TV news and opinion from across the web,
curated by Norman Weiss.

  • Posted Tuesday 5/10/22 at 11:51PM EDT
    • Winning Time's best aspect was to not take its legends seriously, making them "more humanesque"
      Source: Defector

      When Winning Time co-creator Jim Hecht first pitched author Jeff Pearlman in 2014 about adapting his Showtime Lakers book, he described wanting to make Friday Night Lights about the 1980s Lakers. "Eight years later, Hecht and co-creator Max Borenstein succeeded in making something like the exact opposite," says David Roth. "Where Friday Night Lights is respectful and occasionally sentimental in dealing with the consequential stuff in the smallish lives at the center of its story, Winning Time's most commendable and distinctive attribute is its unwillingness to take any of the extremely famous people who fill out the story as seriously as they are accustomed to being taken. Their various individual struggles are mostly treated with some storytelling respect but, in contrast to the recent proliferation of star-driven documentaries, treating the show’s various legends with respect was quite clearly not the purpose, or the point. As a result, a show made by extremely hardcore Lakers fans managed to piss off basically all of the most prominent living Lakers franchise icons, and the organization itself. There has been something grimly funny about the ways in which their complaints about the show conformed to the caricatures drawn of them in Winning Time." Roth adds: "Those who have won enough in our culture are accustomed to being able to tell their own stories, as they want them told; the right to tell the story of your success in your way, and without interruption or contradiction, is a sort of appurtenance of that kind of success. Of course they don’t like to see themselves portrayed as something sillier and more unsettled than their preferred projection."

      # TOPICS: Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, HBO, Friday Night Lights, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    • Why did Fox sign Tom Brady for $375 million, the richest sports broadcasting deal?
      Source: New York Post

      Fox's deal that -- according to the New York Post's Andrew Marchand -- would pay the NFL legend $37.5 million a year for 10 years once he finally retires has left some scratching their heads. That's because Fox earlier this year opted to let Joe Buck and Troy Aikman leave for rich Monday Night Football deals at ESPN. Presumably, the move was so that Fox could save money. "To understand the 10-year, $375 million Tom Brady deal with Fox Sports, you have to appreciate how the network has looked at itself since its inception and what it would take to entice the greatest quarterback of all time into the broadcast booth," says Marchand. "Fox Sports has always considered itself bigger and badder than anyone else since its inception in 1993, when Rupert Murdoch swiped the NFL from CBS and then paid John Madden $8 million, more than any NFL player at the time, to be Fox’s lead analyst. Fox had a no-brainer replacement for Buck in Kevin Burkhardt as its top NFL play-by-player, but its next best analyst was former All-Pro tight end Greg Olsen." While Olsen may be good, Buck notes, he isn't the greatest NFL player of all time, like Brady. Marchand says no matter Brady's ability as an NFL analyst, "Fox had a need, and its big and bold attitude built around Hall of Famers." ALSO: $375 million is $75 million more than Brady has earned in his entire 22-year NFL career.

      # TOPICS: Tom Brady, FOX, FOX Sports, NFL, TV Salaries

    • NBC renews Law & Order revival and Law & Order: Organized Crime
      Source: The Hollywood Reporter

      All three Law & Orders are returning next season, including Special Victims Unit, which is in the second year of a three-year renewal. The original Law & Order's revival series will return for a second season, or Season 22 overall. Organized Crime will be back for Season 3. NBC previously renewed all three One Chicago shows. And CBS on Monday renewed all three FBI shows for two seasons. So Dick Wolf is nine-for-nine in renewals. “Dreams do come true. The renewals of the entire Wednesday and Thursday night lineups is the ultimate verification of our partnership with NBC and Universal Television,” said Wolf in a statement. “I personally want to thank the talented writers and casts, the producers who keep the trains running on time and the crews who tirelessly turn out outstanding shows despite a degree of difficulty never before experienced due to the pandemic.”

      # TOPICS: Law & Order, NBC, Law & Order: Organized Crime, Dick Wolf, Cancelations, Renewals & Pickups

    • Netflix Is a Joke Fest featured some jokes at the expense of Netflix and Dave Chappelle
      Source: The New York Times

      On Sunday, Netflix concluded its pandemic-delayed 11-day comedy festival featuring 298 shows, from Gabriel Iglesias becoming the first comedian to perform at Dodger Stadium to Dave Chappelle becoming the first comedian to be attacked at the Hollywood Bowl. The festival included everybody from Pete Davidson to Night Court's Marsha Warfield performing standup sets. Some comedians even mocked Netflix's subscriber woes. "Anyone hear an earthquake or a tremor?” David Letterman quipped during a brief set last week, according to The New York Times comedy critic (and Letterman biographer) Jason Zinoman. Zinoman writes that "with his old pinpoint timing, he waited a beat before quipping: 'Must have been the Netflix stock crashing.'" Anthony Jeselnik told his audience that he loved that Netflix started the festivities by “laying off half their marketing team, losing a billion dollars and then trying to kill Dave Chappelle." The festival also included trans comedian who alluded to the backlash over Chappelle's transgender jokes. Robin Tran, a trans comic who was headlining a show, quipped of the Chappelle attack: “I just want to say, for the record, I only told him to scare Chappelle.”

      # TOPICS: Netflix Is A Joke Fest, Netflix, Anthony Jeselnik, Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, Robin Tran, Standup Comedy

    • Percy Jackson movie star Alexandra Daddario expresses support for Leah Jeffries in Disney+'s TV adaptation
      Source: Deadline

      Daddario, who previously played Annabeth Chase in two Percy Jackson films, has spoken out after author Rick Riordan defended the casting of Jeffries, who is Black, as Annabeth in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series against racist backlash. "Leah Jeffries is going to be an incredible Annabeth!!!" Daddario tweeted.

      # TOPICS: Leah Sava Jeffries, Disney+, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Alexandra Daddario, Rick Riordan, African Americans and TV, In Development

    • HBO Max's plans for a DeuxMoi series is a bad idea
      Source: Pajiba

      The Greg Berlanti-produced adaptation of the pseudonymous Instagram account for celebrity gossip upcoming book Anon Plz sounds a lot like Gossip Girl. But, as Kayleigh Donaldson points out, "let’s be honest here: DeuxMoi is not a good account, it’s a messy idea to empower it via a book and TV show, and doing so will only further accelerate its downfall into conspiratorial nonsense. I wrote before about the perils of blind gossip, a commonly used practice in celebrity reporting that almost always ends badly. It’s a tool that’s as familiar a part of entertainment reporting as puff pieces and photo editing, and one that can be utilized for good. Consider how many abusive men in the film world were the stuff of open conversations because of this kind of worldwide whispering. DeuxMoi is borrowing thoroughly from that handbook, albeit on a much grander scale."

      # TOPICS: DeuxMoi, HBO Max, Anon Pls

    • With The Pentaverate, Mike Myers shows he's stuck in the past -- unlike many other SNL alums
      Source: Salon.com

      "To anyone paying attention to the happenings in the overall SNL graduate universe, Myers' return to the classic comfort of rubber masks and spirit gum feels like less of a matter of 'Where has he been?' than 'Does he realize what year it is?'" Melanie McFarland says of Myers' new Netflix comedy. "Not every SNL actor goes on to greatness, but the ones who enjoy some career longevity display a willingness to stretch beyond the physical slapstick that enabled them to seize the spotlight and Lorne Michael's favor." Some, like Seth Meyers, have found success by remaining in their wheelhouse, says McFarland, while "others remain a such outsized presence in popular culture that we don't need to explain why. We simply have to drop their names: Tina Fey. Amy Poehler. Kristen Wiig. Maya Rudolph." Bill Hader and Adam Sandler, meanwhile, have proven they could be dramatic actors. "I cite these examples to drive the point home that while these folks established themselves as comedy forces who can act, Myers never fully escaped the prosthetics and parody closet he constructed for himself," says McFarland. "Perhaps that's on purpose." She adds: "Regardless of this, it is a very strange move for an artist who's been out of the spotlight for so long to return with a throwback engine fueled by a nostalgia for his career's highlights." ALSO: The Pentaverate isn't even a fun hate-watch: "There’s no thrill, no humor, and no life to The Pentaverate."

      # TOPICS: Mike Myers, Netflix, The Pentaverate

    • Bob Odenkirk says Chris Farley gave him his first spark to go into dramatic acting
      Source: Entertainment Weekly

      The Better Call Saul star recalled on Late Night with Seth Meyers performing on stage with Farley at Second City. "Chris and I are acting and I think, 'I should be in a drama. That's what I should do,'" Odenkirk said. "And I really had that crazy thought. I think I was just loving his presence so much and he was so wonderful and I thought 'I can't compete with that. So put me in a drama and I'll be so funny.'"

      # TOPICS: Bob Odenkirk, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Chris Farley

    • Trevor Noah on late-night's future: "There will always be content. I think when we consume content will change"
      Source: Pajiba

      In a "Between the Scenes" video, The Daily Show host was asked about late-night's future in five years. Noah said there will always be demand for content, but content will change, pointing out that Shakespeare was essentially TV long before there was TV.

      # TOPICS: Trevor Noah, Comedy Central, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Late Night

    • Sheria Irving and Sophina Brown are going from Twenties to FX's Kindred
      Source: Deadline

      The Twenties actresses are the latest additions to FX's adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s acclaimed 1979 sci-fi novel.

      # TOPICS: Kindred, FX, Sheria Irving, Sophina Brown, In Development

    • Mötley Crüe has one of the most popular tours this summer thanks in part to Pam & Tommy
      Source: Bloomberg

      The iconic 1980s heavy metal band is "riding the success" of the Hulu series, which focused on Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson, and the 2019 Netflix biographical movie The Dirt, to have one of the top-selling concert tours this summer, according to Bloomberg. The tour was originally scehduled for 2020 before the pandemic.

      # TOPICS: Pam & Tommy, The Dirt, Tommy Lee, Mötley Crüe

    • The Simpsons has been retconning Bart Simpson's controversial origin this season
      Source: Screen Rant

      "Bart’s controversial origin story claimed that his lack of intelligence was hereditary, but Homer has seemingly forgotten this fact in The Simpsons season 33," says Cathal Gunning. "Although Bart is nowhere near as bumbling as Homer in The Simpsons, he’s also not as unusually intelligent as his sister Lisa. The Simpsons once provided an in-universe explanation for this disparity, although Homer has seemingly since forgotten about this explanation."

      # TOPICS: The Simpsons, FOX

    • Check out a script page from Only Murders in the Building's Season 2 premiere
      Source: Entertainment Weekly

      Co-creator John Hoffman has shared a copy of a page from the June 28 premiere, complete with handwritten notes.

      # TOPICS: Only Murders In The Building , Hulu, John Hoffman

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