TV Keeps On Growing…and Growing – Part 2

Just when you thought there was nothing left for TV to do, here’s another peek at Peak TV, non-fiction style (with one new drama thrown into the mix). Have a look into what Bravo believes America will want to see in the coming months:

Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of Bravo Network – and others

Bravo Expands Originals to 7 Nights With 10 New and 20 Returning Series
by Leslie Goldberg

Bravo is expanding its original programming to seven nights.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable network, which recently entered the premium scripted space with anthology Dirty Johnhas handed out series orders to 10 more new shows to join a slate of 20 returning favorites.

Slated to join staples including Vanderpump Rules and the Real Housewives franchise are unscripted fare featuring original Queer Eye stars Thom Filicia and Carson Kressley as well as a spinoff of Married to Medicine. The slate comes as Bravo is fresh off a first quarter where it finished as the No. 5 ad-supported cable network among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic — its best primetime showing yet — and the top cable network among women 18-49 and 25-54.

“Our brand offers a unique environment for our viewers to escape with drama that is fun and funny, yet far from their normal reality,” said Jerry Leo, executive vp program strategy, lifestyle networks and production at Bravo. “By doubling down on noisy formats and big characters, expanding our lifestyle programming in the design and home space, and offering seven nights a week of originals, we’ll be able to serve our fans more of what they crave while also attracting new viewers with our wide scope of programming.”

The 10 new series join a slate that also includes Married to Medicine, Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, Don’t Be Tardy, Flipping Out, Shahs of Sunset, Southern Charm (and its Savannah spinoff), Million Dollar Listing New York, theReal Housewives franchise (with series set in Atlanta; New York; Beverly Hills; Orange County, California; New Jersey; Potomac, Maryland and Dallas), Below Deck Mediterranean, Watch What Happens Live, Top Chef and scripted drama Imposters and anthology Dirty John, the latter starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana.

Here’s a look at the 10 new series coming to Bravo (premiere dates have not been determined):

 

Read it all at HollywoodReporter.Com

TV Keeps On Growing…and Growing – Part 1

Just when you thought there was nothing left for TV to do, here’s a peek at Peak TV, non-fiction style. Have a look into what CNN believes America will want to see in the coming months:

CNN head honcho Jeff Zucker

On Wednesday, CNN announced plans for six new original series next year, including shows about former President Richard Nixon and the Bush family.

One of the six is a four-part show, American Style, produced by Vox Media’s programming division, Vox Entertainment. The show “examines how America’s changing style through the decades has mirrored the political, social, and economic climate of the time, shaping our unique American identity,” and represents a high-profile offering for the digital media company’s linear programming ambitions.

Longtime CNN fixture Dr. Sanjay Gupta is slated for a six-part travel series called Chasing Life With Sanjay Gupta.

The other shows on tap include Tricky Dick, a four-part show on Nixon, and a new edition of the American Dynasties series that will focus on “the Bush family’s complex internal dynamics, fraternal rivalries, influential matriarchs and extreme competitive spirit.”

The network also announced plans for Once in a Great City: Detroit 1962-64 and an eight-part show called The Redemption Project that will bring together the victims and perpetrators of “life-altering” crimes.

CNN Original shows Parts Unknown, United Shades of America With W. Kamau Bell, This Is Life With Lisa Ling, The History of Comedy and Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies are also returning for additional seasons.

While CNN’s news programming and relentless coverage of Donald Trump’s presidency (and the scandals that have emerged from it) dominate the network’s airwaves, original entertainment programming is still a big part of the network’s strategy, the company has said….

Read it all at HollywoodReporter.Com

LB: Untold Tales of the Animated SILVER SURFER TV Series Ep. 20

by Larry Brody

Over the past several weeks I’ve posted the scripts for Season 2 Episodes 1 through 6 of the FoxKids Network The Silver Surfer animated series I ran for those who wondered what all of us involved in the show back in 1998 intended to come if we hadn’t been cancelled.

Today it’s the turn of Season 2 Episode 7, Down to Earth: Part Two.  This one never got beyond “First Draft,” status because the possibility of the series returning was becoming dimmer. It’s dated May 4, 1998 and continues the the Surfer’s, um, “misunderstanding” with The Fantastic Four.

Let the battle continue!

PREVIOUS SEASON TWO EPISODES:

THE END OF ETERNITY: PART TWO

SOUL HUNTER: PART ONE

SOUL HUNTER: PART TWO

REBIRTH

THE HUNGER

DOWN TO EARTH: PART ONE


NOTE: If you’re new to TVWriter™ and/or to the original animated SS series, you have some backstory to catch up on. Fortunately, TVWriter™ just happens to have a section dedicated to The Silver Surfer. To reach it, CLICK HERE!

And now it’s time for:


THE SILVER SURFER

DOWN TO EARTH: PART TWO

(formerly HOME ALONE: PART TWO)

(#2147-20)

WRITTEN BY
LARRY BRODY

FIRST DRAFT
MAY 4, 1998

THE SILVER SURFER

“DOWN TO EARTH: PART TWO”

TEASER

FADE IN:

EXT. DEEP SPACE

As THE OUTLINE OF THE WATCHER RIPPLES INTO EXISTENCE against
the velvety background of space. He regards US gravely.

THE WATCHER
I am the Watcher, observer of all
events of import in the cosmos…

As he talks, the Watcher turns his head to look at something,
O.S. We ANGLE WITH his gaze.

THE WATCHER
(continuing)
Now must I take notice of what
transpires on a small planet in
what its inhabitants call the
Milky Way galaxy…

Now we FIND:

EXT. SPACE OVER THE PLANET EARTH – (BEGINNING RECAP)

As the SILVER SURFER and NOVA reach it. (NOTE: All SHOTS in
this sequence are all-new animation of events in #2147-19.)

THE WATCHER (O.S.)
When the Silver Surfer agreed to
accompany Nova, the former herald
of Galactus, to this world, known
as Earth…

The Surfer and Nova start downward, into the atmosphere.

THE WATCHER (O.S.)
(continuing)
He hoped to gain a respite from
the burden of responsibility he
felt for the universe he truly had
created…

EXT. EARTH – HIGH IN THE SKY – NIGHT

As the FANTASTIC FOUR wing to the attack, the HUMAN TORCH
flying alone, MR. FANTASTIC, THE THING, and THE INVISIBLE
WOMAN in the FANTASTICAR.

BRODY SILVER SURFER 2147-20 FIRST DRAFT 05/04/98
2.

THE WATCHER (O.S.)
Instead, however, he and Nova
found themselves under attack…

The battle begins!

THE WATCHER (O.S.)
(continuing)
By a group of cosmic-powered Earth
beings called the Fantastic
Four…!

READ THE ENTIRE SCRIPT HERE

Diana Vacc finally sees “Pitch Perfect 3”

by Diana Vaccarelli

—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—

The final film in the Pitch Perfect Series, Pitch Perfect 3 is out on DVD and on on-demand.  On a rainy Saturday night I snuggled up in my blanket and decided to watch this film.  It follows the choral group the Bellas after their win at the accapella world championships.

The Bellas have moved on and living separate lives.  But they all decide to reunite for one last performance at an overseas singing competition on the USO Tour.

THE GOOD:

  • I was a fan of the first two movies and could not wait to watch and enjoy.  However, in spite of not only my expectations but my great desire to enjoy this one, I have to tell you right here and now: I didn’t like Pitch Perfect 3 in the slightest.

THE BAD:

  • The script was absolutely terrible. I’m not a “formula writing” lover by any means, but that formula worked in the first two films in the series, and without it this one had absolutely none of the magic of its predecessors. All three movies are credited to Kay Cannon, so why I don’t absolutely know why they switched up the story structure I suspect it had something to do with the change in director from Elizabeth Banks to Trish Sie. Poor Ms. Cannon had a whole new boss to please!
  • The film starts off as an acapella group competition and quickly veers into a hostage situation. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, how about this: Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) becomes a virtrual action hero, using gadgets and tools Tom Cruise would use in Mission Impossible to save her fellow Bellas. In other words, WTF?
  • Compounding things further is the fact that the chemistry between the actors, which more often than not is the reason a film is a hit, is totally lacking this time. Especially damaging was the loss of Skylar Astin as Jesse. Previously, he and Anna Kendrick as Beca had fantastic chemistry, creating a relationship that was the very essence of lifelong soul mates.

THE REST:

As unhappy as I was in my last review – of The Alienist – my heart is even heavier now because I have to once again recommend that readers not go anywhere near Pitch Perfect 3. Sorry, but every single note it hits is wrong, wrong, wrong.


Diana Vaccarelli is TVWriter™’s Critic-at-Large and TVWriter™ University grad. Find out more about her HERE

Showrunning Women Discuss Contemporary TV

A couple of weeks ago, the WGAW put together yet another panel. This one spotted three showrunners, Lauren Gussis of Insatiable, which will be showing on Netflix soon; Barbara Hall of Madame Secretary; and Jennie Snyder Urman of Jane the Virgin. Aided and abetted by moderator Pat Saperstein of Variety (not a TV show – yet), had a lot to say not only about TV but also about women in showbiz in general:


3 Female Showrunners Shed Light on Process, TV Today, Diversity in Hollywood
by Allison Boron

On being a woman in entertainment.
Hall’s early experiences as a TV writer were heavily focused on sitcoms before transitioning into writing for drama. “Back then, things were quite different [for women], though they’re not different enough today,” said Hall. “I took twice as long as a man would take to leave and try to do my own show, because I felt like I had to really know how to do it. I felt like, if I made a mistake, I wouldn’t get another shot.”

Hall explained that when she first started to break into entertainment, there wasn’t a female showrunner in sight, so she adopted a “you have to see it to believe it” attitude. “I just sort of pictured myself as being competitive with these guys,” she said. “You have to have a little bit of a pioneering spirit if you want to do it and maybe make that your goal. Like, ‘Well, I’m going to be the person that shows people what it looks like.’ And just believe that you have a right to play in the game.”

“I employ my feminine instinct,” said Gussis. “I actually try to be the mama bear on my set and of my writers’ room.” After struggling with issues reconciling how to be both feminine and empowered, Gussis said she started to use the “comfortably aspirational” archetype of “goddess” instead of “woman.”

“I understood finally what it meant to step into power without being hard,” she said, “to be more open and just embody that in my own way. I felt like weirdly butch otherwise in a way that didn’t feel authentic to me either.”

On incorporating diversity into shows.
Gussis explained that when “staffing up” for “Insatiable,” she heavily took diversity into consideration. “I wanted it to be balanced,” she said, “but it wasn’t just about male, female. It was about diversity in general…. Because the show is set in a suburb of Atlanta, diversity was important to me. And also because the show has a lot of queer themes, diversity was important to me. I wanted to have a balance of LGBTQ and ethnicity and background.”

For “Madam Secretary,” Hall explained that the show’s of-the-moment politically charged themes put it into a “great position” to incorporate more diversity. “We get to show not just all kinds of diversity but different cultures,” she said. “Behind the scenes, of course, you’re looking for people who have that perspective who can help you realize that.”

Sometimes, explained Urman, the need for diversity even extends to gender in unexpected ways. “I love the show, I love the cast, I love the crew,” she said of “Jane the Virgin.” “I think we’re eight or nine women and three men in the room. I did have to call and say, ‘I think I need a man in this room. I just needed a voice.

“We’ve always been 80 percent female directors since the beginning. I didn’t have the expectation that only men are interesting visually and have something to say. The people who came and interviewed for that first season, who understood the gaze…were women, and those were the people that I reacted to.”

And for “Jane the Virgin,” which is modeled after a telenovela (containing a lot of direct plot elements related to that soap opera style), adding in more diversity was a crucial way for Snyder Urman to accurately nail those themes. “I wasn’t sure at the beginning if I was going to be the person who could write [the telenovela plot points],” she said. “That was something that I struggled with, but I had such a strong vision for what the show would be and what the relationships would be.

“I figured I’d just have to hire enough people that have the specificity. I rely on other people to fill in what I don’t know, but I also do know these characters. I know them so well.”

On creating for streaming versus traditional or cable TV.
As streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon compete with over-the-air and cable TV, the shift presents both challenges and opportunities for showrunners like Gussis. “I actually think there’s more pressure because it’s Netflix,” she said. “How do you get Netflix to market your show when they’re producing so much content? How do you do the jazz hands loud enough that they pay attention? How do you get your executives to trust you, but also feel like they’re involved enough that they love you and that they want to champion you at Netflix…?

Read it all at Backstage.Com