Yesterday, I posted the first part of an extremely long interview I did with “Community” creator Dan Harmon about his return to the NBC comedy, saying goodbye to Donald Glover, making peace with Chevy Chase, and more. Now it’s time for part 2, where we get into more of the specific creative decisions that have driven season 5, why Chang remains the character Harmon struggles with most, letting Annie grow up, and how Harmon feels about the possibility of the phrase “six seasons and a movie” becoming a reality, among many Greendale-related topics.
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Ellen apologizes to President Obama for breaking his Twitter retweet record
"I thought it was a pretty cheap stunt myself,” the president said of Ellen’s Oscar selfie, in an appearance on “Ellen” via satellite. "Getting a bunch of celebrities in the background...you feeding them pizza."
“The 100” opens to great numbers
The sci-fi drama was The CW’s best midseason debut since “Life Unexpected” in 2010.
“Ron Swanson” will headline this year's Congressional Correspondents Dinner
“Parks and Rec” star Nick Offerman has been tapped to be the entertainment at the 70th Annual Congressional Correspondents Dinner, a black tie dinner for members of Congress.
“Wheel of Fortune” contestant shocks Pat Sajak by solving hard puzzle in 1 guess
The contestant only had two letters on the board.
Bradley Cooper proves Louis CK's diss of "Inside the Actor's Studio" wrong
Louis CK said you couldn't ask Sean Penn a question on "Actor's Studio" and make it big. But that's exactly what happened to Cooper.
WEtv renews “Braxton Family Values”
"SWV Reunited” is also returning for a new season.
Check out “The Neighbors’” “Full House” reunion
Candace Cameron Bure and Scott Weigner are once again playing a couple.
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, March 19, 2014.
With "American Idol" lagging behind "Survivor" in the 8 p.m. hour and only edging "Criminal Minds" among young viewers in the 9 p.m. hour, CBS and FOX had a tight race for Wednesday supremacy. As of now, the two networks tied in the key demographic and CBS holds a slim advantage overall, though anything could change.
Among other notables, "Mixology" took a solid drop without a new "Modern Family" as lead-in, while NBC's various dramas were also down a hair.
The CW had the night's best news, as "The 100" premiered above its "Arrow" lead-in, giving the network its biggest midseason hit since the 2010 premiere of "Life Unexpected." "The 100" was The CW's most watched show in its time period since September 2010.
On to the numbers...
Lars von Trier's critically acclaimed "Nymphomaniac, Pt. 1" has already been available on VOD for a few weeks, but is finally hitting the big screen this Friday. The second part plays on VOD tomorrow before hitting theaters on April 4. And, at some point, you'll likely be able to watch the entire five-hour cut which was released in Denmark late last year. That being said, if von Trier's sexually dramatic exploits have awakened something in you or you don't get what all the fuss is about then we've got 10 other films you really need to see. One of them is actually another von Trier production and a few others might even make the infant terrible director blush.
I got a chance to take a sneak peek at the pilot episode of "Enormous," a new web series about a world where giant monsters have laid waste to everything while a mysterious virus works its way through humanity.
Directed by BenDavid Grabinski, it's just eleven and a half minutes, but it establishes a world and it plays with some big fun effects and it feels genuinely cinematic. It serves as a stark reminder that the world is changing in terms of where we can sell projects and what kind of outlets there are for creativity these days. "Enormous" is set to premiere on the Machinima network. They also recently debuted "Rubicon," a live-action pilot from Chris McQuarrie and Mark Long, and they're premiering "Gable 5" next week, with Kevin Tancharoen directing Eliza Dushku. They are trying all sorts of things, and it feels like Machinima is offering up a genuine alternative to someplace like Syfy.
Pre-credit sequence. J'Tia is gone. "It's a complete roller-coaster ride," reflects Spencer, who is very grateful that Tasha and Kass chose him. "I just knew if we kept her, we would be back there in three days and regretting it," Kass reflects on her decision, which she describes as a "last minute" switch. "How my team has played this game is ridiculous. We're not the Brain Tribe, we're the Crap-for-Brains Tribe," Kass notes, dubbing the tribe, "Just a rolling log-jam mess with a couple nerds on top." Spencer jokes that the only thing standing between them and the Final 3 is "two entire tribes." The next morning... Tree-Mail! There's a hint that Reward and food are coming and they're hungry. The Brains think this is the start of their comeback. Or at least that's sure what they hope. Everybody arrives at the beach ready for a challenge and... "Alright everybody, drop your buffs," Probst says without hesitation. "Brains, Brawn and Beauty is no more," he adds. Time for some Harrison Bergeron-style weights, brain-shocking and paper bag masks!
As "Parks and Recreation" has progressed from season to season, one of the joys of the show has been watching the way they've built out the supporting cast, creating a world of lunatics who all live in Pawnee.
One of my favorite recurring characters on the show is Jean-Ralphio Saperstein, played by Ben Schwartz. He's not only a great foil for Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), he's also just a great hilarious force of nature in his own right. He's been a staple of the LA comedy scene for a while now, but Jean-Ralphio launched him to a new level of visibility, and at this point, it seems like he must work non-stop.
In recent seasons, they've started to expand Jean-Ralphio's family, first with his insane sister Mona Lisa (Jenny Slate), and more recently with his father, Dr. Saperstein (Henry Winkler). Each new thing we've learned about his family only makes him seem even weirder, and I love it. He's also a regular on Showtime's "House Of Lies," and not too long ago, he got the entire cast of that show (including Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell) to join him for a one-hour live improv special called, appropriately, "House Of Lies Live." It was great to see him play improv games with that cast, all of them out of their comfort zone.
A review of tonight's "The Americans" coming up just as soon as I have half a sock drawer...
Starbucks to begin selling Oprah-branded tea
Proceeds from Teavana Oprah Chai Tea will go towards the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.
Sam Shepard headed to Netflix to star in psychological drama from “Damages” creators
He’ll play the patriarch in a family that includes Sissy Spacek as his wife and Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn and Linda Cardellini as his children.
Sharon Gless will play Michael Imperioli’s mom on ABC comedy pilot
She’s joining “Saint Francis.”
Republican congressman reads “SNL’s” “I can see Russia" sketch on the House floor
Rep. Louie Gohmert from Texas wanted to prove that Palin didn’t say those words, while reading both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s parts of the famous sketch.
Joan Rivers to return to “The Tonight Show,” this time as a guest
After appearing briefly on Jimmy Fallon’s debut, after not appearing on “Tonight” for nearly three decades, Rivers will sit down with Fallon on Thursday of next week. PLUS: Reese Witherspoon tweets her appreciation of Fallon and Lena Dunham gushing over “The Man in the Moon."
Former “Ink Masters” production assistant sues, claiming judges sexually harassed her
Nicoletta Robinson claims Chris Nunez and Oliver Peck from the tattoo reality competition harassed her with "offensive jokes and creepy verbal and physical come-ons.”
“Parks and Rec” won’t ever show the footage it has of Leslie Knope making out with Ron Swanson
"Nick and I do a scene just for the gag reel where Leslie and Ron make out!” says Amy Poehler. “And,” adds co-creator Michael Schur, "we never put it on the gag reel because it's super-disturbing.”
3 days before his death, Philip Seymour Hoffman praised his pal John Slattery and his “Mad Men" character
In fact, Slattery last heard from Hoffman the day before he was discovered dead on Feb. 2. "What I like about that guy is how much he loves women,” Hoffman told Men’s Journal, referr9ing to Roger Sterling. "His passion is women, his passion is romance – and he's stuck in this job where he has neither. His job is about fantasy, but he lost that view of it years ago. Now he just wants to be in love somewhere."
Nat Geo announces “You Can’t Lick Your Elbow,” “Cabin Fever” and “Meat Heads”
Former NFL star Tony Gonzalez will host “Lick Your Elbow,” which teaches “body hacks.” National Geographic’s new slate also includes “The Primitives,” “Remote Survival” and “Crowd Control.”
Billy Eichner would like to do “Billy on the Street” on streets outside NYC
Read the Fuse star’s comments on his Reddit Ask Me Anything.
Vote in the “Best ‘Seinfeld’ Episode Tournament”
Here’s the field of 32, including No. 1 seeds “The Contest,” “The Boyfriend,” “The Marine Biologist” and “The Soup Nazi.
Rose McGowan joining Chad Michael Murray on Crackle’s “Chosen” Season 3
The web series is No. 2 on Crackle, behind Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”
Dan Harmon recounts how Joel McHale helped get him back on “Community”
"I never dreamed that an actor could accomplish too much more than inspiring a Tumblr blog about him, you know. I didn’t think he had that much sway,” says Harmon.
Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight” viewers’ average age is 54, five years younger than Jay Leno’s viewers
Letterman now has late-night’s oldest average viewership, while Jimmy Kimmel’s average audience is 55.
“The Simpsons” unveils a new Springfield public transit map
Now you can carefully inspect Springfield’s subway map.
“Pretty Little Liars” promises a “Season of answers 2”
Exec producer Marlene King says: "This is the first finale where it felt like people were universally satisfied and that is really just fantastic, which is what we set out to do. We pushed our fans to the breaking point and they really deserved these answers. It's a great opportunity for us to spin the show in a new direction."
Meet Twitter’s head of TV
Fred Graver, a former writer for Letterman, Jon Stewart and “Cheers,” says his job is to "get everyone in America to say ‘Oh my God watching TV with Twitter is so much better than watching TV alone.’”
Should “Veronica Mars” movie have gone out of its way to appeal to non-fans?
Why even “Veronica” would be disappointed in the final film.
Why Lisa Kudrow’s “The Comeback” needs to come back
The one-season HBO series still seems fresh, nearly a decade later.
“Burn Notice’s” Bruce Campbell on his “Psych” guest spot: "Heck yeah, I want to be a part of that”
"I had always wanted to work with the guys because I ran into them at all these PR events for ‘Psych' and 'Burn Notice,’” says the “Burn Notice” alum.
Mindy Kaling has some “Wine Time”
Watch her homage to “Sideways.”
Watch a preview of ABC Family’s “Chasing Life” cancer drama
Based on Mexico’s “Terminales,” the series follows a 20-something female journalist who learns she has cancer.
CW’s “The 100” is cribbed from many sci-fi shows
It’s “Terra Nova” meets “Lost” meets “Battlestar Galactica” meets “Lost in Space!” PLUS: It’s “not garbage” unlike most sci-fi shows, it’s binge-viewing worthy, and CW finally got it startlingly right.
HBO’s “Doll & Em” is a sweet take on female friendship
Emily Mortimer and her pal Dolly Well’s new show overcomes its Hollywood satire to become something that is actually touching. PLUS: It’s awkwardly funny yet occasionally heartbreaking, Mortimer talks about her real-life friendship with Wells, and it looks like HBO is killing off this show before it even begins.
It's about time Hollywood give Busby Berkeley his due.
There is no one working in modern film who uses mainstream movie language in such surreal and beautiful ways, and even when he was at the height of his popularity, there was no one quite like Berkeley. As both director and choreographer, he created these explosive, amazing visuals, most often distinguished by the overhead shots he'd do of an entire soundstage floor full of dancers moving in these elaborate patterns.
As much as I love Berkeley's movie work, I don't know much about him as a person. Ryan Gosling must think there's enough meat there for a movie, though, because he's signed on to co-produce a film based on "Buzz: The Life And Art Of Busby Berkeley." Marc Platt will be co-producing with Gosling, and it appears they're in the very early stages of things, with no writer attached yet.
This week Melinda and I got a chance to talk to Andy Gowan, the music supervisor for "How I Met Your Mother" and other shows, and of course we had to ask about the very last song we'll hear on the show -- and some of the rumors floating around about what we'll see in the finale. We're only human.
Welcome to an exciting installment of Adventures in Network Press Releases, where a simple email about the renewal of "Chicago Fire," "Chicago P.D." and "Grimm" instead turns into a stealth renewal announcement for "Parks and Recreation" and "Celebrity Apprentice."
Earlier this evening, NBC sent out a press release with a simple and clear headline about the first three shows being renewed. Makes sense. The two "Chicago" shows have done relatively well after, respectively, "The Voice" and "Law & Order: SVU," and NBC likes being in the Dick Wolf business, and "Grimm" has been a stable Friday performer for a few years now.
Then came the strange part, as the release mentioned previous renewals for "The Blacklist," "The Voice," "Parks and Recreation," "Celebrity Apprentice" and "The Biggest Loser." The problem was that only the first two had actually been previously announced as renewed for next season. Back at press tour, Fienberg goaded Bob Greenblatt into saying he expected "Parks" would be back next season, but no contracts had been signed, "Celebrity Apprentice" had been in limbo for a long time, though there have been recent reports of casting work being done for a 14th edition, and there was no news at all on "Biggest Loser."
As it turns out, "Biggest Loser" being included was a mistake, but NBC says the others are correct.
So if you have your scoreboard handy, here is what happened tonight:
* "Chicago Fire," "Chicago PD" and "Grimm" were all renewed, loudly and proudly.
* "Parks and Rec" and "Celebrity Apprentice" got stealth renewals, and we still don't know when the latter will air or exactly what the deal is for the former (my guess is "Parks" gets the "30 Rock" treatment with a shortened order for a season that we know going in will be the final one).
* "Biggest Loser" fans got their hopes up for a couple of minutes until NBC sent a correction.
* Many other NBC shows (including "Biggest Loser," but also "Law & Order: SVU," "Parenthood," "Hannibal," "Revolution," "Dracula," the new Tuesday comedies, "Community," and even "The Michael J. Fox Show," among others) will have their fates decided later in the season, or at upfront time in early May. The improbable "Community" dream of six seasons and a movie: not dead yet!