TV/STREAMING . . .
Netflix's new thriller starring Renee Zellweger is perfect for anyone who loved Dirty John and You. We're a long way from Bridget Jones. Renee Zellweger may forever be remembered as her chain-smoking, calorie-hopeless-in-love character Bridget Jones, but judging by the new trailer for her upcoming Netflix thriller What/If, she's now got a seriously dark streak. The award-winning actress is set to return to our screens for her first-ever regular role on TV in the 10-episode series, produced by Mike Kelley, best known for the TV series Revenge. The series stars Zellweger as Anne Montgomery, a mysterious tech investor who makes a lucrative but suspect offer to a pair of to cash-strapped newlyweds in San Francisco, Jane Levy and Blake Jenner. Netflix released a teaser trailer last month, giving us a first glimpse of Zellweger's transformation into a sexy but mean mastermind. Safe to say, she's here to stir up some drama, Indecent Exposure-style. "What if I made you an offer too extraordinary to refuse?" Zellweger says in the teaser. "For anything, and anyone, to be yours for the taking. The players are all arranged. What would you risk for a chance to have it all?" We then see her character Anne dramatically dropping a pawn onto a board of scattered chess pieces. In a new trailer released this week, we get a further look at Anne's twisted game plan: she'll finance the struggling couple's company, if she can spend a night with Blake. "True success, comes at any cost," she says. Each episode in the anthology centres on a different story of morality, and how one decision can change the course of a person's life, so we can there's sure to be plenty of shady dealings ahead. What/If hits Netflix on May 24. (British Glamour)
George Clooney on Disney's Hulu Deal and This "Absurd Time" in Politics. The star, in London with wife Amal to promote his Hulu series 'Catch-22,' also shared his love of streaming services. George Clooney, in London for the Wednesday night U.K. premiere of Hulu/Channel 4's Catch-22, shared his thoughts on the ever-changing media and streaming landscape, including Walt Disney's deal this week to take full control of Hulu. "Well, it's going to be pretty wild," Clooney told The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet for the premiere about the Disney deal with Comcast/NBCUniversal for the streaming service following Disney's Fox deal. "I mean it's going to be the biggest company in the world! So, we'll see, it should be fun. I mean, I like [Disney chairman and CEO] Bob Iger. He's a good friend, so I'm sure it'll be fine." The deal is furthering Disney's position in the streaming space ahead of the launch of its own Disney+ service later this year. While having a great experience with Hulu on Catch-22, Clooney told THR he doesn't plan to focus on working for one streaming service exclusively right now. "There's an awful lot of interesting work," he said. "We have a deal at MGM, so we are still working within the studio system. But you know there's an awful lot of good stories to be made [for] streamers right now, which is nice because I made a lot of movies like Good Night and Good Luck, and films like that, that were very small, and they wouldn't make it at a studio anymore, so it's really good for us, it's a great place to be." He added that the streaming space also allows creatives and viewers to explore a range of narratives. "A lot of the type of stories I like to tell don't involve superheroes, so it's not such a bad thing to tell these stories on streaming services." Clooney is executive producer on Catch-22, the series adaptation of Joseph Heller's classic 1961 novel and also directed two of the six episodes, as well as acting alongside Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler, Tessa Ferrer and Hugh Laurie, who were all at the launch event at London's Vue Westfield cinema. The star highlighted the timeliness of adapting the World War II satire now, noting how he thinks that "this is an absurd time in our history, sort of politically in a lot of different countries, and I think there's a lot of absurdist humor in this." He continued: "Films don't normally lead stories, they kind of reflect where we were, so maybe in 10 or 15 years we'll look around and think all of this absurdity is a little timeless unfortunately." Grant Heslov, Clooney's business partner at Smoke House Pictures, also features in Catch-22 and directed two episodes, the remaining two being helmed by Ellen Kuras. Heslov, who was celebrating his birthday at the show's U.K. launch and after-party at White City House, also chimed in on the Disney deal for Hulu and his experience working on the show for the streamer. "They recognize that Hulu is about taking these really great pieces of IP and making shows, and they seem to embrace it, so for us it's been nothing but great," Heslov said. Clooney also told THR that he appreciates the accessibility of streamers like other consumers. "It's really fun," he said, "you can get on a plane and rock and roll through it. You can watch six episodes straight!" (Hollywood Reporter)
Why Jim Parsons Decided He Was Done With The Big Bang Theory. Sometimes, even if you're the star of one of the most popular shows on TV, you just want to do something else. It was Jim Parsons decision to walk away from CBS' The Big Bang Theory after 12 seasons, which meant that the show itself would end after 12 seasons, since it would be weird for The Big Bang Theory to go on without Sheldon Cooper. "It was the first time in my life of doing this show that it occurred to me that I might want to not do another contract after 12 was up," Parsons told The Hollywood Reporter. "I don't know if it's because I'm an Aries or just because maybe I'm in touch with myself. Whatever it is, once I had that thought, I was like, well, that's your answer." "There was no factor, there was no situation that I was like, well I've had enough of that," Parsons continued. "No. There was nothing like that. It was just . . . when you know, you know. And you're susceptible and thrown around by the whims of your own existence and getting to a certain age and your life changes and suddenly you just think different. It has been fascinating to think about who I was 12 years ago. And sometimes when I have trouble learning a line or saying a line of Sheldon's right now, it's hard to know why specifically. But it's like, you're not he same person you were. There is a possibility that this actually became more difficult for you in a way. And I don't know what the means but it's like you just change." Co-creator Chuck Lorre said he couldn't imagine keeping the show going without Parsons and Sheldon. "I couldn't wrap my head around the idea of going on without the whole ensemble," he told THR. "In pulling it apart and re-approaching it as a fraction of what it was just never felt right to me. I've seen other shows try and fail to take a character out of their realm and carry on." The hourlong series finale, which airs tomorrow, has a whole lot going on: "Sheldon and Amy await big news (about the Nobel Prize); Bernadette and Wolowitz leave their kids for the first time; Penny and Leonard try to keep a secret; Sheldon and Amy stick together; Koothrappali makes a new friend; the gang travels together into an uncharted future." Isn't there just something about that last line that brings a tear to your eye? The finale will air at 8 p.m. on CBS, followed by the season finale of Young Sheldon (where young Sheldon has a party for the Nobel Prize announcements), followed by a half-hour special called "Unraveling the Mystery: A Big Bang Farewell," hosted by Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco. (Eonline)
Lisa Vanderpump's leaning toward bailing on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," but one thing's holding her back -- she refuses to give her castmates the satisfaction of seeing her go. Sources close to Lisa tell TMZ ... she doesn't want to return to the show if it's renewed after what she's dealt with this season, but she absolutely feels like the other 'Housewives' have ganged up on her to push her out. We're told LV thinks the reason she's raised the ire of her fellow 'RHOBH' stars this season is twofold -- they're jealous of her spin-off success with "Vanderpump Rules" ... and they're trying to distract attention away from their own family legal troubles. For instance ... the husbands of Kyle Richards, Erika Jayne and Dorit Kemsley have all been hit with million-dollar lawsuits in the past year, but that's largely been avoided in season 9. Our sources say Lisa thinks that's unfair, and she's grown tired of the negativity and BS directed at her. We're told she is uncertain she'll even attend the upcoming reunion show. As for all of season 9's dog-drama -- aka PuppyGate -- Lisa's over that too, mostly because the pooch at the center of the controversy is in a happy home and living in the lap of luxury. We're told she feels like that's all been put to rest since taking a lie detector test to prove she didn't sell out Dorit ... so now she's moving on. Our Vanderpump sources say she's now focusing her efforts on at-risk dogs in China where the annual Dog Meat Festival is approaching. As for season 10 of 'RHOBH' -- Lisa's far from a lock to participate, when and IF Bravo greenlights it. (TMZ)
'Wendy Williams Show' producer leaving for Tamron Hall's show. A longtime producer for "The Wendy Williams Show," Talia -- Parkinson-Jones, is leaving for Tamron Hall's new show, Page Six has exclusively learned. Parkinson-Jones, a -- co-executive producer for Williams' show, will -- co-executive produce Hall's upcoming daytime gabfest with "The View" veteran Bill Geddie, as well as the former "Today" anchor. Meanwhile, Williams announced that she's dissolving the Hunter Foundation, which she launched with her estranged husband, Kevin Hunter, to help those battling substance abuse. A source told Page Six that Williams' decision to dissolve the organization is because she no longer wants to be associated with her ex. She'll instead dedicate her time to other foundations. In March, the foundation launched a substance abuse hotline in partnership with T.R.U.S.T., but Williams has rarely mentioned it on her show since the announcement and a telethon. (PageSix)
'Tonight Show' and Jimmy Fallon slammed for allowing Morrissey to wear far-right pin. "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" is in hot water over an outfit choice made by a guest performer. British musician Morrissey appeared on the NBC late-night talk show to perform -- and he took the stage wearing a far-right pin on his lapel. The pin featured the logo of the anti-Islam For Britain political party. Morrissey, once the frontman of The Smiths, has openly supported the party since 2018. "I have been following a new party called For Britain which is led by Anne Marie Waters. It is the first time in my life that I will vote for a political party. Finally, I have hope," he said a while back. "I find the Tory-Labour-Tory-Labour constant switching to be pointless. "For Britain has received no media support and have even been dismissed with the usual childish 'racist' accusation. I don't think the word 'racist' has any meaning anymore, other than to say, 'you don't agree with me, so you're a racist.' People can be utterly, utterly stupid," the 59-year-old said. The party calls for the "end of the Islamisation of the UK," according to its website. It also rallies for reduced immigration into the UK. Many viewers took to social media to air their grievances about allowing Morrissey to wear the pin. "Shame on Morrissey for courting racism @ForBritainChair... Fallon don't give a platform to hate, please," said a user. "Morrissey supports a far-right party full of racists and nazis," a user commented. "Morrissey has committed career suicide. You cant be the voice of the loner & sensitive outsider & support a far-right racist micro-party such as For Britain. He has destroyed his raison d'etre & needs to understand that what he stands for is unacceptable," said someone else. "Fallon loves having his right-wing mates on, doesn't he? Morrissey will be performing in a Screwdriver T-shirt next," wrote another. Some others also brought up Fallon's interview with Donald Trump in 2016, during which he touched the then-GOP presidential candidate's hair. "Surprised jimmy fallon didn't tousle this mf's hair," said a user. "Article doesn't specify if Fallon playfully mussed Morrissey's hair," wrote another person. (PageSix)