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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

TV/STREAMING . . .

House of Cards Final Season First Look: Are Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear Friends or Foes? Robin Wright's Claire Underwood might be getting some help in House of Cards season six. Or two new enemies, it depends on how you look at it. Netflix unveiled four new images from the upcoming final season of the Emmy-winning series that features Wright in the leading role as President Claire Underwood. Joining Wright this year are Diane Lane and Greg Kinnear. The two will play siblings, Annette and Bill Shepherd, the leaders of Shepherd Unlimited, an industrial conglomerate whose family foundations are a powerful force in the American political sphere. According to Netflix, "The two share a vision for the future of America, as well as a complicated past with the Underwoods." Cody Fern, who made a splash in The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story and can be seen in American Horror Story: Apocalypse, plays Duncan Shepherd, Annette's "ambitious and devoted son." He's the next generation of DC power players. Michael Kelly, Jayne Atkinson, Patricia Clarkson, Constance Zimmer, Derek Cecil, Campbell Scott and Boris McGiver are all returning for the final season. Netflix and producer MRC cut ties with Kevin Spacey following allegations of sexual misconduct. Production on the final season was halted and later resumed with Spacey no longer an executive producer on the series or member of the cast as Frank Underwood. Season five ended with Wright's Claire Underwood as president and breaking the fourth wall, a trait only Frank did previously. She announced a simple two-word phrase that seemingly sets the stage for the sixth and final season: "My turn." Netflix previously released a teaser video with Wright in character declaring her independence. The final season of House of Cards premieres November 2, just in time for when real-world American political news will hit a fever pitch with midterm elections. (Eonline)

Sharp Objects Reveals Its Killers In a Chilling Twist. "Don't tell mama." With three little words (followed by one here of a mid-credits sequence), Sharp Objects said goodbye by flipping the entire show on its head, and honestly this is one that's going to require some recovery time, and perhaps a rewatch or five. It's true and it remains true that Adora (Patricia Clarkson) was poisoning her daughters so that she would have to care for them. That's how Marian died all those years ago, and that's why Amma (Eliza Scanlen) was so weird all the time. She had been ingesting rat poison and antifreeze for years. When a pair of pliers, perfect for teeth-pulling, were found in the Crellin house, it looked like it had become clear that Adora had also killed Ann and Natalie and pulled out their teeth. No one thought that really seemed like an Adora thing to do, but the evidence was there, and so she was off to prison. It looked like there was a happy ending in store for the sisters after that. Amma went to live with Camille (Amy Adams), and even made new roller-skating friends. Then, while looking at Amma's dollhouse, Camille discovered a tooth, and then many teeth, making up the floor of one of the dollhouse. That's when Amma walked in, locked eyes with Camille, and said, "Don't tell mama." The show could have left it at that, but a mid-credits sequence of flashes told the rest of the story: Rat poisoned Amma and her roller-skating friends had killed Ann and Natalie, and her new friends were continuing the murders in St. Louis. This whole time we've been fearing for the life and well-being of this poor girl, and it turns out she's a murderous psychopath! Now aside from our many thoughts about what this revelation means for the entire series, for some reason we're mostly thinking about Camille's "investigative reporting." How insane is it that she was sent home to write a series of articles about murders that happened to be committed by her own family members? Shouldn't she have waited until the story was over to actually publish her "investigative reporting?" And once she saw how that story ends, shouldn't she have perhaps held back and written a memoir or something? Don't get us wrong, her boss was a wonderful father figure she desperately needed (and when he showed up with Richard we definitely cheered) but he trained and encouraged a very bad journalist. Anyway, let's turn this into an anthology series with Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, and Eliza Scanlen starring as different messed up families every season, because that was a chilling, creepy, and often uncomfortable blast. Sharp Objects aired on HBO. (Eonline)

HBO Reveals Game of Thrones Season 8, Big Little Lies Season 2 Footage. The first footage of Game of Thrones season eight, the final season, is here. And... well, it's here. That's what matters. HBO released a "Coming Soon" video during the Sharp Objects finale that featured the first look at the upcoming season of Game of Thrones (still slated to debut in 2019). It features Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) reuniting. They hug it out, people! While it's not much, it still is something. Most of the clips from Game of Thrones in the package are from the seventh season. The promo also features new footage from True Detective season three (yes, it's happening), which stars Mahershala Ali, and Meryl Streep in Big Little Lies season two. There's a quick glimpse of Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon back in action as Celeste and Madeline, respectively, but again, a lot of the Big Little Lies clips are from the first season. The second season of Big Little Lies features Streep as Mary Louise Wright, the mother of Alexander Skarsgrd's abusive Perry Wright. She comes to town concerned about her grandchildren following the death of her son. She's searching for answers. Big Little Lies and Game of Thrones both return in 2019. (Eonline)

NCIS: LA brings back Gerald McRaney as a retired Navy admiral. Gerald McRaney will drop the white coat on This is Us this fall to become a heavily decorated Naval officer. The veteran actor best known for playing Dr. Nathan Katowski on NBC's This is Us will reprise his role as retired Navy Admiral Hollace Kilbride in the season premiere of NCIS: LA. Kilbride is called to the Los Angeles office following the complications from the off-the-books case in Mexico. If fans will recall from the season 9 finale, the team -- G. Callen (Chris O'Donnell), Kensi (Daniela Ruah), Sam (LL Cool J), and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) -- were fleeing the cartel when their car was hit by a rocket. "We decided to end with a bang last season, quite literally, so we start right where we ended," executive producer R. Scott Gemmill tells EW. The last time McRaney appeared on the drama was in season 6. The 10th season premiere of NCIS: LA will air Sept. 30 at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBS. (Entertainment Weekly)

Mom brings back Kristen Johnston as Tammy the would-be steak thief. Tammy the would-be steak stealer is coming back to Mom. EW has learned exclusively that Kristen Johnston will reprise her role as Tammy Diffendorf, Bonnie's (Allison Janney) foster sister who landed in prison because she attempted to rob an Outback Steakhouse. Johnston will be featured in three episodes this season. "She's going to get out of prison and live with Bonnie and Christy [Anna Faris]," explains creator/showrunner Gemma Baker. "It's going to be really fun." Johnston last appeared in the season 4 episode "Crazy Snakes and a Clog to the Head," which explained how Bonnie first met Tammy in a foster house before she got her kicked out and Tammy's life went downhill as a result. Tammy hit rock bottom at an Outback restaurant, where she attempted to swipe steaks on a "Cops Eat Free" night. She was arrested by 32 people. Mom returns at Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. (Entertainment Weekly)

Asia Argento has been axed from "X Factor Italy" after evidence surfaced she had sex with a 17-year-old boy. Seven episodes are already in the can with Argento as one of the judges and those episodes will air, but she's been cut from the live shows that follow. According to the Italian media, the producers -- FremantleMedia Italia and Sky Italia -- had previously decided if the allegations were true, she would no longer be welcome on the show. TMZ broke the story ... Argento admitted in text messages to having sex with then-17-year-old Jimmy Bennett, despite recently denying it. There is also a photo of the 2 in bed at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina del Rey, CA, where they hooked up. Argento, one of the first voices in the #MeToo movement and one of the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape, paid Bennett $380,000 as a settlement back in April. She has said her then-boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, paid the money. (TMZ)

Will Roseanne be dead when The Conners premieres? It sure sounds that way. ABC axed the sitcom after season 1 following racist tweets by Roseanne Barr Opens a New Window., but the story will continue when The Conners premieres in October without Barr. In a new interview with The Times, John Goodman opened up about the shocking cancelation and the new series. ABC hasn't yet revealed how the new show will approach Barr's absence, but Goodman has an idea. "It's an unknown. I guess he'll be mopey and sad because his wife's dead," the 66-year-old actor said in the interview. "I was broken-hearted, but I thought, 'OK, it's just show business, I'm going to let it go,'" he added about his initial reaction when Roseanne was officially canceled in May. "But I went through a period, about a month, where I was very depressed. I'm a depressive anyway, so any excuse that I can get to lower myself, I will. But that had a great deal to do with it, more than I wanted to admit." He also addressed Barr's tweet in which she referred to former White House aide Valerie Jarrett as a combination of "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes," not wanting to say too much. "I was surprised. I'll put it this way, I was surprised at the response. And that's probably all I should say about it," he told The Times. "I know, I know, for a fact that she's not a racist." Goodman also noted that he has reached out to Barr, 65, after the show was axed, but never got a response. "She had to sign a paper saying that she relinquished all her rights to the show so that we could go on. I sent her an email and thanked her for that," he said. "I did not hear anything back, but she was going through hell at the time. And she's still going through hell." The cast, including Goodman, released a statement when ABC announced that the show in June this time titled The Conners, would be coming back without Barr: "We have received a tremendous amount of support from fans of our show, and it's clear that these characters not only have a place in our hearts, but in the hearts and homes of our audience. We all came back last season because we wanted to tell stories about the challenges facing a working-class family today. We are so happy to have the opportunity to return with the cast and crew to continue to share those stories through love and laughter." The Conners premieres on ABC Tuesday, October 16, at 8 p.m. ET. (US Weekly)

ATTN: Taps Pop Veteran Jessie Surovell to Lead TV Development. The executive will oversee all originals development, including a slate of existing Facebook Watch shows and a project underway at Paramount Television. Media startup ATTN: is turning its attention to television. The Los Angeles company, which produces issue-driven videos and articles for the web, has tapped Jessie Surovell as its new head of television development. In her new role, Surovell will oversee all scripted and unscripted output for ATTN: across television and streaming platforms. Surovell comes to ATTN: from The Content Group, the new production company formed by Asylum Entertainment co-founder Steve Michaels. She had been with the company since January of this year and served as vp content strategy. Before The Content Group, Surovell was vp development at Pop, the cable network operated as a joint venture of CBS and Lionsgate. She also spent time at Shed Media U.S. and Ricochet Television. "As ATTN: continues to develop more original, longform projects for television and streaming services, we wanted to bring someone onboard with the vision and experience to make the next ''must watch' series," said ATTN: co-founder Matthew Segal. "Jessie's background and proven track record in development makes her a unique talent, and we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome her to the team." The executive comes to ATTN: at a time when digital media companies are increasingly looking for ways to bring their IP to television. Vice, BuzzFeed and Vox Media all led the early wave of online publishers who set up shop in Los Angeles with an eye for selling more projects into Hollywood. Now companies like Axios and Crooked Media are also bringing their voices to television. ATTN: which has long focused on video content, has also made longer form content more of a priority. The company struck a co-production deal with ABC News in 2017 that saw Segal join the broadcast news group as a contributor. The companies recently co-produced documentary For Our Lives: Parkland, which aired on Freeform in April. ATTN: is also currently in development on a Paramount Television-produced adaptation of Nev Schulman-hosted digital series America Versus. In addition, ATTN: has a slate of four series at Facebook Watch and is developing digital shows for Instagram's IGTV and Snapchat. As part of her role at ATTN: Surovell will be tasked with developing longform projects and also adapting ATTN:'s library of shortform series into linear television projects. "I've always been most excited by the challenge of building something new and innovative and have fallen in love with the ATTN: brand," said Surovell. "I'm so impressed with the success they've achieved in such a short amount of time and am beyond thrilled to join ATTN: as they continue this push into long-form content. I look forward to helping solidify them as a major player in the new television landscape." ATTN: was founded in 2014 by Segal and Jarrett Moreno. The company counts Bill Maher, Troy Carter, Evolution Media Capital and Tribune Media as investors. Last year, Valerie Jarrett joined the company as a senior advisor. (Hollywood Reporter)

NBC News Chairman Andy Lack could be on the chopping block. Embattled NBC News Chairman Andy Lack is facing the boot from the once-prestigious news division over his mishandling of a series of #MeToo scandals and the Megyn Kelly debacle, sources exclusively confirmed to Page Six. Comcast chiefs have been seeking a replacement for Lack, 71, who is on the ropes after the downfall of his once close-friend Matt Lauer, the Brian Williams wreckage and allegations against legendary anchor Tom Brokaw. And there's still-lingering questions about why NBC News sat on the infamous "Access Hollywood" "Grab em by the p?-?-?-?y" Donald Trump tape, and why they refused to run Ronan Farrow's expose on Harvey Weinstein before he went to the New Yorker. Plus, there's Kelly's $20 million-a-year deal personally made by Lack for the ex-Fox News star to host the soft third hour of "Today." Despite a recent improvement in ratings, her numbers are still down 30 percent in the key demo compared to 2017, when Tamron Hall and Al Roker co-hosted. And ABC's rival "GMA" reigns supreme as the most-watched morning show, costing Comcast millions in ad dollars. One insider told Page Six, "Comcast execs are tired of the scandals and talent troubles at NBC News. They want to establish a new tone at the division and start to win back its former prestige. A media outlet is working on an expose of Lack's management in the #MeToo era, but it is not yet clear what damage that could cause. Megyn's deal is also a big problem, because her contract states she can't be assigned to hard news against her will, so a move to a new slot would be difficult." An NBC spokesman said, "That is absurd." Other insiders say ABC News President James Goldston has been eyed for the NBC job as his predecessor, Disney/ABC TV Group president Ben Sherwood, is tipped to become worldwide head of news in a leadership overhaul. But an ABC source insisted that Goldston is tied to ABC News because he is in his first year of a two-year contract. One added, "The big question is who could take over -- or who would want -- Andy's job? #MeToo has basically seen everyone off." (PageSix)

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