a deal is starting to emerge.

As one well-connected showrunner put it: “Unless someone on either side does something stupid, there should be a deal to make.”

Industry sources said the tone and approach taken by both camps in Tuesday’s meeting will be crucial. The »

- Cynthia Littleton

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Former ‘Fox & Friends’ Anchor Heather Nauert Named State Department Spokesperson

15 hours ago

Heather Nauert, former news anchor on “Fox & Friends,” has been named spokesperson at the State Department.

Nauert has been on “Fox & Friends” since 2012 and also co-anchored other programs and served as correspondent. The State Department noted that she has reported on the 9/11 terror attacks, the war in Iraq and the genocide in Darfur.

“Heather’s media experience and long interest in international affairs will be invaluable as she conveys the Administration’s foreign policy priorities to the American people and the world,” the State Department said in its announcement.

Before Fox News, Nauert was a network correspondent for ABC News, and was nominated for an Emmy for a piece on teenage girls in Iraq.

President Trump was a regular guest on “Fox & Friends” before he ran for president, and, through his tweets and other statements, has frequently cited stories he has seen on the show.

Nauert is not the first journalist to jump to the role of »

- Ted Johnson

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‘Seinfeld’ Star Jason Alexander’s ‘Hit the Road’ Ordered by Audience Network

16 hours ago

At&T’s Audience Network has given a straight-to-series order to “Hit the Road,” a half-hour comedy from “Seinfeld” actor Jason Alexander, who will star and executive produce. The series, which received a 10-episode first-season order, is created by Peter Tilden, Alexander, and Dean Craig.

Alexander will star as Ken Swallow, the patriarch of a family traveling the country and trying to make it as a rock-pop band.

“I am so honored by the faith and support we’ve been given by At&T Audience Network and our producing partners,” said Alexander. “We are so excited to bring this funny, fearless, chaotic musical family to life. And we are so grateful for the opportunity.”

“Working with a comedic genius like Jason Alexander is truly an honor and we know our viewers are going to fall in love with their quirky and hysterical twist on the modern-day Partridge Family, said  Chris Long, head »

- Daniel Holloway

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Our Staff Picks: TV Shows to Watch the Week of April 24, 2017

17 hours ago

Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV.

Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s TV schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch it. This week, three book adaptations will make their debut on the airwaves, while the TV version of the film “Dear White People” launches on Netflix.

Genius,” National Geographic, Tuesday, 9 p.m.

In the 75-minute series premiere, viewers will be taken inside the life of one of the most iconic minds in human history: Albert Einstein. Based on Walter Isaacson’s book “Einstein: His Life and Universe,” the series stars Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Flynn, who will play the world famous physicist at different points in his life. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard serve as executive producers on the series, which has already been renewed for a second season.

“The »

- Joe Otterson

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