Michael Shannon and Matthew Macfadyen team for Netflix series / Larry David apologizes for attacking Elmo / Many Netflix shows won't be back until 2025
PLUS: Elmo's social media manager recounts the "whirlwind" of replies to her viral "How is everybody doing?" tweet.
Michael Shannon and Matthew Macfadyen team with Game of Thrones creators for Netflix's President Garfield assassination series
The Boardwalk Empire alum and the Succession Emmy winner will lead the historical drama series Death by Lightning, depicting the rise of U.S. President James Garfield, played by Shannon, and his assassination by Charles Guiteau (Macfadyen) months into his presidency in 1881. “Death by Lightning is a drama series that brings to life the epic and stranger-than-fiction true story of James Garfield, reluctant 20th president of the United States, and his greatest admirer Charles Guiteau — the man who would come to kill him," reads the official description. The series is based on author Candice Millard’s book Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President, which was previously adapted by PBS' American Experience in 2016.
Larry David was forced to issue an apology after attacking Elmo live on the Today show
Elmo was on Today to discuss his viral "How is everybody doing?" tweet and David was on to promote Curb Your Enthusiasm's final season when David decided to attack Elmo to the horror of the Today cast. “Oh my god!” shrieked Savannah Guthrie as Hoda Kotb and Craig Melvin put their hands over their mouths in shock and horror. Guthrie scolded David, saying: “Larry, you’ve gone too far this time!," while Elmo said: “Let’s get back on the couch and talk about how you’re feeling." David initially said “Somebody had to do it!," but changed his tune during his interview with Guthrie and Kotb, offering an apology to the Sesame Street character live on camera. “Elmo, I just want to apologize,” David said while trying not to laugh. “I’m really sorry.” Elmo accepted his apology.
Elmo's social media manager recounts the "whirlwind" of replies to her viral "How is everybody doing?" tweet
Christina Vittas, 25, went from intern for Sesame Workshop to becoming the voice of Elmo on social media before going viral this week. On Monday morning, Vittas tweeted two sentences — “Elmo is just checking in! How is everybody doing?” — that blew up to thousands of responses and 180 million views. "It was a whirlwind!" she tells Today.com, which says that Vittas refreshed her screen throughout the day as she worked from home, and her roommates heard her laughing each time a particularly funny response appeared. She found a particular Roman Roy tweet to be the funniest. Vittas jokes that she wants to buy Pierre a coffee because she’s been sent this tweet so many times. “I really appreciate that personally,” she says. “We all believe that Elmo is a living, breathing monster on Sesame Street, but there are people that understand that this is social media, there’s someone behind the scenes doing the work, and I felt a great response from the marketing community.”
Netflix series not returning until 2025 include Stranger Things, Ginny & Georgia and Virgin River
One Piece, Sweet Magnolias, The Lincoln Lawyer, The Watcher, XO, Kitty and The Recruit are also skipping 2024 due to delays caused by the Hollywood strikes.
Daytime Emmys eliminates Outstanding Younger Performer and splits up daytime hosts
Outstanding Younger Performer, whose winners have included Julianne Moore, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Anne Heche, has been given the ax. Younger actors will still be eligible for lead acting, supporting acting and guest acting categories. The Daytime Program Host category has also been split into two categories: Daytime Personality Daily and Daytime Personality Non-Daily. Meanwhile, the awards for Outstanding Writing for a Daytime Non-Fiction Series and Outstanding Writing for a Daytime Non-Fiction Special have been merged into one category
Alex Gibney and Hoop Dreams director Steve James are working on AI docuseries Mind vs. the Machine
Gibney will produce and the James will direct the docuseries described as “a five-part, landmark docuseries artfully crafted from a blend of interviews, archival footage, dramatic recreations, AI visualizations, and cutting-edge special effects, is definitive in its unparalleled access to key inventors, scientists, futurists, and thinkers including Geoffrey Hinton, Yann LeCun, Ray Kurzweil, Deborah Raji, and Meghan O’Gieblyn,” per the official description. “In addition, the team has unprecedented access to the never-beforeseen provocative writings of notorious anti-technologist Ted Kaczynski, courtesy of the University of Michigan Library. The series will grapple with AI’s implications for the future by exploring the personal journeys of those who brought us to this critical inflection point and by following key players in the field who are pushing forward the technology that will transform life as we know it.” Mind vs. the Machine will be shopped to networks and streamers.
Rhythm + Flow may be part of Netflix’s new push into live programming
Netflix is considering airing the music competition’s season finale live. “Rhythm + Flow Season 2, down the road, I can see the finale perhaps being live or maybe we’ll try it in other ways. But I’m excited about it. I think live drives a lot of conversation,” says Netflix reality boss Brandon Riegg.
Nancy Grace joins Dr. Phil's new cable network
The former Court TV and HLN anchor will lead Crime Stories with Nancy Grace for the new TV network launching this spring under Phil McGraw's Merit Street Media. Her show will be part of a nightly four-hour crime block. “Nancy is an unmatched expert and legend in this field,” said McGraw, in a statement. “She is a longtime friend which makes her joining Merit Street even more special.”
True Detective: Night Country creator Issa López responds to True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto's criticism: “That’s his prerogative”
“I believe that every storyteller has a very specific, peculiar and unique relation to the stories they create, and whatever his reactions are, he’s entitled to them. That’s his prerogative,” López told Vulture when asked about Pizzolatto, who has an executive producer credit this season, distancing himself from Season 4. “I wrote this with profound love for the work he made and love for the people that loved it.”
CBS adding “Doink”-Cams for Super Bowl LVIII
There will be six "Doink" cameras that will be part of the football crossbars.
Nickelodeon's Super Bowl LVIII game coverage will kick off with SpongeBob SquarePants' "Sweet Victory"
The performance will be re-animated in CGI.
ABC to air eight different Frito-Lay ads featuring Stephen Tobolowsky on Friday in celebration of Groundhog Day
Frito-Lay has acquired one-third of ABC's ad inventory for Friday. Each of the eight ads will show Tobolowsky going through a scenario similar to that from the 1993 comedy film Groundhog Day.
Seth Meyers slams Fox News for its Taylor Swift conspiracy theories: “Seriously, what is wrong with you?”
"Allow me to quote a Taylor Swift lyric when I say: you people are out of your fucking minds,” Meyers said on Late Night. “I’m just kidding – that’s not a Taylor Swift lyric. It’s Seth’s version. Seriously, what is wrong with you? This is how much the Republican party has changed: there was a time when a famous singer dating a football player and spending quality time with his family would’ve been their dream."
Vince Vaughn finally said yes to a Super Bowl ad because he gets to appear with Tom Brady and Wayne Gretzky
Vaughn will be shown pitching BetMGM to the respective NFL and NHL greats on Super Bowl Sunday.
Watch Julianne Moore in Starz's trailer for Mary & George
Premiering April 5, Mary & George stars Moore and Nicholas Galitzine as a treacherous mother and son in 17th century England who schemed, seduced and killed to conquer the Court of England and the bed of King James I.
Bridgerton's Penelope gets flustered in a season 3 sneak peek
Season 3, premiering May 6, will follow the friendship between Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin (Luke Newton) as it blossoms into a romance.
Netflix sizzle reel previews new seasons of The Night Agent, Cobra Kai, Emily in Paris, Outer Banks and Monsters: The Lyle and Erik Menendez Story
They join the previously announced 2024 returns of Squid Game (Season 2), Bridgerton (Season 3) and The Diplomat (Season 2).