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TV News Roundup: Gordon Ramsay to Produce Cocaine Docuseries for ITV

3 hours ago

In today’s roundup, Gordon Ramsay explores the world of cocaine in a new documentary, Showtime acquires rare footage of a Prince concert, and more…

Specials

ITV and Studio Ramsay have teamed up to produce “Gordon on Cocaine,” a new two-part series from celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. Britain is Europe’s largest user of cocaine, which is rampant in the restaurant industry. The show will follow Ramsay as he travels the world to uncover the secrets of the drug and the damage it has done. Ramsay, who lost a friend to the drug in 2003, said, “I’ve wanted to understand the world of cocaine ever since I lost one of my chefs…and I wanted to learn why it’s becoming such an epidemic not just globally but specifically in the culinary world….The documentary is gritty and shocking, but importantly an eye opener and hopefully a real education to all those in our industry and beyond »


- Matt Fernandez

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Katy Perry Medley, Multiple Stages: MTV Video Music Awards Gets Super-Sized for 2017 Edition

4 hours ago

With the MTV Video Music Awards only four days away, rehearsals have yet to begin, the run-of-show hasn’t been nailed down, and presenters still don’t know who they’ll be paired with, but producers are confident they’ll be able to pull off the biggest VMAs in the network’s history.

According to set designer Ric Lipson, whose firm Stufish Entertainment Architects has worked on three VMAs shows, the Aug. 27 event at the Forum will feature 560 chain motors hanging in the air. “At a normal rock show, you might hang 150 things,” he tells Variety. The set also features five stages — more than ever before, with three major performance areas and two extras.

Also adding to the grandiosity: the 2017 edition has booked the largest number of performances ever to grace the VMAs stage. Pink, Kendrick Lamar, Miley Cyrus, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, Dnce, Fifth Harmony, Lorde, 30 Seconds to Mars, Logic »


- Erin Nyren

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Mel B Throws Water at Simon Cowell, Walks Off ‘America’s Got Talent’ Stage After Wedding Joke

4 hours ago

Simon Cowell is up to his old tricks, ruffling feathers with his critical commentary.

However, this time it was not a contestant who got upset over Cowell’s remarks, but one of his fellow judges.

During Tuesday night’s episode of “America’s Got Talent,” a magician’s act failed due to a technical malfunction, prompting Cowell’s comment that referenced judge and former Spice Girl Melanie “Mel B” Brown.

“I kind of imagine this would be like Mel B’s wedding night,” Cowell said. “A lot of anticipation, not much promise or delivery.”

Brown is currently undergoing divorce proceedings with her estranged husband of ten years, Stephen Belafonte, a film producer and director. Brown threw her cup of water at Cowell in response and left the studio in the middle of the episode, which was filming live. She later returned after a commercial break.

“He should know if you say something inappropriate he’s gonna, like »


- Matt Fernandez

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Espn Host Ryen Russillo Arrested for Trespassing in Wyoming

5 hours ago

Espn radio and television host Ryen Russillo was arrested in Jackson, Wyo., on Wednesday morning for criminal trespassing, Jackson police said in a press release.

Officers responded to a call at about 3:30 a.m. about an intoxicated man refusing to leave the caller’s condo. Once police arrived, Russillo was found lying in a bedroom, clearly intoxicated. He displayed slurred speech, glassy bloodshot eyes, and was unable to answer questions coherently.

The 42-year-old host of “The Ryen Russillo Show” on Espn did not seem to know where he was, according to the press release, and could not answer questions as to where he was staying. He did not appear to have forced entry into the condo, but rather entered through a door “which had not been properly secured.”

Since he entered the residence illegally and did not leave when he was asked to, Rusillo was arrested for criminal trespassing, a »


- Matt Fernandez

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TV Review: ‘Disjointed’ From Chuck Lorre

6 hours ago

Is “Disjointed” better if you’re stoned? Well, of course. Pot has been adding another dimension — and improving the flaws of bad television — for almost as long as we’ve had the medium. And “Disjointed,” in particular, seems designed to satisfy a mellower state of mind. It’s slow and spacey and visually kinetic, with a, well, disjointed format that frames traditional multi-camera set pieces with fake commercials, animated segments, and fictional YouTube videos. For a show on Netflix, it’s amusing how much effort “Disjointed” has put into looking like something syndicated on a forgotten cable channel; it makes use of visual nods to technologies that the streaming service has effectively made obsolete, like commercial breaks and VHS fast-forwarding. But that is part of what makes “Disjointed” so bizarrely intriguing, especially to the high among us; it’s so scattershot that it appears to imply meaning, when the fact is, it »


- Sonia Saraiya

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‘This Is Us’ Season 2: Watch a Heartbreaking Scene From the Premiere

6 hours ago

A new clip from NBC takes “This Is Us” viewers back to a familiar location — the hospital.

Before getting there, the three minute clip starts with Randall (Sterling K. Brown) telling Rebecca (Mandy Moore) that his wife isn’t totally on board with his adoption plans. He asks his mother about how she and her late husband Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) decided to adopt him. With some prodding, she hesitantly admits, “It’s complicated.”

A flashback cuts to Jack and Rebecca looking at a newborn Randall in the hospital. Having just lost a triplet during childbirth, Rebecca confessed she initially said no to adopting. “But your father was so sure I was tired and I was grieving, and he just kept pushing me,” she recounted. “He was so determined that you were meant to be. Meant to be ours.”

Rebecca reflected back on her marriage and left her son with encouraging words. “Sometimes »


- Rebecca Rubin

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‘Mr. Robot’ Releases Recap Ahead of Season 3 Premiere (Watch)

6 hours ago

In preparation for the Season 3 premiere, “Mr. Robot” released a seven-minute recap covering all vital storylines from the previous season.

The summary video begins with a newscast of President Barack Obama revealing an attack by Tyrell Wellick and fsociety before launching into a montage of Season 2’s pivotal moments.

Season 3 picks up following last season’s cliffhanger, and explores each character’s motivations and the disintegration between Elliot and Mr. Robot. The series follows cyber-security engineer Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), hacker Mr. Robot (Christian Slater), and hacktivists known as fsociety, who team up for cyber missions.

Carly Chaikin, who plays Elliot’s sister Darlene Alderson, explained earlier, “Season 1 was about plot, Season 2 was about character, and Season 3 is both.”

From Universal Cable Productions, “Mr Robot” stars Malek, Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, Martin Wallström, Grace Gummer, Michael Cristofer, Bobby Cannavale, Stephanie Corneliussen, and Bd Wong. Sam Esmail writes and executive produces along with Anonymous Content executive producers »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Godless’ Gets Premiere Date, First-Look Images at Netflix

7 hours ago

Godless,” a new seven-part original limited series from creator Steven Soderbergh, will premiere on Netflix Nov. 22.

The western stars Jeff Daniels as notorious criminal Frank Griffin, who, along with his band of outlaws, is on a mission of revenge against Roy Goode (Jack O’Donnell), who betrayed Griffin and his men. While on the run, Roy seeks refuge with hardened widower Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery), an outcast herself, in the worn-down, isolated mining town of La Belle, N.M., which is governed mainly by women. When word reaches La Belle that Griffin is headed their way, the town bands together to defend itself against the murderous gang in a lawless western frontier.

Godless” is exec produced by Casey Silver and Soderbergh and written and directed by Scott Frank, who is also an executive producer.

The series marks Daniels’ first television appearance since 2014, when he appeared as Will McAvoy in HBO’s “The Newsroom.” It »


- Erin Nyren

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Epix Renews ‘Get Shorty’ for Season 2

9 hours ago

Epix has given a second-season pickup to its latest original series, MGM Television’s dark comedy “Get Shorty.”

Epix has ordered 10 more episodes of the show, exec produced by Davey Holmes and Alan Arkin. The adaptation of the 1990 Elmore Leonard novel stars Chris O’Dowd, Ray Romano, Lidio Porto, Megan Stevenson, Sean Bridgers, and Carolyn Dodd premiered Aug. 13. The show joined spy drama “Berlin Station” and the political comedy “Graves” on Epix’s original series roster.

“ ‘Get Shorty’ is our most successful original scripted series to date, and continues to deliver phenomenal performances. We are thrilled to be working again with MGM Television, Davey Holmes, Chris O’Dowd, Ray Romano and the Get Shorty team on a second season,” said Epix chief Mark Greenberg.

The hourlong series revolves around O’Dowd as a hitman from Nevada who struggles to shed his criminal past after he moves to Hollywood to become a movie producer. The »


- Cynthia Littleton

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Showtime Acquires Prince Concert Film ‘Sign o’ the Times’

10 hours ago

The Prince 1987 concert film “Sign o’ the Times’ has been acquired by Showtime and will premiere on Sept. 16. The broadcast marks the first time in more than a decade that the rarely seen film, which was directed by Prince, will air on American television. It was never issued on DVD.

“Sign o’ the Times” was originally conceived as a companion to the 1987 Prince double album of the same name. Among the songs to break out of that release were “U Got the Look” (with Sheena Easton), “If I Was Your Girlfriend” and “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man,” in addition to the title song and a rendition of the Prince classic, “Little Red Corvette.”

Footage for the 84-minute concert doc was shot primarily at Prince’s Paisley Park Studios. Additional filming took place on tour in the Netherlands and Belgium.

“Sign o’ the Times” was produced by Robert Cavallo, Joseph Ruffalo »


- Variety Staff

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Robert Zemeckis, Jeff Rake Score Put Pilot Order for Missing Plane Mystery Series at NBC

10 hours ago

Robert Zemeckis and Jeff Rake have gotten a put pilot order at NBC for a new series that centers around a plane that mysteriously disappeared, Variety has confirmed.

The series, currently titled “Manifest,” follows the passengers of a plane that disappeared from radar and returns five years later after being untraceable and presumed lost at sea. No time has passed for those on the plane but, for their loved ones at home, a long five years have gone by.

Rake will executive produce and write. Zemeckis will executive produces through his Compari Entertainment banner Compari’s Jack Rapke will also executive produce, while Compari’s Jackie Levine will co-executive produce. Warner Bros. Television, where Zemeckis is set up under an overall deal, will produce. Zemeckis and Rake are repped by Wme.

This is Zemeckis’ second put pilot order in the past few weeks, with ABC giving out such an order for a “Jetsons” live action series that »


- Joe Otterson

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Espn Chief Defends Robert Lee Assignment Switch, Blames Controversy on ‘Someone With a Personal Agenda’

11 hours ago

Espn chief John Skipper has defended the sports powerhouse’s decision to switch announcer Robert Lee from the University of Virginia’s opening game on Sept. 2 because his name is the same as the Confederate general who figured into the violence that erupted in the college’s home town of Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month.

In a memo sent to Espn staffers Wednesday evening, Skipper asserted that the goal was to avoid the possibility of Lee facing social media “hectoring.” He also reinforced that Lee was given the choice of assignments and that he opted to switch to a different game, and Skipper blasted the motivation of those spread word of Lee’s assignment shift earlier this week.

“Given the amount of media attention being generated by one of the countless, routine decisions our local production teams make every day, I wanted to make sure you have the facts. There was never any concern – by anyone, at »


- Variety Staff

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‘Grace and Frankie’ Writer Lands Put Pilot Order for Single-Cam Comedy at Fox

11 hours ago

Fox has given a put pilot order to a new single-camera comedy project from “Grace and Frankie” writer Billy Finnegan.

The currently untitled project tells the story of a girl who meets a boy, but the boy does not notice. But when the girl “meets” a bus, the boy notices…sort of.

Finnegan will write the pilot and serve as an executive producer. Nahnatchka Khan will also executive produce with Mandy Summers through Khan’s Fierce Baby Productions banner. Khan is currently set up under a pod deal at 20th Century Fox Television, which will produce.

Finnegan also serves as a supervising producer on “Grace and Frankie” in addition to writing. His other credits include writing for “The Real O’Neals,” “Bad Teacher,” and “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23,” where he previously worked with Khan. He is repped by CAA and Rise Management.

This marks the second put pilot order for Fierce Baby »


- Joe Otterson

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Former ITV Exec Dan Gopal Joins eOne in New Emea Sales Role

11 hours ago

Former ITV executive Dan Gopal has joined eOne in a newly created role as executive vice president of sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa. The appointment was announced Wednesday by Stuart Baxter, president of eOne Television International.

In the new position, Gopal will lead all Emea film and TV content sales efforts to broadcasters and over-the-top platforms for free TV, pay TV, Svod and Avod. He joins eOne from ITV Studios Global Entertainment, where he was executive vice president of Emea distribution and global digital partners. He had previously worked in media distribution for The Walt Disney Co. and managed Emea distribution for Miramax. He will report to Baxter.

“As the company continues to invest more in content and creative partnerships, we need a bigger and stronger distribution team to drive our commercial growth,” said Baxter in a statement. “Dan’s experience at ITV, Disney and Miramax as well as his relationships across Europe will be »


- Robert Mitchell

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Frenzied News Cycle Challenges Creatives of Late-Night Shows

12 hours ago

The presidency of Donald J. Trump and his penchant for using his personal Twitter account has led to a political climate where a 24-hour news cycle is often whittled down to a scant six hours or so. For most of the Emmy-nominated variety talk series that means having to be ready to write a new joke or rip up and rewrite an entire monologue at a moment’s notice. At CBS’ “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” that scenario has become so commonplace executive producer Chris Licht says the show has adjusted its process to it.

“About a year ago when we did the live shows… that was such a really good training exercise for the creative side of the show,” Licht says. “We actually have a term for it. It’s like, ‘Hey, we’re in live-show mode.’ It’s happened so much that it has become part of just how we operate. It »


- Gregory Ellwood

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Composers for Marvel’s TV Universe Strike a Different Chord

12 hours ago

Traditionally, when comic-book super-heroes are adapted for the screen, they are accompanied by big orchestras playing heroic themes. Think John Williams’ “Superman” theme or Danny Elfman’s “Spider-Man” music.

For its TV series, however, Marvel has thrown out the old rulebook. Like the Marvel Universe itself, not every hero is alike; some of them don’t even wear colorful costumes. No fewer than 13 series based on Marvel Comics are either on the air now or will be by this time next year, and their scores are as diverse as the characters themselves.

“I love what Marvel has done,” says Dawn Soler, senior vice-president for music for ABC Studios, which oversees most of the Marvel series. “They are not locking into a ‘Marvel sound.’ Super-heroes are becoming a different thing than they were way back when. They are worlds apart. Every score is different.”

The approaches vary widely, from the psychedelic colors of “Legion” to the noirish »


- Jon Burlingame

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Watch First-Look Teasers for Nick Kroll’s Animated Netflix Comedy ‘Big Mouth’

12 hours ago

Fear not, teenagers, because Nick Kroll is here to guide you through the awkward journey of puberty.

Netflix released a first-look at its new raunchy animated comedy “Big Mouth,” from co-creators Kroll and Andrew Goldberg.

Comedian John Mulaney lends his voice to the character of Andrew, while Kroll voices many, including best friend Nick. The two recently teamed up on Netflix for the two-man show, “Oh, Hello on Broadway.” Frequent Kroll collaborators including Maya RudolphJason Mantzoukas, Jordan Peele, Fred Armisen, Jenny Slate, and Jessi Klein also lend their voices in the series.

All genders are treated equally in the glorious nightmare of puberty, and in the first new clip, Andrew is greeted by the hormone monster for an uncomfortable encounter during a sleepover at Nick’s. In the next teaser, the hormone monstress offers some sound advice on how to become a rebellious teen. “You wanna shoplift lipstick, you wanna listen to Lana Del Rey on »


- Rebecca Rubin

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TV Ratings: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Easily Tops Tuesday

13 hours ago

Tuesday’s episode of “America’s Got Talent” was easily the top-rated and most-watched show of the night, according to Nielsen overnight data.

The NBC competition series averaged a 2.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 12.6 million viewers, airing from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. It was approximately even with last week’s episode.

After “Agt,” a new episode of “Hollywood Game Night” (1.1, 5.2 million) was also even.

On ABC, “Bachelor in Paradise” (1.1, 3.9 million) was even with last week’s Tuesday episode. Afterwards, “Somewhere Between” (0.4, 1.7 million) was up in the key demo.

Fox, CBS, and The CW aired only repeats.

NBC handily won the night with a 2.1 and 10.1 million viewers. ABC was second in the demo with a 0.8 but third in total viewers with 3.1 million. CBS was third in the demo with a 0.6 but second in total viewers with 5.1 million. Fox was fourth with a 0.4 and 1.5 million. The CW averaged a 0.2 and 691,000 viewers. »


- Joe Otterson

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Jordan Klepper Declares ‘China Isn’t Real’ in First Trailer for Comedy Central Show ‘The Opposition’ (Watch)

14 hours ago

Jordan Klepper shares some outrageously controversial opinions about current events in the first trailer for his upcoming Comedy Central show “The Opposition With Jordan Klepper.”

“The mainstream establishment has poisoned your mind,” Klepper says. “They say we should investigate Trump. I say, impeach Hillary.”

Klepper stands in front of a screen that flashes intimidating images as he spouts conspiracy theories at the camera. “They say our children should learn Chinese?” he questions. “I say, China isn’t real. No one I know has, like, ever been there. And I know a ton of people.”

Klepper is best known as a “Daily Show” correspondent, first under Jon Stewart, then then Trevor Noah. In June, his one-hour special “Jordan Klepper Solves Guns” debuted on Comedy Central, taking on the issue of gun violence in America.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, Klepper described what he hopes to achieve with the show. “We »


- Seth Kelley

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BBC Acquires John Singleton’s ‘Snowfall,’ Commissions New ‘League of Gentlemen’

14 hours ago

The BBC has acquired John Singleton’s “Snowfall” for BBC Two and commissioned five new productions for the channel, including the return of cult comedy “The League of Gentlemen,” it was announced Wednesday by the controller of BBC Two, Patrick Holland. Holland said BBC Two had “a mission to question and innovate” and was evolving to become “ever more timely, challenging and mischievous.”

“These new commissions demonstrate my ambition for BBC Two – to bring the increasingly complex and changing world to the audience through challenging perspectives, human engagement and great storytelling,” said Holland, speaking at the Edinburgh Intl. Television Festival.

Snowfall” (pictured) marks Singleton’s first TV drama and is set to air on BBC Two in the fall. The 10-part drama, set in Los Angeles in 1983, follows an ensemble cast of characters set on an intense collision course, exploring the infancy of the crack cocaine epidemic and the major impact it had on American society and »


- Robert Mitchell

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