TV/STREAMING . . .
Shonda Rhimes' First Series For Netflix Will Take on the Wild Anna Delvey Story. Well, we already know what our new favorite binge-watch is going to be. Shonda Rhimes is tackling the now infamous, so-insane-it-could-only-be-true tale of Anna Delvey for Netflix, people, and we are very, very, very excited. Like, we want to watch this show yesterday-level of excited. E! News has confirmed that the mega-producer and the online streaming giant have landed the rights to the New York Magazine article, "How Anna Delvey Tricked New York's Party People" by Jessica Pressler. Rhimes is set to write the series, which will serve as her first major project as part of her deal with Netflix. To catch up on the Anna Delvey story, may we recomment reading the Vanity Fair article from a photo editor who got wrapped up in the wannabe socialite's elaborate scheme? Thank us later. Currently being held without bond in Rikers Island, Delvey posed as a German heiress who conned NYC's elite. The 27-year-old was indicted on six counts of grand larceny and attempted grand larceny, as well as theft of services, in 2017. In August 2017, the TV world was rocked by the news that the Emmy winner was taking her Shondaland production company to Netflix under a multi-year deal to produce new series and other projects, leaving ABC after launching Grey's Anatomy in 2005, also delivering hits such as Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder and Private Practice. After the news of her new Netflix deal was announced, Rhimes issued a statement, saying, "Shondaland's move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted Sarandos and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company. Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix," Rhimes said. "He understood what I was looking for -- the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix's singular sense of innovation." (Eonline)
A Game of Thrones Prequel Is Officially Happening. A prequel is coming. Game of Thrones fans, get ready, because E! News has confirmed that HBO has officially given a a pilot order to a currently-untitled prequel, created by George R.R. Martin and Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service). Go on and celebrate, we'll wait. OK, ready to know what the buzzed-about prequel will be about? Prepare to go way back in Westeros' history, as the series will be set thousands of years before the events of GOT, chronicling the descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. "Only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros' history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend... it's not the story we think we know," a cryptic logline reads. In June 2017, it was revealed that HBO plans to produce a prequel series and was weighing five possible ideas. While a prequel is definitely in the works, don't expect to see a spinoff or revival of Game of Thrones after the juggernaut hit ends its run. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, HBO president Casey Bloys said a door being left open for future revivals or undoing the finale is "not happening. "This story, A Song of Fire and Ice, is done. There's no revival, reboot, spinoff talk," he said. But fans shouldn't expect to see the prequel launch during or even near the end of GOT's epic run, with Bloys telling EW, "We're not using the final season to launch a new show or anything like that. There's going to be a separation between the two. These are among the best writers working and I'm hopeful." Game of Thrones' final season is expected to premiere in 2019. (Eonline)
First Look at Keeping Up With the Kardashians Season 15! 15 seasons later and we're still Keeping Up With the Kardashians! In this first look at the new season of KUWTK, which returns this summer, Kim Kardashian and the rest of her famous fam tease how things have seriously changed for them over the years. For Kim, it's all business, business, business. "Things have really changed," the beauty mogul confirms. However, in typical Kardashian fashion, the family still has their fair share of drama. Oldest sister Kourtney Kardashian knows this to be true first hand. "Have you looked on the Internet? Do you see what people say about me compared to you?" a salty Kourtney asks Kendall Jenner. Still, nothing can break the Kardashians' bond as they're clearly closer than they've ever been. The Kardashian ladies may be busy hitting up red carpets and jetting off on private jets, but family comes first for these E! vets. "There's, like, nothing better when it's all of us together," Kim relays in a voice over. "Sooner or later, you guys are gonna realize how much you all mean to one another," momager Kris Jenner wisely notes. Keeping Up With the Kardashians returns this summer, on E! (Eonline)
Think You Watch a Ton of TV? These Hulu Stats Will Blow You Away. You like TV. You really like TV. Hulu, the home of many classic shows, revealed some staggering figures about viewing habits of its users at an ATX TV Festival panel moderated by IndieWire. If you thought you watched a lot of TV, well, take a look at these figures: Roughly 60,000 Hulu subscribers have already watched all 120 episodes (that's 60 hours) of Boy Meets World since it hit Hulu. Viewers watched the entire run of Family Matters -- that's nine seasons -- within a month, since the show debuted on Hulu in the fall of 2017. Same for Full House, viewers watched all eight seasons in a month. Hulu had 35,000 subscribers watch all 10 seasons of Futurama in 18 days. That's about 18 episodes a day. Yes, you read that right. In 2017, Hulu subscribers watched 135 million hours of South Park and 105 million hours of Law & Order: SVU. The streaming platform recently announced its subscriber count reached 20 million in the United States. When ER launched on Hulu in early 2018 approximately 35,000 viewers finished the 15-seasons series in two months, an average of five episodes a day to get through ER's 331 episode count. Lisa Holme, the vice president of acquisitions at Hulu, previously told E! News the response to ER surprised her. "It has surpassed expectations for sure, both from a consumption perspective, but even more so from the zeitgeist that it has kind of picked up. We've launched other big, iconic shows on Hulu, from Seinfeld to Golden Girls to Will & Grace and others, and those have had their moments of excitement, but ER has been, I think, bigger and more sustained than we necessarily thought it was going to be... I think there was even more pent-up demand and nostalgia than we anticipated," she said. This is the first time ER has ever been available in its entirety on one digital platform. "It was such an honor to be a part of this show. I was lucky to have worked with so many writers, actors and directors all at the top of their game. Most importantly I've made friends for a lifetime," George Clooney said in a statement when Hulu announced its ER acquisition. "I'm excited it will finally be streaming on Hulu." (Eonline)
Since his dismissal from NBC's "Today" show, Matt Lauer has been largely laying low in the Hamptons. But Upper East Side spies exclusively told Page Six that the disgraced anchor made an appearance in Manhattan at posh eatery the East Pole -- where he dined with a "Today" senior producer. He and "Today" veteran Deborah Kosofsky arrived at about 6:30 p.m. at the eatery -- and a witness who spotted them at dinner said they were discussing his "summer plans" and that there was a suggestion Lauer could use a change of scenery from the Hamptons. "They were in the middle of the room," said a source. "They were talking about vacation spots." The source said they overheard talk of a move "to the mountains." Lauer's been trying to unload a Sag Harbor property for $12.75 million, and he and his estranged wife, Annette Roque, also own a 40-acre horse farm in Water Mill and a North Haven estate that belonged to Richard Gere. But the tranquil Hamptons haven will be flooded for the summer with a horde of A-listers and media attention, so perhaps he'll head for more remote climes? A different source insisted that Lauer and his former producer Kosofsky only discussed "his kids" and did not talk about him heading for the hills -- or anywhere else. Said a source, "They've been good friends for 30 years." Either way, the meeting shows Lauer still has some support from some at NBC News. He was fired last November in a #MeToo scandal. More recently, NBC found in an internal investigation that none of his execs had any clue about the harassment allegations, but suspected more run-of-the-mill philandering. Reps did not comment. Lauer said in a statement after he was canned: "Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching, and I'm committed to beginning that effort ... It is now my full time job." Lauer sold off his Upper East Side apartment in April for $7 million -- where he used to stay for work. (Page Six)
TV Ratings: Stanley Cup Final Wins Thursday, 'The Four' Returns Down. NBC coverage of the NHL Championship hits a high note and a Game 5 best for the network. Hockey dominated Thursday's relatively scant TV lineup, with NBC's coverage of the Stanley Cup Final going out on a high note. Early scores have the series-ender up from the past two years of Game 5 play, delivering just under an overnight 5.0 rating among metered market households. Tentative Fast Affiliate scores give coverage of the Washington Capitals' victory over the Las Vegas Knights more than 6 million viewers and a 1.9 rating among adults 18-49. NBC is likely a little bummed about the Stanley Cup not stretching to Game 7, but it's been since 2011 since that last happened. Still, the 2018 Championship was a strong one for the network -- though it will likely fall just shy of the 2017 average. Elsewhere, Fox debuted its fast-tracked follow-up to winter debut The Four. Season two opened on a lower note, shedding roughly half of a ratings point from the January bow to earn a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49 in its first hour and a 0.8 rating in its second hour. Viewership went from 2.2 to 2.7 million from the first to second hours. The Four managed to grow throughout its freshman run, however modestly, so Fox is likely hoping the same thing holds true for this summer season. (Hollywood Reporter)
Marcy Carsey Says She Wouldn't Revive 'Roseanne' After ABC Cancellation. The 'Roseanne' and 'Cosby Show' producer addressed the show's controversy when she was honored with the ATX Award in Television Excellence in Austin on Friday. Marcy Carsey is finally speaking out about Roseanne and Bill Cosby. The Roseanne and Cosby Show producer addressed both of the show's controversies at ATX Television Festival, where she was being honored with the ATX Award in Television Excellence. In conversation with HBO's senior vp of programming Kathleen McCaffrey, Carsey -- who left the business in 2005 -- was first asked about Roseanne's recent cancellation, following star Roseanne Barr's racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett. "I am very proud of the show we did originally," Carsey said of Roseanne, adding that she didn't have any part in the revival but enjoyed it. "I thought the reboot was terrific -- great job, great work. So all I can say is it's a shame. A couple of hundreds of people doing really wonderful work -- crew, cast, writers -- to have that work so well and be so creatively interesting and have it just disappear like that when everybody, 200 or 300 people, thought they had a gig? It's a shame." As for ABC decision to abruptly end the show in the wake of Barr's tweet, Carsey says she thinks the network made the right call. "I totally understand why they made that decision, and I'm comfortable with it," she said, nothing that she sees ABC making strides to not just have diversity on its schedule but also in its executive ranks. "I just think it wasn't what the network wanted represented." When asked by The Hollywood Reporter how she feels about a Roseanne spinoff without Barr, she was hesitant. The network is reportedly in talks with executive producers including Tom Werner for a new incarnation of the sitcom sans Barr. "I would have a very difficult time. I think I would not," said Carsey. "I think I would just say, 'Ok, we had a wonderful run. I love the show we did all those years ago and I would just move on." Carsey was given the opportunity to comment on Bill Cosby, who has been accused by more than 60 women of sexual misconduct and was recently found guilty of three accounts of aggravated indecent assault. Carsey insists she's "still so proud of" The Cosby Show despite the revelations. "It was a life-changer for so many people who have talked to us since, saying things like, 'I grew up with that show and it really did change my life.' That stands, the impact was what it was." The veteran TV producer paused before reflecting on both of the scandals. "All I can say is that life gives you these surprises. The Roseanne political stance, what a surprise. Bill Cosby... the guy that we worked with, the guy we knew him to be or thought him to be was a wonderful collaborator, a brilliant guy, very kind-hearted. When anyone was sick or had a loss, he was right there. So it was a shocker," she said, summarizing: "All these decades later to have these revelations, it's awful -- but it happens." The conversations led into a discussion about whether it's possible to separate art from the artist. "That's a tough one," she acknowledged, noting that she looks back on the old masters from the past. "Do we look at those iconic works of art and the first thing that comes into our head is that guy was mean or nasty? I don't think so," she added. "My wish would be that the work can stand apart. But as a person, it's hard for me, too." Apart from The Cosby Show and Roseanne, Carsey looked back on her career. The Boston native remembered being "obsessed" with television when she was young. "It was introduced when I was a kid. We didn't have it until I was 10," she said of the medium. She reflect on going from 21-year-old assistant on The Tonight Show to ABC development executive to founding her own production company The Carsey-Werner Company with Tom Werner. She offered some surprising advice to those started out in the industry. "You've got to be willing to get fired every day," said Carsey. "As a producer, you've got to be willing to shut down a show at a moment's notice." When asked if she had the desire to come back to TV the way Norman Lear has in recent years, said gave a hard no. "Well, I did it -- and it's different now and I'm not sure I like how it's different now," she said, explaining that her and Werner were truly independent and risked everything each time they did a show. "We bet on ourselves a lot, and I don't think you can do that now. The business has changed and that model doesn't work anymore." Today, she'd need to have some sort of pod deal with a studio, which she noted she wouldn't know how to do. "I'm just not driven to do that. Now I can watch it and i'm not driven to produce it." (Hollywood Reporter)