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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

TV/STREAMING . . .

This Is Us Season 3 Adds Michael Angarano as Jack's Brother Nicky Pearson. It's time to meet Nicky Pearson on This Is Us. The NBC drama has added Will & Grace and I'm Dying Up Here veteran Michael Angarano to the cast of season three as Nicky, brother to Milo Ventimiglia's Jack Pearson. Both Jack and Nicky were in Vietnam together and season three is poised to focus on Jack's past, specifically his time fighting in the war. The news was announced at This Is Us' FYC Emmys panel on Monday, Aug. 13. "I am beyond grateful and very excited to be part of this show," Angarano tweeted. "My grandmother even told her dentist." Angarano appeared alongside another famous NBC Jack, Sean Hayes' character on Will & Grace, where he played Elliot, Jack's son. Angarano appeared in the both the original series and the revival season in 2017. His other credits include Mom, The Knick, Sky High and 24. For the Vietnam-set storyline, This Is Us tapped writer Tim O'Brien to consult and pen episodes alongside series creator Dan Fogelman. The new season will continue to jump around in time and break some rules, executive producers Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker said at the 2018 Television Critics Association press tour. "We are challenging ourselves in season three," Aptaker said. "Now that we've figured out that our audience is along for the ride...we're kind of breaking all the rules. We're challenging ourselves to jump to decades we've never been to before and going to the future as we've seen a little bit, and really play with the storytelling format in a way that's just much more complicated than we were able to in earlier seasons, when we were kind of showing people how the show worked." Look for changes in episode structure this year. "A typical episode of This Is Us has three sibling storylines and then a past episode, and every now and then we'll devote one solely to one character, but this season we're really throwing everything out the window and saying all bets are off," Aptaker said. "So maybe we'll do an episode where every act is a different time. Maybe we'll have something that jumps five timelines in an episode. We're really pushing the limits of what people will comprehend." This Is Us premieres Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. on NBC. (Eonline)

The Middle spin-off about Sue Heck has been greenlit. Sue Heck will return after all. While The Middle may be gone, the planned spin-off focused on Eden Sher's awkward late-teen middle daughter character Sue is now officially moving forward for next season. Here's the logline from ABC: "Cue the Sue happy dance. More Sue Heck is on the way. The series follows the twentysomething adventures of eternal optimist Sue Heck as she leaves the small town of Orson to navigate the ups and downs of a career and young adulthood in the big city of Chicago." Last May The Middle wrapped nine seasons on ABC's schedule as a show that was considered perpetually underrated by critics and in terms of pop culture buzz. Yet the program delivered a solid rating week after week on Wednesday nights while delivering a uniquely wholesome-ish family-friendly comedy. The Middle creators Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline will serve as writers and executive producers on the new show. No premiere date has been set but giving the order timing you can probably expect the comedy to debut midseason (Middle-season?). (Entertainment Weekly)

First look at Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Netflix has released the first two official photos of Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina in its new upcoming series "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina." In the first photo, we see Shipka as Sabrina Spellman. The second is a scene from the dark Baptism of Sabrina with Richard Coyle as Father Blackwood; Shipka as Sabrina; Lucy Davis as Hilda Spellman; Mirando Otto as Zelda Spellman; and Abigail Cowan, Adeline Rudolph and Tati Gabrielle as The Weird Sisters. "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" imagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult and, of course, witchcraft. Tonally in the vein of "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Exorcist," the adaptation finds Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature -- half-witch, half-mortal -- while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit. "Riverdale" showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who also serves as chief creative officer of Archie Comics, penned the script and executive produces alongside "Riverdale" collaborators Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater and Lee Toland Krieger. The drama hails from Warner Bros Television-based Berlanti Productions. The cast also includes Ross Lynch, Michelle Gomez, Chance Perdomo, Jaz Sinclair, Lachlan Watson, Bronson Pinchot and Gavin Leatherwood. (PageSix)

Nick Cannon promises his new show about the Bay Area will be dripping in authenticity 'cause he's got Oakland legends, E-40 and Too Short, on board as producers. Nick tells TMZ he's psyched about his drama crime series, "The Yay Area," because it's going to chronicle Northern California's drug culture, and its connection to Silicon Valley, biker gangs and even the Black Panthers. Nick's thinking "The Wire" meets "The Sopranos" -- and now that he has Short and 40 involved, he thinks things will move quickly. We're told several networks are interested, and Nick's sinking tons of his own dough into it. He plans to start shooting 'Yay' this Fall. Until then, Nick's so busy with so many other gigs ... we can tell, he needs a nap. (TMZ)

Khloe Kardashian's show on murderous sisters will premiere on Labor Day. Khloe Kardashian's Investigation Discovery show "Twisted Sisters" will premiere on Labor Day, Page Six has exclusively learned. The true-crime, six-part series will explore sisters who work together to commit crimes or turn on each other, often turning deadly, according to the network. "When choosing the stories, we couldn't believe how many untold tales there were to tell," said Kardashian. "As a true-crime fan myself, I am excited to share with viewers a new twist on the term 'sibling rivalry.'" ID president Henry Schleiff added, "Khloe 'killed' it in her first true-crime series." (PageSix)

Luann de Lesseps to sit for first post-rehab interview with Megyn Kelly. Luann de Lesseps will sit down on Tuesday for her first interview since entering rehab, Page Six is told. The "Real Housewives of New York" star -- who went into treatment back in July -- will appear on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today" to discuss her recent struggles. It was the second time de Lesseps has gone to rehab since her Christmastime arrest in Palm Beach, Florida. Since coming out of a Connecticut facility in early August, she has returned to the stage in her hit cabaret show, "The Countess and Friends." (PageSix)

Netflix CFO David Wells to Step Down. Wells joined the streaming giant in 2004 and has served as financial head since 2010. Netflix on Monday said chief financial officer David Wells plans to step down after his successor is found. Wells joined Netflix in 2004 and served as CFO since 2010. Netflix said it will look inside and outside the company for a successor, with Wells choosing to remain with the company until one is found. "It's been 14 wonderful years at Netflix, and I'm very proud of everything we've accomplished," Wells said in a statement. "After discussing my desire to make a change with Reed [Hastings, Neflix's CEO], we agreed that with Netflix's strong financial position and exciting growth plans, this is the right time for us to help identify the next financial leader for the company," he added. During his tenure at Netflix, Wells has overseen a steep rise in annual spending -- currently around $8 billion a year -- to acquire and produce content so the streamer has a steady supply of new shows to grow its worldwide subscriber base. And with Amazon, Hulu, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and other companies also in the content game, and more buyers around, Netflix has seen the price for premium content rise. "David has been a valuable partner to Netflix and to me. He skillfully managed our finances during a phase of dramatic growth that has allowed us to create and bring amazing entertainment to our members all over the world while also delivering outstanding returns to our investors," said Hastings in his own statement. Wells' time at Netflix also saw the streamer move from just licensing programming to stocking its originals roster to increasingly bringing ownership in-house with overall deals with top TV producers. These includes multiyear deals with prolific TV producers Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan and Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy. (Hollywood Reporter)

Kerry Washington to Star in, Produce Hulu Drama 'Old City Blues'. Gore Verbinski is attached to direct the Makeready take on the Boom! Studios graphic novel. Kerry Washington is expanding her relationship with Hulu. The Scandal grad, who will next star in and executive produce Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere, has signed on to topline and exec produce Old City Blues for the streamer. The drama, which is in development at Hulu, is based on the Boom! Studios graphic novel. Black List screenwriter Arash Amel is adapting the TV take, with Oscar winner Gore Verbinski (Rango) attached to direct, should the project move forward. Published in 2011, Old City Blues was written by Giannis Milonogiannis. Set in the year 2048, the story takes place in New Athens, on the ruins that once was known as Greece but is now crawling with high-tech criminals including smugglers, drug dealers and corrupt politicians and powerful corporations. The potential series revolves around Solano, Thermidor and the rest of the New Athens Special Police, who endeavor to keep the city in check after the cyborg founder of a tech company is found dead. (It's unclear just what role Washington will take on as the project remains in development.) A writers room for the potential series has already been opened with Chris Black (Cinemax's Outcast) set to serve as showrunner and exec produce alongside Amel; Allison Davis (Underground) will pen the script. Washington will exec produce alongside her Simpson Street exec vp development and production Pilar Savone. Verbinski will also exec produce via his Blink Wink Productions. Boom! Studios president of development Stephen Christy and CEO Ross Richie will oversee for the company. Entertainment One will handle international distribution on the series, which is from Brad Weston's Makeready, as the former serves as the latter's top investor. Makeready's Scott Nemes will oversee for the company and exec produce alongside Weston. Old City Blues extends Washington's relationship with Hulu, where she next stars opposite Reese Witherspoon in Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere. Both Washington and Witherspoon are exec producing the straight-to-series limited series, which landed at Hulu following a multiple-outlet bidding war. The deal falls outside of Washington's overall pact with ABC Studios, for whom she starred on Scandal. For Boom! Studios, the deal comes after the company recently hired Averie Huffine as vp development to oversee its expansion in television. Beyond Marvel and DC, Boom! Studios has the largest library of comic book IP. Washington is repped by CAA, Washington Square Arts and attorney Gretchen Rush. Verbinski, whose credits also include A Cure for Wellness, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Lone Ranger, is repped by CAA, Anonymous Content and Sloane Offer. (Hollywood Reporter)

'Racist $100,000 Pyramid' Contestant Owns Up to Obama, Bin Laden Mix-Up. The 'BlacKkKlansman' Premiere was the Place to Be in Hollywood. "This just goes to show you that even a liberal Globalist Cuck like yours truly has some inherent racism lurking in my brain," contestant Evan Kaufman tweets. In what might go down as one of the worst answers in game show history, contestant Evan Kaufman revealed his "inherent racism" with one disastrous guess on "$100,000 Pyramid" Sunday night, and then tweeted how it happened. Kaufman was competing with "Saturday Night Live" alum Tim Meadows on the game show hosted by Michael Strahan, making the moment perhaps even more uncomfortable for him. After the episode aired, Kaufman's conflating of President Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden quickly went viral. Kaufman was presented with the answer, "People with the last name Obama," which really narrows it down to one family. But instead of naming Barack or Michelle or even their kids, after a very pregnant pause, he said, "Bin Laden." Kaufman immediately recognized his mistake, corrected it and Meadows was able to get the right answer, allowing them to move on. But perhaps no one was more horrified to see that moment play out on television than Kaufman himself, who knew it was coming after taping the episode months ago. He even admitted as part of a 13-tweet string that he'd wondered if it might be possible to edit it out, but as it was a timed sequence in the game, his screw-up was guaranteed a national spotlight and a permanent spot on lists of worst game show moments. And so, Kaufman jumped right out in front of it, presenting his side of the story almost immediately after the show ended Sunday night. To his credit, Kaufman didn't try to justify his mistake, or back away from the "inherent racism" it represented, as he described it. He even gave a shout-out to the production crew for capturing the moment so well, writing, "And so you have this perfectly viral clip. A clip that is insanely funny. It would be so funny if it wasn't me. The editing is impeccable." (Too Fab)

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