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Monday, June 4, 2018

TV

Why Pose Is the Show We Need Right Now. Welcome to your TV happy place. With all the divisiveness going on in the world -- and in the TV world in particular this week-there couldn't be a better time for the launch of FX's Pose. I cried. Legit tears. Happy ones. While watching the first episode of this new series by Ryan Murphy, which premieres tonight on FX. Want to feel like you can go out in the world and conquer anything? Or that, no matter where you came from, you can find a chosen family who will love you no matter what? Watch this show. Feel all the feels. And in the meantime, you can be a part of something that is bigger than a TV show: History, with the largest transgender cast and crew ever, and the realization for some viewers that transgender people are people. Real people. Who have hopes and dreams and fears and losses. And who, in this case, serve up some deeply compelling storylines, making Pose Murphy's most grounded, emotional and earnest series to date. According to Murphy, the show has employed more than 140 trans or LGBTQ actors and crew members so far. "This is a community who have just been starved for opportunities," he tells E! News. "You've seen it, usually in movies or television shows, trans actors play the best friend or they have a line or two, many times they're murdered, but in this show they play the leads and they are the heroes and the heroines. It's an amazing thing to see." "What this show provides is just this sort of compassionate view of the world that hasn't been seen on television before," executive producer Brad Falchuk tells E! News. "It's not preachy. It's not trying too hard." Pose takes a deep dive into the ballroom culture of the 1980's in New York City, when vogue-ing first became a thing and the shoulder pads were high and the hair even higher. The ball scenes are decadent and fun, dripping with glitter, chiffon and attitude -- and set to a soundtrack of smile-inducing 80's hits. "In the ball world of fashion and music, one does not exist without the other," executive producer Alexis Martin Woodall, who also serves as music producer, tells E! News. "Elektra's gold turban and caftan could only have been accompanied by the Mother of them all, Miss Diana Ross. For (costume designer) Lou Eyrich and me, we are in heaven!" Beneath all that eye and ear candy are raw relationships that will suck you in -- including a gut-wrenching push-pull between Kate Mara, newcomer Indya Moore and Evan Peters. This is a very different Evan Peters than we've seen before, because he's a regular dude -- that is, until he starts falling for a transgender woman, played by Moore. "I'm married to Kate Mara and we have two beautiful kids," Peters tells E! News, "and I'm sort of an up and coming yuppie in New York City and there is the pressure of that world and the feeling of not belonging... It's sort of a nervous breakdown in a way. And he sort of goes to this hidden truth that's been inside of him for a long time." "They go through some pretty dark times," echoes Mara, who last worked with Peters on season one of American Horror Story. "I'm just excited to be working with Evan again -- he is one of the best actors, and I really adore him." (This time, they're even both alive.) Evan's boss inside Trump Tower, by the way, is none other than a coke-snorting, egomaniacal James Van Der Beek who continues his recent streak of proving he has serious comedic chops. (Dawson the D--k is everything.) And then there is the cast of mostly newcomer trans actresses, who give such strong performances, it's hard to say which one won't be getting -- or at least deserving -- Emmy attention. "We spent six months [casting the show] and it was just the most amazing group of talent I've ever encountered," says Murphy, who also recently announced he's giving 100 percent of his profits from Pose to LGBTQ charities. "And sometimes people would be so good, but they were wrong for the part that they were reading, that I would say, 'Well, I'm going to write you a part,' and we did." "The cast is insanely authentic," Woodall adds. "Everyone is working so hard, and instead of feeling that 'work,' you feel their character deeply, their emotion and their day and their lives." There's also a serious Fame and Flashdance vibe to Pose, complete with a dance audition in the first episode you'll want to watch on replay, featuring Ryan Jamal Swain, a newcomer whose real-life story echoes what you'll see on screen. "My character, Damon, comes from Pennsylvania after getting kicked out for being gay," Swain tells E! News. "For me, having this moment right now, where I'm on this show and I'm flying off to LA and I'm working with a choreographer... I'm a little boy from Birmingham, Alabama, who came to New York with $50 in his pocket two years ago, and I feel it. I have to take a deep breath." The themes of Pose are equal parts darkness (HIV, intolerance, fear) and light (acceptance, joy, family, belonging). But in real life, for this cast and crew, it's all just light. And you can't help but root for them. Pose debuts tonight at 9 p.m. on FX. (Eonline)

Heathers Reboot Pulled Following Sante Fe High School Shooting. Three months after the Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV) pushed back the premiere date of the Heathers reboot following the Parkland school shooting in February, the network has announces its pulled the show after the Sante Fe High School shooting in May. The show will not be aired on any Viacom platform. Paramount Network president of development and production Keith Cox told The Hollywood Reporter, "We were going to air in March and hit pause and then had Santa Fe." Last month, a 17-year-old shooter killed 10 people and injured 13 more in Texas. "This was a very difficult decision. We had multiple meetings, and in the end, we didn't feel comfortable right now airing the series and I'm not sure when there might be a time that we as a youthful brand at Viacom would feel comfortable," he told the publication. "This is a bold move and we stand behind it." Meanwhile, Cox and company are trying to find a new home for the show, which is an updated version of the original 1988 film written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann. In February, Paramount Network announced that in light of the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Fla. that left 17 dead, they were pulling the black dramedy from its schedule for a launch later this year. The news came just a week before its originally intended March 7 premiere. "Paramount Network's original series Heathers is a satirical comedy that takes creative risks in dealing with many of society's most challenging subjects ranging from personal identity to race and socio-economic status to gun violence," the network said in a released statement back in February. "While we stand firmly behind the show, in light of the recent tragic events in Florida and out of respect for the victims, their families and loved ones, we feel the right thing to do is delay the premiere until later this year." The series revolves around Veronica Grace Victoria Cox, playing the role originated by Winona Ryder) and her rebel/sexy sociopath boyfriend J.D. (James Scully, originally played by Christian Slater) as the deadly duo deals with popular-but-evil girls -- the titular Heathers -- and the trials and tribulations of navigating high school. Much to delight of fans, OG Heather Duke, played by Shannen Doherty, was back in action in the reboot. Heathers is just one television show that's been impacted by horrifying real-life tragedies in the news. Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story:Cult amended a scene last year, a first in the franchise's history, in light of the Las Vegas massacre at the Route 91 music festival. USA's Shooter was delayed twice in 2016 due to the subject matter. And the list goes on. (Eonline)

Roseanne Spinoff Starring Sara Gilbert Reportedly in the Works at ABC. The newest TV trend? Revival of a revival. After ABC announced they were canceling Roseanne after Roseanne Barr's latest offensive tweets about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, ABC is reportedly working on a spinoff centering on Sara Gilbert's Darlene Conner. TMZ first reported the news that the network was interested in a series about Roseanne's unemployed daughter, who is a single mom. Gilbert served as an executive producers on the 10th season and was one of the architects behind the revival. According to TMZ's report, Gilbert has been calling up some of the cast members to gauge their interest in the potential series, and star John Goodman is "very interested." After initially picking up the ratings juggernaut for an 11th season, ABC decided to cancel Roseanne following Barr's tweet about Jarrett, which read, "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj." "Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," the brief statement said. Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, ABC's parent company, shared Dungey's statement on Twitter, adding, "There was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing." After Barr's tweets, Gilbert took to Twitter to make it clear that the cast and crew did not agree with the offensive remarks. "This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we've created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love -- one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member," she wrote. Barr responded to Gilbert's tweets, saying, "Wow! unreal." ABC and a rep for Gilbert have yet to respond to E! News' requests for comment. (Eonline)

Tituss Burgess Perfectly Sums Up What Makes Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt So Special. Television can be many things. It's entertainment. It's escapism. It's inspiring. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is all of those and more. The Netflix comedy, which was created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, tells the story of Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), a young woman who starts a new life after escaping captivity in an underground bunker. Kimmy Schmidt tackles a variety of issues -- mostly with sunshiny humor -- including sexual assault, post-traumatic stress disorder, and sexual orientation. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is hope embodied. "When I was a kid, my pastor at church used to preach this sermon every year called, 'Reach beyond the break, hope against hope, ask for a lifeline,' and I don't think I fully got it as a child," series star Tituss Burgess said during a recent set visit. "But it's funny, I often think about the message while filming Kimmy because she, Kimmy Schmidt, is the embodiment of what that sermon's about. Her relentless zeal for life, her involuntary reaction to helping people -- she of all people, she's had the darkest past and yet somehow she is trapped inside hope and inside faith. It is such a beautiful lesson, you know?" "It's kind of like The Wizard of Oz. Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion are all subsidiaries or compartments of Dorothy, right? And myself, Carol Kane and [Jane Krakowski], our characters are all little slivers of Kimmy, all trapped inside our respective bunkers, if you will. And Kimmy, just by sheer existence and example, sort of ambushes us and forces us to reach beyond the brink and keep the faith, keep hope," Burgess continued. "When I am able to zoom out of filming and just look at the actual story for what it is and be able to watch and look at it outside of myself from a spectator point of view, I'm so grateful for this show and this message because -- I hate to say now more than ever, but when you need it the most, it is a wonderful -- It serves as both a reminder and can also take your mind off -- simultaneously -- what is going on and what you need to do in the wake of what is going on," he concluded. "That is what the show means to me." After her escape, the character of Kimmy Schmidt moved to New York and started a new life. She joined the work force, went to college, started therapy to tackle her anger PTSD and pursued a career as a crossing guard, before getting a new, real-world human resources-type of gig at a tech company. Kemper said Kimmy "embodies what I personally aspire to, which is that she does not blame outside circumstances for her own actions or her own fate." "She takes matters into her own hands. She endured the worst experience that someone could endure and she still doesn't, like, refer to it as, 'Oh, well I can't do something or achieve something because of this bad thing that happened.' Instead, she just marches forward and makes her own -- breaks is what I was going to say," Kemper said. "And I find that very inspiring because I think it's easy to blame other circumstances for things that go wrong in your life and Kimmy doesn't do that. But that's a weird thing to say because I play the character," Kemper continued. "But I think what other people said, what viewer responses have been, I think the show -- I hope -- has helped people watching it who are going through a bad time. I hope it has lifted them up because it is funny and also I think treats humor as an antidote to tragedy, which sounds corny, but it's true." The first six episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season four are now streaming on Netflix. (Eonline)

Rose McGowan Celebrates Harvey Weinstein's Downfall on the Finale of CITIZEN ROSE: "We Win." Rose McGowan has a lot to celebrate. In the night's finale of CITIZEN ROSE, the activist rejoices in the news that Harvey Weinstein's The Weinstein Company filed for bankruptcy, releasing many of his victims from the non-disclosure agreements that kept them silent for so long. "Since the articles came out, I was under a tremendous amount of stress to keep him down," McGowan said. "His ego is completely tied up in the myth of who he was and in his company and that's for me what had to die." McGowan rang in the victory by sending a tearful birthday video to the monster with the message, "We win." Her journey of bravery has also found her lucky in love. "I just kinda fell for someone in New York," McGowan revealed. "I think you definitely attract the level of health that you're at and so the people in my life now are a lot healthier, one person in particular, very much so." Before those milestone moments, McGowan jetted off to Italy to meet up with actress and fellow activist Asia Argento where she not only learned about Italy's movement, #WeToogether, but was able to participate in a march for International Women's Day. "Today me and Rose are taking Rome. We're walking the streets, we're screaming with our sisters for our rights," Argento said. "It felt really important to be in that march for women, the first one Italy has ever had," McGowan stressed. The sheer magnitude of the historic march was almost overwhelming for McGowan. "At one point I looked back and I was like, 'Oh my God, it's like a river of humans who all want better for women,'" McGowan gushed. Her global mission came full circle when she visited the compound in Italy where she grew up as part of a group called Children of God. "The things that I remember about being little in Children of God, a lot of women were just called nannies and they collectively took care of the children," she shared. Though her upbringing in Italy was confusing at times, McGowan was elated to revisit the place she believed her late father was happiest. "He was very eccentric and very nice," the former duke of the group shared with Rose about her father. "I think Italy was his favorite part of life," McGowan told him. As she looked out onto the Italian coast, reflecting on the memories of her father, the activist couldn't help but feel a sense of closure in revisiting this bittersweet part of her life. Watch the season finale to see how McGowan's "grand adventure" has brought her love and allowed her to start healing. (Eonline)

'Home & Family' Host Mark Steines Abruptly Exits Hallmark Channel. Mark Steines is out as co-host of Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family," effective immediately. At the time of this story's publishing no one seems to know exactly why, and TheWrap has not immediately heard back from our requests for additional details from both sides. "Today Hallmark Channel has parted ways with Mark Steines as the co-host of the network's lifestyle series "Home & Family," a statement for the Crown Media cable channel reads. "We are extremely grateful to Mark for his incredible work and wish him all the best success in his future endeavors." We received that via email at 9:45 p.m. ET on Thursday. As for Steines, he has been quiet on social media for the past few days. Steines has hosted the Hallmark daily lifestyle show since 2012. Previously, he co-hosted "Entertainment Tonight" for a decade. In addition to his journalism and hosting duties, Steines has dabbled in acting. In 1995, he played a White House Security guard in "Nixon." He's also appeared in "Suddenly Susan" and on soap opera "The Young and the Restless." Steines has played a reporter on "CSI: NY" and "The Practice." Debbie Matenopoulos, Steines' co-host on "Home & Family," apparently now has the show all to herself -- for now, at least. (MSN)

'Imposters' Canceled as Bravo Refines Its Scripted Approach. The drama, from creators Adam Brooks and Paul Adelstein, may be shopped elsewhere. Bravo is refining its scripted approach. The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has canceled scripted drama Imposters after a two-season run. The June 7 season-ender will now serve as a series finale. Created by Adam Brooks and Paul Adelstein, the drama starring Inbar Lavi followed a persona-shifting con artist and her three most recent victims, who pursue her in a game of cat and mouse. Rob Heaps, Parker Young, Marianne Rendon, Stephen Bishop and Brian Benben co-starred. While never a ratings breakout, Imposters had a small but loyal base on Bravo. Season one averaged 1.4 million total viewers per episode, up 23 percent in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic. When factoring in delayed viewing, Imposters' first season was a top 10 cable show in the all-important demo. Sources say Imposters had a strong run on Netflix and Bravo had hoped that the Universal Cable Productions drama would receive a ratings bump following its SVOD run given that the cable network is not best known for its scripted series. That was not the case as season two, which returned a year later with not a lot of marketing muscle behind it, lost a chunk of its live viewership. Sources say UCP may try to shop the series elsewhere with Netflix a possibility given that the series is said to have performed better on the streaming giant than on its original home at Bravo. The series has been a profit generator at UCP thanks to the Netflix deal and strong international sales. In a larger sense, the decision to cancel Imposters marks a change in the Bravo's scripted direction. The cable network's first scripted original -- Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, starring Adelstein -- will end with its fifth season, bowing June 14. Once that wraps, Bravo's lone scripted drama will be big-swing anthology Dirty John, starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana. The anthology was picked up following a bidding war, with Bravo handing out a two-season order for the drama and supporting the series with companion docuseries on corporate sibling Oxygen. The move marks a shift in Bravo's scripted direction to bigger and bolder programming that can cut through a cluttered landscape expected to top 500 scripted originals this year. For his part, writer/exec producer/actor Adelstein next stars in NBC fall comedy I Feel Bad. (Hollywood Reporter)

Hamptons neighbors up in arms about Bravo's 'Summer House'. Bravo has secured its Hamptons homebase for the upcoming third season of "Summer House," but Page Six has exclusively learned that neighbors who recently purchased mansions nearby were blindsided by filming notices for the party-filled reality series. "Not one of the buyers was advised before closing that their multimillion dollar retreat is next door to where a trashy reality TV show is being filmed," a resident of the quiet gated community tells us. We're told that three families with children and grandchildren bought properties over the last 12 months adjacent to the "Summer House" rental in Water Mill, Long Island. This is the second year the show -- which has previously been likened to a "Jersey Shore" of the Hamptons -- is filming in the same house. "They are not happy," the source tells us. "Apparently, [one family] watched the show and are now worried that their 3-year-old grandchild will be watching people having sex in the woods." The filming permit, obtained by Page Six, reveals that shooting will begin the weekend of June 22 and will continue every weekend through Labor Day. Between the cast and crew, there will be a total of 35 people on the property per day during the 40 days of filming. The permit describes the show as "a comedy/docuseries filming a group of friends at a residence," and reads, "All filming will take place within the house and property of the house ... We will be filming at the house 12 hours or less a day." Neighbors last year were more forgiving and told us they were "optimistic" the cast would be on their best behavior, saying producers assured them noise and traffic would be kept to a minimum. This isn't the first filming issue the show has run into. Over the past three years, residents and businesses in Montauk and East Hampton have banned the series from filming at various locations, including Hamptons hot spot Surf Lodge. After the first season of the show, East Hampton denied Bravo a filming permit, forcing the crew to move to Water Mill, a hamlet of Southampton. (PageSix)

If Disney is so high and mighty, as they showed by canceling "Roseanne," then why are they screwing over a couple family-run businesses that delivered them a hit kids show? ... is the question posed in a new suit. Production companies Milk Barn and Microseries claim they spent 2 years creating "Goldie & Bear" ... only to get kicked to the curb by Disney once the company realized it had a hit on their hands. According to the docs ... Disney secretly lined up a rival production company to replace the family businesses for Season 2 and made it "virtually impossible for these companies to ever be in the children's television or feature business again." To make it worse, the production companies claim they got stiffed $250k for 18 months of executive producer work ... and Disney crushed their plans to produce other animated children's programming. The companies are suing for $20 mil, and claim that the president of ABC's comments about canceling "Roseanne" came down to "doing what's right and upholding our values of inclusion, tolerance and civility" are complete BS. (TMZ)

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