TV/STREAMING . . .

Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Is in Production and MerLuca is Alive and Well. This is not a drill: Grey's Anatomy is back in production! The ABC medical drama got to work on season 16 and series stars Ellen Pompeo and Giacomo Gianniotti wasted no time showing viewers that MerLuca is alive and well. And for those confused, MerLuca is the couple now of Meredith Grey and Andrew DeLuca. Get with it! Gianniotti posted a very cute selfie with Pompeo and used some curious hashtags: "pajamadayeveryday" and "#icecreamforbreakfast," which make more sense when you take a gander at what Pompeo posted on her Instagram story. "This is my first scene of season 16 eating ice cream in bed with @giacomo_gianniotti and I get paid?? #shondalandproblems," she posted. Grey's Anatomy season 15 ended with DeLuca, Meredith, Richard (James Pickens Jr.) and Alex (Justin Chambers) all getting canned after the insurance fraud scheme comes to light. In the finale, Mer went to the police to clear up the charges with DeLuca after he initially took the fall for her. So, that explains why it's a pajama party day... or every day for DeLuca and Meredith, at least for right now. "It was a big swing we took, and I can't promise that Grey Sloan isn't going to have to do without those doctors, at least for a while," executive producer Krista Vernoff told TVLine. "I mean, they got fired!" In May 2019, Grey's was given a two-season renewal by ABC, bringing it to at least season 17. The network also added spinoff Station 19 to Vernoff's purview, meaning "two hours of feels on Thursdays" because of the "seamless crossover narrative on both series." "I'm thrilled to continue at the helm of Grey's Anatomy, and I'm honored and energized by the opportunity to run Station 19, as well. To expand upon the world Stacy McKee created, and further merge it with the world of Grey's, is an exciting challenge," Vernoff said in a statement. Fellow Shondaland series How to Get Away With Murder, created by Pete Nowalk and starring Viola Davis, was also renewed for a sixth and final season. "Everyone at Shondaland is thrilled that our fans' commitment to TGIT continues," Shonda Rhimes and producing partner Betsy Beers said in a joint statement. "We are so proud of Krista and Pete and the work they do. Making the choice to have Krista oversee Station 19 was easy -- the creativity she brings to the Grey's Anatomy universe continues a tradition of storytelling we hold dear." (Eonline)

Chace Crawford Is Now a Superhero on The Boys, But He's Not Opposed to a Gossip Girl Reunion. Chace Crawford has left Nate Archibald about as far behind as he could with his new role in Amazon Prime's The Boys. Crawford now plays a superhero who's got the super part down but isn't much of a hero, because in this satirical world, the superheroes have been corrupted by power. His character is called The Deep, the self-proclaimed King of the Sea, and he's not a nice dude. "We're kinda flipping it on its head, and these superheroes are essentially the bad guys and doing all these corrupt things," Crawford told E! News in an interview earlier this year. "I think that it's fun, and it doesn't take itself too seriously. It's not like these altruistic superheroes trying to save the world. You kinda watch the show and you're like, what is going on?" Costar Laz Alonso, who plays anti-superhero vigilante Marvin, adds that the show "puts the whole superhero genre in a real, rooted sense." "There's no, 'we're perfect and everybody else needs to be saved,'" he says. "It's 'we have these powers, but we're still people.'" Fortunately for all of us, just because Crawford's moved on to the superhero life that doesn't mean he's not willing to revisit his most famous role. Back before the Gossip Girl reboot/remake/continuation news was officially announced, we asked Crawford about his thoughts on a reunion and while he's not sure exactly how he'd fit in, he's down to figure it out. "I always say I'd be open to it. I'm definitely a little bit more excited about this show right now but I would love to see everyone again, and if they could somehow figure out a away to make it work, I would love to do it," Crawford said. "But we're getting old now, we're getting up there." It sounds like the producers do have it figured out, and while the original cast won't star in the new show, there's room for them to be a part of it. The new series will take place in the same world as the original show, where Blair, Serena, Chuck, and Nate will all exist, and that means there's totally opportunity for an original cast cameo. "I mean, if they want to be involved in some way, we reached out to all of them to let them know it was happening and that we would love for them to be involved if they want to be involved, but we certainly didn't want to make it contingent upon them," Josh Schwartz said. "And you know, they played those characters for six years and if they felt like they're good with that, we wanted to respect that but obviously any time anybody wants...it'd be great to see them again." The new series will focus on a new group of young Upper East Siders dealing not with the fact that they're being stalked by one Gossip Girl, but that everybody has become Gossip Girl in this social media-heavy time. "We felt like a version that was just our cast grown up...it didn't really feel like a group of adults who were being controlled by Gossip Girl would make a lot of sense," Schwartz said. "So it felt like there was something really interesting about this idea that we are all Gossip Girl now, in our own way, that we are all purveyors of our own social media surveillance state, and how that's evolved, and how that has morphed and mutated and telling that story through a new generation of Upper East Side high school kids felt like the right time." The Boys is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. (Eonline)

First teaser trailer for Mindhunter season 2 includes glimpses of Charles Manson and Son of Sam. Rejoice Mindhunters! The first teaser trailer for season 2 of Netflix's Mindhunter is finally here, and it features all the murder, mystery, and mayhem fans of the serial killer drama would expect. In the trailer, FBI Agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) visit a familiar face: fan-favorite coed killer Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton). The duo, who are clearly back together after the future of the Behavioral Science Unit was left hanging in the balance at the end of season 1, visit Ed to pick his brain about a new, unknown serial killer. "He has an overwhelming fantasy life, fantasies of what he's done, what he wants to do," Kemper tells them. "His dreams will consume him. Soon the real world won't even compare." "How do we catch a fantasy, Ed?" Tench asks. "If he's any good, you can't," Kemper replies. The teaser also features an unidentified woman walking slowly through a home, who discovers something horrifying in the bathroom, although it's unclear what, or whom, she sees. Season 2 is expected to cover the Atlanta child murders -- a series of at least 28 murders of mostly children and teens, all African-American, that took place in the Georgia capital from 1979-81. The trailer features a few different images presumably from Atlanta. Blink-and-you-miss-it shots of who appear to be Charles Manson, Son of Sam (a.k.a. David Berkowitz), and a masked BTK Strangler can all be seen as well. Holden is also seen in the hospital at one point. Previously, the clip was only available to the press, but it can now be viewed and at the show's official interactive website -- complete with other sneak peeks of the new season. In addition to Groff and McCallany, Anna Torv, Joe Tuttle, Albert Jones, Lauren Glazier, Stacey Roca, Michael Cerveris, and Sierra McClain will all star in season 2. Season 2 of Mindhunter drops on Netflix on Aug. 16. (Entertainment Weekly)

Why Veronica Mars Needed That Death to Move Forward. Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas has spent a lot more time over this past week talking about Logan Echolls than he realized he would have to. He knew he'd have to talk about it a little, of course, since he [SPOILER ALERT!] killed the character, played by Jason Dohring, off in the final minutes of the new and highly anticipated season of Veronica Mars, which dropped on Hulu a week early on Friday, July 19. For the fans who watched for the teen romance and fell in love with the incredibly complicated Logan as he fell in love with Veronica, the death was a show ruiner and maybe even a life ruiner, and Thomas is to blame. "A reporter I was just talking to said, 'Have you seen Twitter? People are threatening to come to your place, people are threatening to put a gun to your head to make you rewrite it,' and I hadn't seen any of that, and that's taking it to a silly place, but I knew fans were going to be upset," Thomas told E! News at the Hulu TV Critics Association summer press tour on Friday. "I was certainly ready to take the hurt feelings from the fans. I knew people would be angry at me, so I prepared myself for that," he said. Originally, the show would have come out on Friday, July 26, but Kristen Bell herself got to announce during the Comic-Con panel that, surprise, the show was out a week early. And thus so were the reactions. "I thought, well the show will be out, I won't actually be answering questions about the show after it's out, I'll do all my press beforehand, so I'm talking about it more than I thought I would, but I certainly girded to take the lumps for it," Thomas said. The reasoning for the death, a major, major shake-up in Veronica's life, was to help move the show forward into Thomas' vision for its future. "It was, if we're going to do more of these in the future, what do I want the show to look like?" he said. "I want it to feel like a mystery show. Like, I feel like a mystery can survive forever. A teen soap opera has a shelf life, and if we keep trying to do that teen soap opera combined with a mystery show, the teen soap is going to hold us back. It's gonna feel dated and worn. I think we can keep a mystery fresh, moving forward." But it's not as if killing Logan wasn't hard for Thomas to do. It definitely was. "I love Jason Dohring. I love the character Logan," he said. "It was not that I wanted to be done with either one of those things. That actually hurt, but moving forward with the show, I feel like this is the version of the show it needs to be." In Thomas' ideal future for the show, it will be "mystery-centric" and less concerned with the past, with "a lot of avenues" the show could potentially go down. Where the original show was 50 percent teen soap and 50 percent mystery, new Veronica would go full mystery. "Not that things won't go on in Veronica's personal life -- there certainly will be things going on in her personal life, but it won't rely on things you saw in 2004," Thomas explained. Taking Veronica out of Neptune and with nothing to tie her down allows freedom not only for Veronica, but for the show's writers, who won't be tied down by what the show was 15 years ago, when its characters were teens. Veronica couldn't just dump Logan and move away, just like Meredith Grey couldn't just dump Derek Shepherd on Grey's Anatomy. Sometimes a TV show's got to kill a love interest to take a character in a new direction, and now there's a whole world of mysteries for Veronica Mars to solve, and a whole new era of the show for us to hopefully look forward to. There's also the chance for a whole new generation of young women to look up to a character like Veronica, which is the reason Kristen Bell gave for returning to that world in the first place. "That's one of the reasons I did it. To be honest, this show is kind of a beast to shoot," she told us. "It's a lot of long nights... It was a big decision for me to go, 'Oh, I want to do Veronica Mars again, but I have babies at home.' I have little girls that are saying, 'Mommy why are you leaving?' Then it occurred to me I want to live in a world -- I want my daughters to grow up in a world where Veronica Mars exists as a reference, where people still say to themselves, 'What would Veronica do? How can I find that level of self-confidence and that level of fighting for the underdog?' So, I thought it was important to miss a couple of bedtimes in order to bring her back -- resurrect her -- for everyone." The return of Veronica Mars isn't about the return of a fan-favorite TV couple, but it's about bringing back a character who did so much for so many fans, and can continue to do the same for fans new and old. Logan's death won't break Veronica, but it is going to, as Bell has said, give her fuel to continue fighting for those of us who need her. Veronica Mars is now streaming on Hulu. (Eonline)

U.K. Finale of Brit Hit Dating Show 'Love Island' Draws 3.6M for ITV. Now a major summer event in the U.K., ITV's hit reality show drew to a close on Monday night after 49 episodes. Britain's annual obsession with a reality dating TV show has come to an end for this year, with 3.63 million tuning in to watch the Love Island 2019 finale on ITV's sister channel ITV2, according to overnight data. In a live show broadcast from a villa on the Spanish island of Mallorca, where many of the contestants have been living since the start of June, Amber Gill and Greg O'Shea were crowned champions on Monday, beating the bookies' favorites Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae Hague to a 50,000 ($60,000) prize (which the two winners opted to share). The finale of the fifth season of the current iteration of ITV's Love Island brings to end 2019's romantic TV adventures, which were spread over eight weeks and 49 episodes as attractive young Brits 36 in total as the series progressed  battled to "couple up" and avoid being voted off the island. Alongside dominating the tabloid news and being a major water-cooler moment for a U.K. population in need of some light relief from ongoing Brexit headlines, Love Island has become something of a major force for ITV, on which it's the most-watched show of the year for adults aged 16-34. Season five broke the 6 million viewers mark for the first time in terms of consolidated viewing across TV, computer and mobile, also landing more than 2 billion impressions on Twitter, with the Love Island Instagram account amassing more than 3 million followers. The show, produced by ITV Studios Entertainment and Motion Content Group, was cited in ITV's recent earnings report as having helped buoy advertising revenues for the first six months of the year, providing a "strong finish to the half." Earlier this month, ITV announced that it was capitalizing on the show's popularity by airing two seasons in the U.K. in 2020, with the first coming earlier in the year from South Africa. Despite such success, the first season of Love Island's much-hyped U.S. version, currently airing on CBS and one of 13 international commissions of the format, has been regarded as something of a flop by comparison. A major promotional push hasn't prevented the American iteration from drawing consistently mediocre ratings through its first three weeks, averaging a modest 0.5 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and about 2.25 million viewers per night. The show's demo rating is tied for 19th among 23 unscripted shows that have aired this summer on the Big Four broadcast networks. (Hollywood Reporter)

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