Posted Friday 5/18/18 at 11:54PM EDT
How Meghan Markle's Suits experience prepared her for the Royal family's world stage
Markle has already shaken up the Royal family and has only begun to make her mark, says Maureen Ryan. On Suits, Markle's "Rachel Zane was a supporting character — the core journey was not hers — but Markle brought passionate craft and lively charisma to her role," says Ryan, who has watched every episode of the USA series and moderated a panel with Markle four years ago. "Rachel's quest to be more than a paralegal and to exceed the high expectations of her accomplished family was as compelling as her desire to retain her moral center among a crew of New York legal sharks so intent on closing deals that the morality of their actions was sometimes (often?) a secondary concern. The ethics of many Suits characters have been painted in various shades of gray — and to be clear, that's not a bad thing. But Rachel always stood for something — several things, actually: a quest for fairness, a capacity for hard work, an affinity for compassion and truthfulness, and the desire to find an emotional balance in life and on the job.
Her new gig may well feature the same agenda, but on a much, much bigger stage."
- ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, BBC America, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, HBO, PBS, E! and TLC are all covering the royal wedding
- Suits cast has a "last supper" in London before the wedding: "Love deeply and live well," Patrick J. Adams tweets to Markle
- How TV turned the royal wedding into a very public affair
- How to watch the royal wedding if you don't have cable
- Markle had a Hollywood childhood, having grown up on the set of Married with Children, where her dad worked as cinematographer
Santa Fe High School shooting showed how TV news has become accustomed to covering mass shootings
"The increase in the number of mass shootings has resulted in a kind of template for covering such a horrifying tragedy," says Cynthia Littleton. "Interviews with shaken students and grieving parents, a rush to find biographical details about the suspected shooter and discussions with angry activists railing about the lack of curbs on the availability of guns and ammunition have become a chilling staple of TV."
Why Cheers still matters 25 years after its series finale
Cheers ended its 11-season run on May 20, 1993 with 93.5 million Americans watching, the second highest-rated TV series finale of all time after M*A*S*H. "For all its highs and lows, Cheers represents a pinnacle of American pop culture, culminating in a record-breaking finale that caught the attention of millions of viewers," says Tyler Coates. "Twenty-five years after its final episode, Cheers remains one of the great American sitcoms." Coates visited the Cheers bar in Boston not that long ago, and says of the experience: "Being there was a reminder that TV is ultimately important; it’s one thing that can unite us all when we’re at our most divided, and the best TV show can appeal to everyone subtly enough that the audience might not actually realize how much they have in common with the others who watch it. Many years later, after all, we are still thinking about Cheers because it's still so present in the TV we consume today—and because it's nice to think about the distant past, relatively less fraught than our present, and ignore the problems of the world that didn't seep into the entertainment we enjoyed."
- Creators Glen and Les Charles and James Burrows look back at the series finale and the potential of a revival
- Cheers had one of the greatest closing scenes in TV history
- Here are nine essential episodes for getting caught up on Cheers
- May 20 is also the 25th anniversary of the Cheers cast getting wasted live on Jay Leno's Tonight Show from Boston
- At the time, Leno called the infamous live episode "a huge mistake. But that's OK. You win some and lose some"
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 finale was designed "so that you can imagine it as you want"
"The ambiguity of it doesn’t undercut the emotion, but it also allows people to respond individually," says executive producer Jeff Bell, pointing out that the ABC series had yet to be renewed when the finale was filmed. ALSO: Clark Gregg reacts to the season finale.
Once Upon a Time co-creators discuss the series finale
"We went into this season knowing it could be the last because anytime you have major cast leave and it's a season and you're on Friday night, you have to plan for it or you would be an irresponsible showrunner," says co-creator Eddy Kitsis. "So, we knew this was an option and thankfully ABC has been such great supporters of the show, they gave us enough time so that it wasn't like, 'Oh my god,' scrambled in the last minute. We've been planning this since December."
Grey’s Anatomy stands as a testament to the power of an old-fashioned, long-running network series
While the current TV trend emphasizes shorter seasons and quality over quantity, Grey's is that rare throwback to past TV series that were able to run for years while maintaining interest among fans. As Caroline Siede explains, "long-running show like Grey’s Anatomy measures its successes and failures in eras, not episodes or even seasons. And while Grey’s Anatomy has had some real low points over the years (yes, this is a medical series where someone had sex with a ghost that turned out to be a manifestation of her brain tumor), it’s had plenty of peaks to counter those valleys. The show’s most recent creative renaissance came thanks to its biggest ever creative shakeup—the decision to kill off Patrick Dempsey’s Dr. Derek 'McDreamy' Shepherd in the 11th season episode 'How To Save A Life.' In examining what Meredith’s life looks like in a post-Derek world, Grey’s Anatomy got a creative kick start (not to mention a ratings boost). And since then it’s been refreshingly willing to mine its own past for emotional resonance, most successfully in seasons 12 and 14."
Kelly Clarkson reacts to Smallville's Allison Mack apparently trying to recruit her to the Nxivm sex cult
In 2013, Mack tweeted to Clarkson, "I heard through the grapevine that you're a fan of Smallville. I'm a fan of yours as well! I'd love to chat sometime." But Clarkson was never made aware of the tweet until recently. When Billboard asked her about it, she said, "Oh, my God, and somehow my name and Emma Watson’s came up?" Did she have a recollection of Mack tweeting at her? "No -- my publicist called me the other day, and I didn’t have a clue," Clarkson said. "I’m in a state of bewilderment. I guess she tweeted me and tried to reach out years ago. I mean, I was a fan of Smallville, but I don’t know her. The only kind of sex I’m into is the kind I’m having."
USA cancels Falling Water after two seasons
Throughout its run, Falling Water has been USA's lowest-rated series. But it was renewed for a second season thanks to an Amazon streaming deal.
Tig Notaro talks about a potential Louis CK comeback and his defenders saying he isn't as bad as Harvey Weinstein
Six months after Louis CK's downfall, Notaro reflects on his name being on her Amazon show One Mississippi: "One of the most powerful people in comedy was executive producer on the show, and the networks and studios were excited to have him," she says. "I meanwhile had found out he’s not who I thought he was, and so I wanted that separation." Regarding talk of a potential comeback of Louis CK and other #MeToo sexual harassers, Notaro says: "You know what? If any of these people come back, I would say, 'I can’t wait to see who is actually going to support them.' That is going to be the glaring horror. Who is going to be, like, 'This is a pressing issue, and we need to get them back?'" Adding that people are blinded by fame and power, she adds: "Every time I turn around I’m surprised. You think somebody is the most progressive, powerful person and then they’re like: 'Well, this guy didn’t really do much. It’s not Harvey Weinstein.' Yes, but put yourself in the mind-set of somebody walking around masturbating in front of people. Who is that?"
TV upfronts: By the numbers
Thanks to Roseanne, the number of multicamera comedy pickups were up this year and the number of single-camera comedies were down. Like last year, CBS renewed the most shows (20) followed by ABC (14). Meanwhile, ABC had the most cancelations (13) for the second year in a row.
60 Minutes to tackle the Mario Batali sexual harassment scandal
On Sunday's episode of the CBS News magazine, Anderson Cooper interviews those who were “sexually harassed or assaulted” at one of the restaurants Batali co-owned.
Blindspot's Season 3 finale twist will be the centerpiece of Season 4
In fact, the twist will drastically change the nature of the show.
How Netflix created its golden age of true-crime documentary series
Docuseries from Making a Murderer to Evil Genius to Wild Wild Country owe a debt to The Staircase, which aired on Sundance Channel in 2005. Jean Xavier de Lestrade's docuseries on Michael Peterson was the "the Rosetta stone of modern multi-part crime explorations." ALSO: Nxivm and Wild Wild Country have boosted interested in cult programming.
At CrimeCon, NBC's Dateline correspondents are treated like rock stars
"This is a 100% overlap with our audience,” Keith Morrison says of the second annual CrimeCon gathering of 2,000 people this week in Nashville. He was joined by colleagues Josh Mankiewicz, Dennis Murphy and Andrea Canning. Morrison adds: “I mean, there’s no one here who heard me speak last year and thought, Huh. Dateline? I should check that out. You know? This is the audience here. And I said, ‘We have to come back. And you have to make everyone else go.’”
A midseason reboot has enabled Billions to sustain its Season 3 momentum
The Showtime series is the perfect example of the upside of discarding storylines, says Alison Herman. "Billions unabashedly operates in the tradition of a soap opera, which is what gives the show part of its subversive charge—a saga of masculinity and men shaped into a template typically marketed toward women," she says. "Besides the Oedipal struggles and operatic smackdowns, what Billions borrows from this influence is a willingness to burn through stories at a disarming speed, keeping the audience on its toes and invested. Crucially, though, (creators Brian) Koppelman and (David) Levien never go so fast that they deprive Billions of meaningful stakes."
American Horror Story is bringing back Billie Lourd in what could be a "Radioactive" season
Deadline reports Season 8, which begins filming next month, may be called American Horror Story: Radioactive.
From Brooklyn Nine-Nine to Parks and Rec to The Good Place: An appreciation of the Michael Schur TV comedy
Schur has become one of the most beloved names in TV comedy with the shows he's created or co-created, says Carli Velocci. "The power of the Schur comedy is that, even while watching the Brooklyn Nine-Nine protagonist go to prison or The Good Place characters get tortured for all eternity, the audience rarely feels anxious or hopeless. These shows are beacons of light in a depressed TV and news landscape," says Velocci. "Schur, along with his crew of frequent writers, collaborators, and actors, have a propensity for unique, diverse, optimistic shows filled with characters that support each other while growing into better people. This approach has led to some of the most memorable titles of the past decade." ALSO: Check out Gina Rodriguez as Rosa's Brooklyn Nine-Nine love interest.
Check out a timeline of the history of TV's working-class sitcoms
The Honeymooners, The Flintstones, Taxi, Roseanne, Married with Children, The Simpsons, Mom and Atlanta all have the same working-class storylines in common.
Murphy Brown's first series finale turns 20
Here are five reasons that the Candice Bergen sitcom lasted for 10 seasons, from 1988 to 1998.
Why is Hollywood so obsessed with Batman prequels? Blame Smallville!
The news that Gotham creator Bruno Heller was making another Batman prequel, based on the Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth, begs the question: Why? "Why continue to flash back to a time when the World’s Greatest Detective was nowhere close to being that?" says Tom Speelman. "Well, half of it is just Warner Bros. doubling down on its golden goose. If people like Batman, executives figure, they want to see everything he was before Batman, right? If they get invested in his build up, we can keep them watching for as long as we want! Love it or hate it, Smallville‘s decade on the air set the precedent for this sort of thinking."
Why doesn't anybody on Westworld use Instagram?
"I know you're going to say that park guests have to turn over their devices upon entrance, and based on what we saw back in season one, that seems to be true," says Eliza Thompson. Yet she adds: "If people are willing to sign up for a Delos-provided experience that almost certainly involves some sort of waiver, these future humans have likely only gotten more comfortable with the gradual erosion of their privacy, which means they probably haven't kicked their social media addictions, either. If people are still using social media, then at least a few of these park-going oligarchs are doin' it for the 'gram. And as everyone who's ever snuck a phone into a concert where the artist has asked for no photos knows, where there's a will to Instagram, there's a way." ALSO: Shannon Woodward says Westworld fans keep "mansplaining" the show to her.
Starz's Howards End is the anti-Handmaid's Tale
While The Handmaid's Tale may leave you feeling miserable, says Kat Stoeffel, "there is another way to substantive, high-budget, strong-female-lead storytelling. One you won’t need to look away from, but you can occasionally look away from, because not that much happens. It is the BBC’s new adaptation of Howards End, which became available on Starz last month, and I wish I could watch all four hours again tonight for the first time."
What is it like working as Killing Eve's costume designer when the costumes are an explicit part of the story?
"Well, that’s a great opportunity for a costume designer, isn’t it!" says costume designer Phoebe de Gaye. "It’s lovely, it gives you scope and room to play."
Netflix offers another glimpse of The Break with Michelle Wolf
The White House Correspondents' Dinner comedian will make her Netflix series debut next weekend, on Sunday, May 27.
Should stand-up comedy specials avoid politics?
John Mulaney and Ali Wong knocked it out of the park in their recent Netflix specials in part by choosing to go with the personal over the political.
Judge tosses former Fox News host's wiretapping lawsuit
Ex-The Five host Andrea Tantaros alleged that Fox News retaliated with against her with espionage when she complained about sexual harassment, but a judge said her allegations were “based primarily on speculation and conjecture.”
Go behind the scenes as Anthony Bourdain shoots a Parts Unknown episode
People magazine spent three days with the CNN host as he visited Lafayette, Louisiana. Bourdain and his six-person crew usually spends 10 days filming in each city.
Presenting the 12 best series finales of TV's current golden age
Breaking Bad, Six Feet Under and The Sopranos rank No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 in closing out their respective series.
# TOPICS: Series Finales, Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, Halt and Catch Fire, The Leftovers, Mad Men, Nurse Jackie, The Office (US), Parks and Recreation, The Shield, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Twin Peaks: The Return, Lists
What Rick and Morty's DVD commentaries reveal about Season 3
Blu-ray/DVD commentaries reveal that "Pickle Rick" was inspired by Ratatouille, Breaking Bad inspired two Season 3 episodes and co-creator Dan Harmon worried about the show's continuity based on his Community experience.
Why The Expanse deserves to be rescued
Here are three more reasons for reviving the canceled Syfy series.
The Bachelor's Sean and Catherine Lowe welcome their second child
The Season 17 Bachelor couple announced on Friday the birth of their second boy.
HBO's Fahrenheit 451 takes a melodramatic, heavy-handed approach to Ray Bradbury's classic novel
"HBO’s new film adaptation—directed by Ramin Bahrani, and starring Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon—certainly looked like a sure thing," says Scott Meslow. "We live in unsubtle, maddening times, with a president who hates real journalism as much as he hates reading. If there’s any truth to be found in Fahrenheit 451’s overripe, melodramatic dystopia, it’s that many things that used to seem ridiculous and implausible are starting to look routine. But all the disturbing aspects of modern-day America can’t account for the oddities of this heavy-handed, unenlightening Fahrenheit 451 adaptation, which places a heavy emphasis on book-burning at a time when physical books are just one of many ways to consume literature. This Fahrenheit 451 adaptation had a somewhat troubled gestation; you have the sense that the team behind the movie desperately wanted to say something about our era but couldn’t quite figure out what they actually wanted to say."
13 Reasons Why's second season feels unnecessary, with too many episodes that run too long
Season 2's problem is that at takes on new sides to the story that fly in the face of how the characters related to each other in Season 1, says Jen Chaney. "It’s one thing to offer new perspectives on a complicated narrative," she says. "It’s a whole other thing to add layers that drain the emotional logic out of what we saw before." Cheney adds that Season 2 is "biting off more narrative than viewers can comfortably swallow. There are too many episodes, and every one is 15 minutes longer than it needs to be. At times, I was wading through this show rather than watching it. (When I got to the finale and saw that it was 70 minutes long, I let out an internal scream.) To its credit, 13 Reasons Why takes the concerns of young adults seriously. But it also heightens and exaggerates them for dramatic effect, which can make all those mined-from-the-real-world worries seem like the stuff of soap operas."
- Season 2 jumps through too many hoops to keep Katherine Langford prominent even though Hannah's story was told last season
- Season 2 sacrifices the momentum associated with Season 1's structure
- 13 Reasons Why is still relevant: No teen drama tackles dark themes this well
- 13 Reasons Why delivers a satisfying, self-aware season after a slow start
- Negative reviews of Season 2 are missing the point
- Read the disclaimer warning some viewers not to watch Season 2
- Season 2 features a punk-influenced sound in response to the teens being a bit angrier
- Showrunner Brian Yorkey explains why Season 2 isn't a response to the #MeToo movement
- How Meghan Markle's Suits experience prepared her for the Royal family's world stage