Latest update - posted about 5 hours ago
Did HBO force Silicon Valley to tackle artificial intelligence on Westworld premiere night?
"If it’s not an intentional plan on the part of the network suits, it’s one hell of a coincidence," says Les Chappell of Silicon Valley's episode Sunday featuring an AI robot. In reviewing last night's episode, he adds that "the network forcing this choice on Silicon Valley’s creative team would explain why the plot doesn’t land with any of the efficiency that we’ve come to expect. Artificial intelligence is absolutely a real thing in the Valley, so it’s not too much of a stretch for the show to address it in some way. But while it tiptoes towards exploring ideas of nascent consciousness shaped by the pettiness and short tempers that have come to define the show, it backs away and turns that into just another near-disaster for the team to work around."
The Crown's Matt Smith finally responds to Claire Foy pay-disparity controversy
"Claire is one of my best friends, and I believe that we should be paid equally and fairly and there should be equality for all," he told The Hollywood Reporter, adding: "I support her completely, and I'm pleased that it was resolved and they made amends for it because that what's needed to happen. Going forward, I think we should all bear in mind that we need to strive to make this better and a more even playing field for everyone involved — but not just in our industry, in all industries."
Westworld creators explain the Season 2 premiere twist
"In the first season, we were playing cards down with the way that the hosts' memory works," says co-creator Jonathan Nolan. "Which is to say, through the first season, we are not aware that Dolores is actually remembering things and mistaking them for reality. One of the things we were excited for in the second season was now playing cards up with the idea that hosts mistake their realities for their memories, get lost in time, bounce back and forth." Co-creator Lisa Joy adds: "It was kind of embedded in the DNA of the show."
- Read another explanation of that confusing twist
- Here is the most important revelation from the premiere
- Here are the 16 biggest questions from the premiere
- What it's like to be asked to do male full-frontal nudity on Westworld
- What's up with Anthony Hopkins?
- Read the funniest tweets about Westworld fans being confused by the season premiere
- An AI writer has five questions after watching the Season 2 premiere
- Even Westworld cast members were fooled by the "spoiler" prank
It's not just a Westworld problem: "Overly long episodes are the manspreading of TV"
"Runtime bloat," as Kathryn VanArendonk explains, started on HBO but spread to FX, where shows like The Shield, Nip/Tuck -- and most egregiously -- Sons of Anarchy ran over their timeslots on a regular basis. "The time has come to call out this swaggering, unselfconscious expanse," she says. "Interminable TV episodes are the manspreading of television storytelling. In precisely the same way that a man sits down on a public row of seats and happily relaxes into a pose that takes up as much real estate as physically possible, the trend of protracted TV episodes is a battle for viewer eyeballs that equates significance with bulk." She adds: "The problem is now endemic to a whole cohort of muscular, more-important-than-regular-TV TV series."
Verne Troyer mourned by his Celebrity Big Brother and Surreal Life housemates
The Austin Powers Mini-Me actor, who died Saturday at age 49, made some notable appearances on reality TV, both in the United States and in Britain. In 2006, he appeared on Season 6 of VH1's The Surreal Life, where he famously got "piss-drunk." Adrianne Curry notes that now two of her housemates are dead, including wrestler Chyna. Rapper Da Brat also paid tribute to Troyer. In 2009, Troyer appeared with Coolio on Britain's Celebrity Big Brother, where he drunkenly crashed his scooter. Coolio tweeted a tribute to Troyer: "#sad that my homie @vernetroyer #vernetroyer is gone #rip I #cherish the time we spent together #cuwhenigetthere #love."
Jimmy Fallon will be Seth Meyers' Late Night guest for the first time
Fallon and Meyers have been late-night neighbors -- at 30 Rock and on NBC's late-night schedule -- for four years now. Yet Meyers didn't visit Fallon's Tonight Show as a guest for the first time until last year. On Wednesday, Fallon is scheduled to make his first appearance as a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Rick and Morty co-creator jokes: “I wouldn’t wish that show’s fans on any fast-food restaurant"
Watch Dan Harmon respond to the McDonald's Szechuan sauce debacle, pointing out that he and the show had no connection with the promotion.
NBC suggested bringing Britney Spears on Freaks and Geeks
Creator Paul Feig recalls: “They were like, ‘She’s really popular now, maybe she could play a waitress or something.'"
Benedict Cumberbatch says Martin Freeman's criticism of Sherlock fan expectations is "pretty pathetic"
"Being in that show, it is a mini-Beatles thing,” Freeman said last month in a interview with The Telegraph. “People’s expectations, some of it’s not fun anymore. It’s not a thing to be enjoyed ... That’s not fun anymore.” Cumberbatch responded to Freeman in his own Telegraph interview, saying: “It’s pretty pathetic if that’s all it takes to let you not want to take a grip of your reality. What, because of expectations? I don’t know. I don’t necessarily agree with that … There’s a level of obsession where (the franchise) becomes (the fans’) even though we’re the ones making it. But I just don’t feel affected by that in the same way, I have to say.”
Syfy cancels Ghost Wars starring Vincent D'Onofrio after one season
The Alaska-set paranormal drama, which also starred Kim Coates and Meatloaf, won't return after last fall's 13-episode run.
Kit Harington says sexual harassment is "everywhere" in show business
“It’s upsetting and disturbing, but it’s not shocking,” the Game of Thrones star tells the Sydney Morning Herald. “I think most actors hear stories, and people in the industry hear stories. It’s just very hard for people to come out and talk about it. But the doors have been blown open a bit, and we can only be thankful for that.”
Fixer Upper is getting a spinoff featuring Chip and Joanna's favorite woodworkers
Clint Harp and his wife Kelly will star in DIY Network's Woodwork, another Waco-based reality show. Woodwork will follow the couple as they make wood furniture and accessories.
Macaulay Culkin tells Ellen he considers Home Alone to be "background radiation at Christmastime"
"I can't watch it the same way other people do," he said of the holiday TV special on Monday's Ellen show, jokingly adding that Christmastime is "my season."
John Oliver and James Van Der Beek spoof podcasts with "Talkin' Tehran"
"If you didn't think that James Van Der Beek was an expert in Iranian history, you need to expand your expectations of what people are capable of," said the Last Week Tonight host in a segment devoted to diplomacy with Iran.
Wink Martindale hopes to get together with Snoop Dogg
The 84-year-old legendary game show host took notice of The Joker's Wild host Snoop Dogg saying that he was one of the rapper's favorite hosts game show growing up, during a recent Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance. To prepare to host a game show, Snoop Dogg said he sought advice from Bob Barker, Michael Strahan and Steve Harvey.
Brent Musburger gets in a "feud" with Hank Azaria's Brockmire, calling him "Buckmeier"
The fake feud between the iconic sports announcer and the fictional IFC sports announcer played out last week on The Rich Eisen Show.
Outlander fans cheered on Caitriona Balfe as she ran her first marathon
Meanwhile, her co-star Sam Heughan watched the London Marathon on his iPad with his cat.
Chris Hemsworth jokingly threatens to cancel Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance over Matt Damon/Ben Affleck joke
Ben Affleck proclaimed himself to be "Team @JimmyKimmel" in response to a tabloid report that Hemsworth had become Damon's new best friend. "Wow. Another big win for #TeamBatman!" Kimmel tweeted in response. "Sorry Matt, I'm sure this is a Thor thubject." Hemsworth responded: "Hey @jimmykimmel sounds like you’ve chosen your side. Guess I’m not coming on your show this week. Good luck finding another Avenger named Chris."
CBS NFL analyst regrets posting a photo of him holding a gun with his daughter and her prom date
Retired longtime NFL kicker Jay Feely, who works as an NFL sideline reporter and color analyst for CBS Sports, tweeted "I was joking." But in wake of the Florida school shooting, the joke was seen as being in poor taste.
HBO teases Sharp Objects starring Amy Adams
Adams plays a reporter who returns to her hometown after a grisly murder in the drama based on the Gillian Flynn book that premieres in July.
- Latest update - posted about 5 hours ago Did HBO force Silicon Valley to tackle artificial intelligence on Westworld premiere night?
Earlier news - posted 2 days ago
Grey's Anatomy renewed for Season 15, becoming ABC's longest-running scripted series
The renewal was considered a foregone conclusion since Ellen Pompeo signed a two-year deal in January to stay on the medical drama. With the pickup, Grey's Anatomy surpasses The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, the ABC sitcom that aired for 14 seasons between 1952 and 1966. The renewal was revealed at the Grey's Anatomy's Season 14 wrap party on Friday night. “Grey’s Anatomy has a special place in my heart and millions of viewers feel the same way,” said ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey in a statement. “Thanks to fiercely loyal fans who have been on this journey since the beginning, and new generations of viewers who continue to discover the joy and drama of Grey Sloan Memorial, the show is as strong as ever.” ALSO: See the Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw farewell cake.
- Earlier news - posted 2 days ago Grey's Anatomy renewed for Season 15, becoming ABC's longest-running scripted series
Earlier news - posted 3 days ago
Westworld overcomes a clunky start for an exponentially better Season 2
The HBO drama's second season should've used a long "previously on" recap. Instead, it kicks off with an expository episode aimed at new viewers and keeping old viewers up to speed after a 16-month hiatus. Still, creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan deserve credit for "eagerly embracing the possibilities of the series," says Tim Goodman. "In the five episodes offered for review, they (and the writing staff) have abandoned a sense of cautious plotting and raced into the future (and back to the past, sometimes toggling between the two, frantically)." He adds: "With a thrilling sense of possibility and a fleetness in telling multiple stories, the new season's first five episodes grow exponentially in appeal. And even though there are instances when it's justified to perhaps question what new powers might be in play — beyond the series' exploration of 'the bicameral mind' — there's never a sense that Westworld has tripped up, run out of ideas or reverted to some kind of redundancy. On the contrary, the series offers revelatory possibilities and pursues them in massively entertaining fashion."
- Westworld offers a lesson to Netflix and its mediocre shows: "Rather than reflect the panicky, competitive rush that results in all these half-thought, half-finished, fairly expensive and certainly mediocre series," says Hank Stuever, "Westworld demonstrates the proper way to spend a lot of time and money in a meticulous fashion."
- Cool it with the twists!: "Westworld is a rich and interesting enough series that it doesn’t need a bunch of twists to keep us surprised and invested"
- Season 2 tones down the J.J. Abrams-esque “mystery box” style of storytelling
- Season 2 fixes many of Season 1's problems by providing a believable war between the hosts and park employees
- The aftermath of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements can be seen in Evan Rachel Wood's Dolores
- Westworld is at its best when it simply entertains rather than overthink
- Too often, Season 2 scripts get garbled by gimmicky mysteries
- On the down side, Westworld still treats itself more as a game to be beaten than as a story to be told
- Westworld creators aim to make nudity equal among males and females
- There will be less nudity overall in Season 2
- Westworld cast members didn't know the episode order while filming Season 2
- The Shakespeare line “These violent delights have violent ends" could be key to Season 2
- The five strangest Westworld theories (that still could be true)
- From Grand Theft Auto to Frankenstein: 10 works that influenced Westworld
- Westworld creators say it's essential that the show function on a puzzle box level
- Co-creator Lisa Joy is rewriting women's power story line in Hollywood and beyond
The "redemption narrative" seems inevitable for the powerful men sidelined by sexual misconduct
The recent spate of stories on sexual abusers like Louis CK, Mario Batali and Matt Lauer potentially staging comebacks are all part of the redemption arc, says Stassa Edwards. "There’s a certain tick-tock already baked in the redemption story; a sense that there are correct steps done in a thoughtful order to restore temporarily suspended careers," she says. "The first is to admit wrongdoing and apologize. CK issued an apology, as did Batali (Batali’s, done through his newsletter, even included a recipe for cinnamon rolls). The second is evidence that a man has made some sort of effort to change. This is usually in the form of thinking or listening, perhaps even a kind of soul-searching." Edwards notes that these redemption narratives don't ask difficult questions, nor do they make difficult demands. "It’s revealing that such self-reflection never results in the conclusion that men who have spent careers harassing and bullying should not return to those careers," she says. "They never reach the conclusion that their past actions have permanently degraded their authority as cultural arbiters. It’s telling that they demand not just forgiveness but the continued public support that an actor or chef or journalist requires with giving so little in return. But then they would have to question the very 'self,' and its true capacity for reflection, they value so dearly. The work of making amends is messy and long; there is no room for such things in these swift and tidy narratives."
- Anthony Bourdain's #MeToo advice for Alec Baldwin: "Just shut up"
- It's like there's a quota for needlessly sympathetic stories about odious men
- Of course these men expect to re-enter their careers as if nothing ever happened
- Sean Penn dines with Charlie Rose after writing a poem defending defending him against sexual misconduct allegations
Scandal's Olivia Pope was not a role model, but her deification makes sense when you consider what she represents
As Willa Paskin points out, Kerry Washington's character "beat a disabled man (who, to be fair, was also an evil child killer) to death with a chair. She’s rigged an election. She was, briefly, the head of B613. She’s done awful things I don’t even remember and awful things I stopped watching. Her bad deeds are innumerable. But the deification of Olivia Pope make sense if you consider Scandal extratextually—if what those girls are looking at is an Olivia Pope–Kerry Washington hybrid, where the thing to admire, to stand in awe of, is a black woman permitted to do very horrible things and be loved anyway: not a role model, but a shining example of the power of representation." ALSO: Scandal star who didn't make it says of learning the news: "My heart (started) pounding"
Avicii is nominated for a Billboard Music Award -- how will he be honored at next month's ceremony?
The electronic dance music DJ, who died today at age 28, tweeted "Thanks for the nomination!" on Tuesday upon learning he was up for Top Dance/Electronic Album. Billboard dance music editor Matt Medved expects there to be some kind of tribute at the May 20 award show. “I’m sure there’ll be plenty coming from Coachella this weekend and the BBMAs," he says. "I think that as a general statement from myself, as someone who respects him and his legacy, I think we have to include his music and we have to include his trademark, which was his melodic sensibility, that’s really what made Avicii who he is.”
Jane the Virgin creator explains the shocking season finale
"As we enter our final chapter, the beginning of our ending," says Jennie Snyder Urman, "I thought about what I wanted to see and what I wanted to feel, and there’s been a lot of plot stuff that I’ve been very sure about. It really had a lot to do with this timing, how much story we wanted to tell and where we wanted Jane to ultimately end up. I made this decision over hiatus that we would go for this and then pitched it to the writers."
When did Food Network start encouraging us to get fat?
At some point, vegetables became the "V-word" at Food Network because viewers didn't want to watch healthy cooking. As Allen Salkin notes, "the question Food Network and its competitors face as evidence mounts that they are contributing to the nation’s obesity is whether it is even possible for them to add enough fiber back into their programming to make it a little less deadly, while keeping their viewers entertained. That might not even be possible: Food entertainment may have not merely jumped the shark, but processed the shark’s meat into nuggets, coated them with brown sugar habanero beer batter, and deep-fried them beyond healthy redemption. If food media can’t or won’t change, how do we fight back against its influence?"
American Idol recruits Idina Menzel as a mentor for Disney-themed night
The Frozen star will help guide the Top 10 contestants for the April 29 Disney night.
Michael J. Fox is recovering from spinal surgery that's "unrelated" to his Parkinson's disease
“Michael J. Fox recently underwent spinal surgery unrelated to his Parkinson’s,” the actor's spokesperson said. Fox's surgery comes the same week he appeared on ABC's Designated Survivor.
Mary Berry: I was once arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking while transporting flour
“I was arrested 25 years ago," the former Great British Bake Off star tells Graham Norton. "I was going to the U.S. to do some cookery demonstrations and was worried that there might be problems so I weighed out all the ingredients — flour, sugar — and put them all in little plastic bags. When I arrived at the airport the sniffer dogs made a bee-line for me. Suddenly I was surrounded by uniformed people and my assistant and I were put in separate cells.”
Netflix should begin wrapping up its Marvel series after one season
From Jessica Jones to Daredevil, Marvel shows have experienced a sophomore slump. 'It’s as if these writing teams are trying to write their seasons as if they’re runs on a comic book—with one story arc ending, and another beginning mid-season—and it doesn’t work," says Teresa Jusino.
Barry and Killing Eve are two examples of shows that succeed because of their flaws
"Barry, on HBO, and Killing Eve, on BBC America, are perfect iterations of the imperfect aesthetic of wabi-sabi, the Japanese concept of finding beauty in something that is flawed," says Tim Goodman. "They are series that shouldn't work — in fact, often don't work until they inconceivably and almost without explanation do. They are series so out of whack with what their intentions seem to be that they then find some kind of incomparable rhythm of their own. And in that ill-advised misstep, a sense of beauty arrives, definitively. Call it a weird kind of perfection, with flaws — which is basically the whole concept of wabi-sabi." ALSO: Anthony Carrigan has become Barry's scene-stealer.
Riverdale has a lot of similarities with Pretty Little Liars
"It's more than just overarching themes (what secrets are buried beneath America's quintessential small towns?) that connect PLL and Riverdale," says Kaitlyn Reilly. "There are some crazy details that make these shows bizarrely close to one another." ALSO: Sofia Carson says Lucy Hale and Troian Bellisario may be involved in Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.
This week's Atlanta helped Brian Tyree Henry deal with his mother's death
Henry's mother died as production wrapped on Season 1 of the FX series. Henry says last night's episode "was very instrumental in my healing. At the time (of the accident) I didn't really get to grieve; (the episode) was the hardest thing I ever did." ALSO: Henry wants Paper Boi to start thinking about retirement.
Savannah Guthrie's first Dateline primetime special examines the U.S. Olympic gymnastics sexual abuse scandal
Guthrie spent a lot of time after wrapping each Today show working on her first standalone Dateline special, airing Sunday. “It’s different than doing something on Today, where it’s live and we have the clock ticking and we have to make it fit,” she says.
Netflix's Aggretsuko is from the company behind Hello Kitty
Sanrio's Japanese animated comedy, short for "Aggressive Retsuko," puts a cute red panda in a brutal soul-crushing job in Tokyo.
Shooter stuntman settles lawsuit over injury from Tom Sizemore SUV accident
Stuntman Steve de Castro had accused Sizemore of being intoxicated while filming the USA show's scene, which found him pinned under an SUV.
Stranger Things stars David Harbour and Joe Keery are apparently living together off-screen
Harbour posted on Instagram yesterday with the hashtag "#joekeeryismyroomate."
ESPN is happy to get a stronger slate of Monday Night Football games, particularly Jon Gruden's Raiders return
ESPN and the NFL are in the midst of a strained relationship. But the 2018 schedule released Thursday was satisfying to ESPN. The first night of Monday Night Football will include former MNF analyst Gruden in his first regular season game as the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders. ALSO: Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran had a big impact on NFL scheduling.
Bosch characters all have analogues with the cops on Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Harry Bosch is Jake Peralta!
Inside Katie Couric's Yahoo debacle
As Couric returns to TV in the Nat Geo series America Inside Out, the New York Post looks at where it all went wrong for Couric at Yahoo. "Yahoo staffers told The Post that they sometimes saw Couric appear lost, searching for her producers, as she and her new team prepared to try something that had never been attempted: transplant a television news giant to online and compete with TV news," says Oli Coleman. "What the former TV titan and her team didn’t know was that they would be doing it while Yahoo collapsed around them — and with the system rigged against them by the company’s CEO — all while Couric battled an ugly internal turf war with other journalists." For her part, Couric said of her Yahoo experience: “I wouldn’t say it was an unhappy marriage, but it certainly was not fulfilling for me."
Sharing a name with a Disjointed character can be annoying, especially on 4/20
Maria Sherman shares her 4/20 tale of receiving tweets over the cancelation of the Kathy Bates Netflix weed comedy, which also featured Nicole Sullivan as a character named Maria Sherman.
BET and MTV will show Janelle Monáe's new short film ahead of her album release
Dirty Computer: An Emotion Picture revolves around a “young woman named Jane 57821 (Monáe), who is living in a totalitarian near-future society where citizens are referred to as ‘computers.’”
Hulu adds Love Island, Britain's answer to Bachelor in Paradise
The trashy reality show is now available for streaming.
Why iZombie should be renewed
The CW should let Rob Thomas wrap up his zombie drama, especially after what happened with Veronica Mars.
Glee's Kevin McHale comes out with the help of an Ariana Grande song
"NoTearsLeftToCry is gayer than me and I ACCEPT," McHale tweeted of the singer's new single.
Presenting 10 TV characters who are pretty terrible at their jobs
The Good Place's Michael, Atlanta's Earn and The Big Bang Theory's Wolowitz all seem to fail miserably in their specialized fields.
Netflix's Mercury 13 tells the story of the 13 female pilots who should have gone to space in the 1960s
Netfllix's new documentary, out today, looks at the women known as the "Mercury 13," female pilots who underwent the same physical and psychological testing as the men who would go on to become NASA astronauts.
- Earlier news - posted 3 days ago Westworld overcomes a clunky start for an exponentially better Season 2
Earlier news - posted 3 days ago
Starz cancels Ash vs Evil Dead after three seasons
Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert's horror-comedy follow-up to their Evil Dead films will end later this month at the conclusion of Season 3. "Ash has Left the Building," Bruce Campbell captioned a farewell image. "Ash vs. Evil Dead has been the ride of a lifetime," Campbell added in a statement. "Ash Williams was the role of a lifetime. It was an honor to reunite with Evil Dead partners Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi to give our tireless fans another taste of the outrageous horror/comedy they demanded. I will always be grateful to Starz for the opportunity to revisit the franchise that launched our careers."
Smallville alum Allison Mack arrested for her alleged involvement in a sex trafficking cult
Mack's arrest comes weeks after she was spotted confronting officers arresting NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere. Both have been charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy, and they each could face 15 years in prison if convicted.
Noah Emmerich is going from The Americans to The Spy with Sacha Baron Cohen
Emmerich will follow his role as an FBI agent on the FX series by playing a charming, rumpled and brilliant Mossad trainer on the six-episode limited series about the real-life Israeli spy Eli Cohen, played by Cohen, who is embedded in Syria in the 1960s.
- Earlier news - posted 3 days ago Starz cancels Ash vs Evil Dead after three seasons