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Thursday, July 19, 2018

TV

Last Man Standing Revival Teaser With Tim Allen and Nancy Travis Tackles the Network Switch Head On. Have you heard? Last Man Standing is returning from TV heaven, but on a new network: Fox. You hadn't heard? Then let this new promo featuring series stars Tim Allen and Nancy Travis, both returning for the new season, camping and admiring a fox. Get it? Of course you do. Last Man Standing ran for six seasons on ABC. A strong ratings player on Friday nights, the show was canceled in 2017. There was chatter the show would live on, possibly on CMT, but nothing came to fruition. That is until Fox, whose sister studio 20th Century Fox Television, produced the comedy, came calling. Allen, Travis, Amanda Fuller, Hector Elizondo, Christoph Sanders, Jordan Masterson and Jonathan Adams are returning. Molly Ephraim and Flynn Morrison will not return as Mandy and Boyd, their roles will be recast. Kaitlyn Dever has yet to officially sign on to return as Eve. At Fox's 2018 Upfronts, Allen told E! News he was doing a comedy tour in between the cancellation and revival and every crowd was talking about Last Man Standing. "The fans, the viewers, got together with Fox and they kept at it. It was really brought back because of all y'all out there," he said. Allen said nobody involved with the show had truly given up, they all thought "there was gas left in the tank." "It just didn't seem like this was ready to go yet," Allen admitted. "It was kind of a weird time to pull the plug." Last Man Standing returns to TV, on Friday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. on Fox. The new comedy series The Cool Kids starring Martin Mull, Leslie Jordan, Vicki Lawrence and David Alan Grier follows at 8:30. (Eonline)

Katherine Heigl Is So Excited to Be on Suits. Suits may have lost a few familiar faces this season, but they also gained a very familiar face. Katherine Heigl is about to make her debut as Samantha Wheeler, and based on everything we know and have seen so far, she's a force to be reckoned with. "She's sort of having fun with people all the time," the Grey's Anatomy alum told E! News when we visited the show's Toronto set. "She kind of walks into situations not taking it terribly seriously, unless you really cross her. Then she loses the smile and the smirk and she's all business." As the firm deals with a merger in the premiere, the big question a lot of characters are asking is "Who is Samantha Wheeler?" While Heigl probably knows the most about her second only to creator Aaron Korsh, even she finds her very mysterious. "She's fascinating because she's a mystery, and she's sort of even a mystery to me. I'm not entirely sure what her past is," Heigl says. "I love that she's an enigma to the rest of the people in the firm, that they are even trying to figure out who is this girl, and what is she about." While she is a mystery, Samantha tends to own every room she's in, partly thanks to how very put together she looks. "The fashion, the hair, the makeup, it's creating this woman that under the surface, I think she's not quite as polished and put together, but this is who she believes she needs to be to impress and to fit in," Heigl explains. As for the actress herself, Heigl has said before that she went to Korsh herself and asked for a role on the show. "It's pretty cool, I'm not going to lie," she says of the way she got the gig. "It's a real blessing of sort of where I've gotten to in my career, but it also felt really good to take initiative, to sort of reach for what I wanted and put it out there and take that chance." For her costars, Heigl's love of the show and enthusiasm for joining it made working with her all the better. "When someone comes in with support and love and like feeling grateful to be a part of this, that just will allow all of us as an ensemble to sing, you know?" says Gabriel Macht. "From a behind the scenes point of view, it's great to have her here," says Sarah Rafferty. "She just jumped right in. She understands the rhythm of Suits, she's seen all the episodes." So while you may still find yourself (as the characters do) missing Meghan Markle as Rachel and Patrick J. Adams as Mike, Heigl's mysterious Samantha will be there to provide you with an intriguing distraction. To watch Heigl make her debut, tune into Suits Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. on USA. (Eonline)

America's Got Talent Act Goes Wrong: Wife of Acrobatic Duo Falls From Trapeze. America's Got Talent took a dangerous turn on Tuesday when a husband and wife's acrobatic act resulted in a terrifying fall. Duo Transcend's Mary and Tyce took the stage to perform a trapeze act with the hope of moving on to the live rounds. The duo wowed both the audience and judges as they performed a number of high-flying stunts amid flames. Near the end of the routine, Tyce, who is already legally blind, blindfold himself and hung upside down -- readying himself to catch his wife. However, his spouse slipped through his grasp and tumbled to the stage, all while their 2-year-old son watched from the crowd. Mary stood back up and signaled that she was OK. As she and her husband embraced each other, the audience and the judges rose to their feet to give them a standing ovation. "We would like to try the blindfold trick one more time," Mary said. However, the judges assured her that wasn't necessary. "It's not America's Got Perfection. This is America's Got Talent," guest host Ken Jeong said. "No one can do this. I mean, it's OK." Judge Simon Cowell echoed Jeong's sentiments. "I don't think there's ever been a singer on any of our competitions who's been... perfect," he said. "It doesn't make them not amazing. It makes them human." Although, he admitted falling off a trapeze was more dangerous than falling off key. Howie Mandel also took a jab at his fellow judge Mel B. "Well, you've had a guy drop you," he joked. "Just for the record, I dropped them," she quipped back. Mary teared up hearing the judges' praise. The two then learned they had made it through to the live rounds. (Eonline)

Nickelodeon is rebooting "Rugrats" for a new generation of kids, and it sounds like the woman who played Angelica Pickles for years is coming back as well. We spoke with voice actor Cheryl Chase -- who voiced Angelica for over 9 seasons -- not long after Nick announced the baby gang was being brought back for a new 26-episode season as well as a CGI movie. Cheryl says she's obviously down to reprise her role and, appropriately ... Nickelodeon has already reached out to her to say they'll be in touch very soon. The show is reportedly still in the early stages of development, and a cast has yet to be confirmed. She doesn't say for sure she's got the job locked -- but, c'mon ... she's got it locked. No pressure, but we better hear EG Daily's voice too when the reboot drops. (TMZ)

How Suits Got a Revamp After Losing Meghan Markle and Patrick J. Adams. Suits is finally about to return for season eight, but it's going to look just a little different. At the end of season seven, the USA legal drama lost two of its main characters when Mike (Patrick J. Adams) and Rachel (Meghan Markle) got married and moved to Seattle to run a law firm, leaving behind Pearson Specter Litt and its impending chaos while in real life, Meghan Markle was busy becoming the Duchess of Sussex. While season eight isn't a full reboot, it does feel like a fresh version of the show, featuring some new characters and new dynamics. "Harvey is dealing with the loss of Mike and not having his right-hand man there, he knows that he's got his right-hand gal," Gabriel Macht told E! News when we visited the show's set, looking over at his costar, Sarah Rafferty. "As we move into season eight, we're kind of trying to see where our new lane is and take all the information and all that we learned in the previous years and kind of find what the new path is," she adds. Part of that new path does involve feeling the loss of Mike and Rachel, who Rick Hoffman describe as "an artery of the heart of the show." "I think we're very fortunate to have taken on some new talented actors who love being up here and so far the storylines are great, and I'm psyched," he says. Dule Hill joined the series last season and says it really feels like he's "part of the newness of the show," alongside newcomer Katherine Heigl. "I think it's great for our fans who have been with us along the whole time, and I think it's great for new people who might come discover the show in season eight, because we have this bit of a reboot, but at the same time, we have these great roots," Rafferty explains. As Dule Hill and Amanda Schull agree, the show isn't new, but it's revamped, re-energized, "just re." Suits airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on USA. (Eonline)

Need something to entertain you while you wait until 2019 for a new season of Game of Thrones to air? A Mother of Dragons beer, which is set to be released on September 28, might just do the trick. The drink, which honors beloved GOT character Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke), is part of Brewery Ommegang's most recent Royal Reserve Collection, and is the third of four libations to be released as part of this group. Like the Royal Reserve Collection drinks before it, the Mother of Dragons beer is "designed and brewed as an homage to one of four epic figures engaged in the battle for the Seven Kingdoms." More specifically, Brewery Ommegang notes this Daenerys-centric refreshment, which is a blend of a smoked porter and a Belgian kriek, represents the "smoke and fire that Daenerys has unleashed on her opponents during her ascent to conquer and rule the Seven Kingdoms." Furthermore, the Mother of Dragons beer has aromas of chocolate-covered cherries intertwined with subtle smoke and roasted malt, and a rich flavor that includes notes of tart cherry and semi-sweet chocolate with a semi-dry finish. "Mother of Dragons represents, in beer, one of our favorite characters from Game of Thrones," Brewery Ommegang president Doug Campbell said in a press release. "Daenerys's ascent from obscurity has been one of the most inspiring storylines of the show, and we're thrilled to release a blend that embodies the character traits that have underpinned that rise." The Mother of Dragons drink joins other Royal Reserve Collection beers including Hand of the Queen, a barleywine that was released in April in honor of Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage) and Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, a sour blonde blend inspired by Lena Headey's Cersei Lannister that debuted in June. The fourth and final beer in this collection  Ommegang's 13th Game of Thrones beer overall is expected to be announced later this year. (US Weekly)

China Pulls Local Version of 'Saturday Night Live'. China's licensed localized version of NBC's classic satire show has been temporarily removed from its online streaming home, Alibaba's flagship video site Youku. China's local version of NBC's classic satire show Saturday Night Live has been temporarily removed from its online streaming home, Alibaba's flagship video site Youku. A spokesperson for Youku told THR Wednesday that the show was "removed so adjustments could be made to its content." The spokesperson added that the show "will be back soon," but declined to offer a timeline. The censorship action comes amid another cyclical crackdown in the country on online content. Last week, China's media regulators instructed online platforms to produce programing with "positive energy" for teenagers, and to avoid exposing local youth to "low taste and harmful programs" during the summer vacation period. NBCUniversal reached the deal with Youku to produce a local version of SNL in April 2017. The Chinese-produced show is hosted by local comedy duo Yue Yunpeng and Chen He. It didn't last long online in China though -- the show had only premiered in late June. Over the past few years, NBCUniversal has licensed numerous other international versions of the iconic sketch show, in territories ranging from France to the Middle East. In the U.S., SNL has enjoyed a ratings comeback over the past couple of years, thanks in large part to the presidency of Donald Trump and Alec Baldwin's lampooning of the commander-in-chief's many media imbroglios. Given China's strong censorship system, it was always seen as unlikely that the Youku version of the show would feature any similar shots at Chinese president Xi Jinping or urgent local political issues. Youku and NBCUniversal said last year that the Beijing-based remake would "showcase the best of Chinese culture and comedy." Reuters was the first to report on SNL's sudden removal in China. The news service noted that the Chinese version "had seemed to refrain from touching on political flashpoints," with an exemplary sketch from a recent episode "instead taking a jab at China's oft-ridiculed national [soccer] team." In a post to one of its official social media pages Wednesday, SNL China said the show was "working hard to become better" and asked fans "to have a big smile when we see each other next time." (Hollywood Reporter)

Cliff Richard Awarded $274,000 in Damages in Privacy Case Against BBC. "This judgment creates new case law and represents a dramatic shift against press freedom and the long-standing ability of journalists to report on police investigations," says the U.K. public broadcaster. Music star Cliff Richard on Wednesday won a privacy case against the BBC and was awarded an initial 210,000 ($274,000) in damages in the legal battle with the U.K. public broadcaster. The BBC had in 2014 reported that the singer was being investigated for claims of child sex assault in the past. Richard sued the BBC for invasion of privacy for naming him and airing helicopter footage of his apartment, which was searched by police as part of the probe. Richard was never charged or arrested. A judge at London's High Court ruled that the damages would be borne 65 percent by the BBC and 35 percent by South Yorkshire police. The Guardian said that possible further damages for the financial impact on Richard, such as canceled book deals or concerts, have yet to be assessed. The paper said the singer cried with relief after the ruling was announced in London on Wednesday. As he left the court with his legal team, fans outside sang a refrain of the singer's hit "Congratulations." The BBC said it would look at an appeal and criticized the court decision as a threat to the freedom of press. "This judgment creates new case law and represents a dramatic shift against press freedom and the long-standing ability of journalists to report on police investigations, which in some cases has led to further complainants coming forward," Fran Unsworth, director of news and current affairs at the BBC, said. "This impacts not just the BBC, but every media organization." She concluded: "We don't believe this is compatible with liberty and press freedoms; something that has been at the heart of this country for generations." The BBC news boss also highlighted: "We are sorry for the distress that Sir Cliff has been through. We understand the very serious impact that this has had on him." And she said: "We have thought long and hard about how we covered this story. On reflection there are things we would have done differently, however, the judge has ruled that the very naming of Sir Cliff was unlawful. So even had the BBC not used helicopter shots or ran the story with less prominence, the judge would still have found that the story was unlawful; despite ruling that what we broadcast about the search was accurate." (Hollywood Reporter)

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