- article: movieweb.com
Jesse Eisenberg, best known for his roles in movies such as Zombieland and The Social Network, is staying quite busy these days. Much of the time, in recent years, that is spent on slightly smaller indie movies, which vary greatly in scope and genre. Case in point, Eisenberg is starring in not one, but two movies that are coming out on the same day this week in Resistance and Vivarium.
In the case of Resistance, directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, Jesse Eisenberg portrays real-life mime Marcel Marceau who went on to become something of an unlikely hero during World War II, becoming a member of the French Resistance, which helped to save the lives of thousands of children. On the other side of the fence, we have Vivarium. Directed by Lorcan Finnegan, this contained sci-fi flick reteams him with his Art of Self-Defense co-star Imogen Poots and sees them as a couple looking to buy a house and they become trapped in the labyrinth of a development, forcing them to live in a suburban nightmare.
I recently had the good fortune of speaking with Jesse Eisenberg on behalf of both movies. It's actually the third time in a year I've spoken with the actor, a tradition I hope to see continue. We discussed their commonalities, what sets them apart, how the current coronavirus pandemic is influencing the way in which they will be viewed and much more.
Hey man, are you doing alright?
Jesse Eisenberg: Yeah! We're about to drive cross country in an RV.
Oh man. That's wild.
Jesse Eisenberg: It's pretty weird, yeah. So unbelievably surreal.
I don't know if you remember but I got to interview you twice in the last year. I got to talk to you for The Art of Self-Defense and Zombieland 2, so I guess we're making this something of a tradition when you have a new movie coming out.
Jesse Eisenberg: [laughs] That would be great! And hopefully this won't end, given the current pandemic.
Touching on that a little bit, we're here to talk about Resistance and Vivarium. You have two movies coming out on the same day at a time when people could really use a break from life. How does that feel for you? You mentioned the word surreal.
Jesse Eisenberg: Yeah. Also, you make these movies with a certain kind of intention and they end up coming out at a time that will necessarily affect the way they are viewed. Vivarium is this kind of claustrophobic fever dream of a movie about characters that are totally isolated who literally have no interaction with anybody besides themselves and their increasingly stir-crazy child. I think it will be filtered through the gaze of being stuck at home and quarantined now. And Resistance is this really beautiful, uplifting movie about a guy who is keeping these children entertained and distracted through a war. Again, I think it will be filtered through the lens of parents keeping their children occupied when they are not allowed to go outside or play with other kids, which is exactly what I'm dealing with now. So it's really strange, in that, you think a movie will be perceived a certain way and they always end up being perceived the way that the culture decides based on the circumstances in which they're coming out.
With Resistance specifically, World War II is perhaps one of the most well-trotted genres in all of film. What sets Resistance apart, in your mind, from other movies people might be familiar with from that subgenre of filmmaking?
Jesse Eisenberg: You hit it in on the head, in terms of what I was thinking about it, in terms of, how is this different? I lost family in World War II and wanted to write something about it at some point. What I ended up writing about it was a play where this brash young man visits his Holocaust surviving cousin based on my life and my experience with my cousin. The play was kind of an unusual take on that story. In terms of this movie, I thought of it as the story of an artist who is coming to terms with, A, not being able to do his work because he's Jewish and in Europe in the late 30s, then reluctantly becoming a hero and using his art for the benefit of others. It's something I think about all the time. I think a lot of what I do is very self-indulgent, and self-serving, and navel-gazing. And yet, I married a woman who grew up volunteering at her mother's domestic violence shelter, and who works with the poorest schools in New York City. So I'm constantly trying to reconcile, how do you have a life in the arts but also try to help people more explicitly? So that's kind of what I like about this movie, and what I think it touched upon so beautifully, rather than just a typical story of the wary.
Switching to Vivarium, which is a very different kind of movie. I think it's a little difficult to distill, but at the core of it is this "be careful what you wish for" idea. You play a character named Tom. How do you think that theme affected the character? Without getting into spoilers.
Jesse Eisenberg: The movie was written in response to this housing crisis in Ireland where there was a shortage of housing in Dublin and people were increasingly desperate to find a house, and they moved further and further outside the city to do so. So I was thinking of it in those terms and how we, in an eager need to have some kind of normal life, and to respond to social pressure of growing up, getting married and having a child, and finding a house, you may make these kinds of compromises or sacrifices. I think of this movie as the kind of fever dream you would have the night before you get married or buy a house. All of these unconscious fears you have of commitment manifesting in the scariest of ways. In a way, it kind of speaks to what you said, of be careful what you wish for. But also, I think what makes the movie so great, is that it's this kind of abstracted version of a nightmare, rather than a literal commentary on how bad the suburbs are, or how bad marriage can be. It really is this abstracted version of that stuff in a way that I thought was just really terrifying, rather than a more literal commentary.
Both of these movies, while very different, I think the similarity that they share is that they're very intense. For you, was one of them more intense to film than the other?
Jesse Eisenberg: I mean, doing a World War II movie and playing a Jewish guy at a time when there was antisemitic attacks happening in America was particularly because, oftentimes you do a movie, most of the time it's fiction so you're no longer encountering it in anyway. But doing a movie like this where the temple in Pittsburgh, where I have a lot of friends, was attacked after rehearsal for a Holocaust movie was particularly unnerving, especially when I have survivors in my family. You have the sense, at least the Holocaust is over and becoming an increasingly distant memory, and there there is attacks on a temple that you've been to in Pittsburgh. Or my wife's temple, where she grew up, there was an attempted bombing there, and a defacement of it. Particularly strange, especially doing the movie in Munich, about 20 minutes away from Dachau. That was, I would say, unusually difficult to remove myself. On the other hand, it has this really wonderful feeling, because the beautiful theme of the movie is, the character says, "The best way to resist is to survive." It's not to kill the Nazis, but to survive and live past them. In a way, doing the movie, it felt like we were doing just that.
You mentioned the whole idea of responsibility vs. Entertainment. I've always felt entertainment is a good thing for people. An escape. The Social Network felt like a movie that, at the time when it came out, was shining a light on things people didn't realize. But so much has happened with Facebook in the time since that movie came out. Do you think there could be some sort of social responsibility in doing a sequel that shines a light on what happens since we last saw Mark Zuckerberg?
Jesse Eisenberg: There's a great movie that I just saw at the Boulder [International] Film Festival called The Social Dilemma which, in a way, serves as exactly that. I mean, it's a really unnerving documentary about the dangers of social media. I don't have any social media accounts, so it was kind of an education for me, as well as a warning. Or maybe for many of the other people in the audience who have social media, it was just kind of a shock to the system. I would recommend people see it, because it's really great and terrifying.
Would you be interested in playing Zuckerberg again if the opportunity came up?
Jesse Eisenberg: My background is in theater where you play a character 200 times and it still doesn't feel like enough. So when I do a movie it always feels like it ended far too quickly. I love doing anything like that. That's why I've done a few sequels. It's exciting. I like that kind of thing. That last play I did, I did like 200 times in two different countries, and to me it felt like I still wanted to do it again. So I don't ever feel bored, or exhausted, or uninterested in characters.
Vivarium is available on both VOD and Digital HD from Saban Films, with Resistance also available on that date on both VOD and Digital HD from IFC Films.
Topics: Resistance, Vivarium
Tom and Gemma (Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots) are looking for the perfect home. When a strange real-estate agent takes them to Yonder, a mysterious suburban neighborhood of identical houses, Tom and Gemma can't leave quick enough. But when they try to exit the labyrinth-like housing development, each road takes them back to where they started. Soon, they realize their search for a dream home has plunged them into a terrifying nightmare, in this taut thriller filled with white-knuckle suspense.
As self-isolation and social distancing because of the coronavirus roars on, we need TV shows and movies now more than ever to keep us entertained and sane. Thankfully, this week's lineup of new programming is solid.
See, below, all the TV shows and movies that will help you pass the time over the next few days.
iHeart Living Room Concert for America: Elton John and iHeart are banding together to throw a benefit concert for coronavirus relief. Dubbed the iHeart Living Room Concert for America, the concert will feature several artists who all recorded their sets from home using their personal phones and audio equipment. Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Alicia Keys, and others are slated to perform. It will air commercial-free on Fox on Sunday, March 29, at 9 p.M. ET. It will also air on Fox and iHeart's other digital, broadcast, and linear platforms at the same time. Viewers will be encouraged to donate to Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation. 9 P.M. ET on on Fox
Homefest: James Corden's Late Late Show Special: "With all the artists and guests safely at home — and James in his garage — we'll be raising money for charity and hopefully raising your spirits in the process," an Instagram post about this special reads. Featured artists include Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, and John Legend. 10 P.M. ET on CBS
Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert: A YouTube documentary about the history of Coachella. Streaming on YouTube
The Scheme: Per HBO, this documentary explores the 2017 arrests of Adidas executives and assistant coaches at major college basketball programs after the FBI uncovered some major corruption. 9 P.M. ET on HBO
The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show: Per Netflix, "From the mind of comedian Iliza Shlesinger comes a fun, irreverent mix of kooky characters, sly social commentary and pop culture gags," Streaming on Netflix
Nailed It!: Because disaster baking will always calm my nerves. Streaming on Netflix
The Real Housewives of New York City: With Bethenny Frankel out, how will the dynamic of this season be? I can't wait to tune in...With Pinot Grigio, of course. 9 P.M. ET on Bravo
Coffee & Kareem: A new movie starring Taraji P. Henson and Ed Helms about an inept cop who must team up with his girlfriend's son after their first bonding experience leads to a criminal discovery. Streaming on Netflix
9 Months with Courteney Cox: Per a press statement, this docuseries "gives viewers raw access to people from all over America of various race, religion, and class as they self-document their nine-month journey of pregnancy." It is hosted by Courteney Cox. Stream on Facebook Watch
Josh Gad of 'Frozen' is hosting online story time for kids stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak. USA TODAY
From her home in Falls Church, Virginia, teacher Kalpana Sharma gathered her props: three water bottles she made into puppets, paper for drawing a picture of her feelings and tinfoil shaped into boats that could float in the kitchen sink.
Then Sharma took a deep breath, clicked a link on her computer and began recording a 30-minute lesson for her preschool students — and for any other young child with a television near Washington, D.C. The lesson is slated to air on a local Fox television channel starting Monday at 10 a.M.
As districts scramble to deliver distance learning for weeks of coronavirus school shutdowns, some are turning to television as a way to reach students who lack broadband internet or computers.
While imperfect and less personalized than Zoom chats or online lessons, district-vetted television programming attempts to bridge the digital divide. Internet access or no, just about all households have a TV and a way to access local channels.
"This is at least a light of hope for low-income families," said Sharma, who's taught preschool in the District of Columbia Public Schools for 19 years. She works at Brightwood Education Campus, where almost all K-8 students come from low-income families.
"If parents don’t have internet access, they can watch something on TV and get some learning done with their kids," she said.
Kalpana Sharma, a preschool teacher at Brightwood Education Campus, is one of the first educators in the District of Columbia Public Schools to record weekly television lessons for students. The 30-minute segments begin Monday, March 30 and will air on a local Fox station that partnered with the Washington Teachers Union. (Photo: Kalpana Sharma)
Is online school illegal? With schools closing, special education concerns give districts pause
The Washington Teachers' Union is putting its own educators on television. Other districts, such as in Los Angeles, Boston and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, have created partnerships with local PBS stations to re-purpose existing programming and air segments for certain grade levels at specified times.
While many have applauded the efforts, advocacy groups say televised lessons alone are not enough to close the gap in equity between traditionally developing, digitally connected students and those who are disadvantaged. Nor will it fully close the gap in access for those with disabilities.
Educational content on TV is certainly better than nothing for students, but people with hearing or sight impairments may still have trouble tuning in, said Mark Shapiro, president of the Bureau of Internet Accessibility, a group that advocates for making the web accessible for all people.
While creative, the TV programming highlights another problem: Districts weren't ready to conduct remote learning in a calamity. Some of that is understandable in a sudden pandemic. But districts should use the coronavirus outbreak as the impetus to change, Shapiro said.
"Schools need to prepare for the next time we see an increase in the need for distance learning," he said. "For students to have the same chance at success, they need to have access to the same materials, regardless of who they are and their circumstance.”
'You can't Netflix them all day:' Coronavirus closed a school where all kids have special needs
Los Angeles launches 'low-tech' learningThe Los Angeles Unified District, which runs its own public broadcast station, quickly partnered with two more PBS stations in mid-March to air educational programs every day.
Many of the episodes are coupled with quick interludes from the district that connect the show to content standards and that give students new ideas to consider.
The "low-tech" solution has been one way to reach the nearly 700,000 students in the nation's second-largest district, said Austin Beutner, Los Angeles schools superintendent. About 80 percent of the students live in poverty, and roughly 1 in 4 don't have internet in the home. The district also has worked to provide online learning options for a more high-tech experience, he said.
"We know there's no real substitute for learning in a classroom," Beutner said. "In this time and environment, we want learning to continue, and so it's going to look different. We hope that this provides an opportunity for families to sit down together and maybe say, 'Let's watch this show on Reconstruction together.'"
Are we headed for summer school? After coronavirus school closings, states ponder options
About 71 PBS stations in 30 states have picked up the enhanced Los Angeles content, called At-Home Learning, PBS leaders said. In the second week of programming in Los Angeles, viewership has risen to about 140,000 homes and 200,000 people tuning in every day.
Reviewed editor-in-chief David Kender shares creative ways to keep your kids engaged while you're stuck at home. USA TODAY
On PBS, Boston focuses on teens, Bethlehem targets elementaryPublic schools in Boston and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, are also curating PBS content for students.
Starting Monday, Boston's PBS station and WGBH Boston will partner to provide five hours of daily programs for students in middle and high school, from noon to 5 p.M., on the public media WORLD channel. The programs will feature science, history and English language arts. PBS stations nationwide will have access to the material, according to leaders of both channels.
In Bethlehem, public television leaders and educators partnered to produce educational programming that will be broadcast to elementary students in the Lehigh Valley. That area includes Allentown, a city of more than 110,000, where many students lack internet access. The shows will begin Monday.
"The sole medium that can reach nearly 100% of students is broadcast television," said Victoria Scialfa, marketing manager of Lehigh Valley Public Media.
Seattle Public Schools, which has weathered criticism for not offering online learning to all students because it can't do it in an equitable way, also has put some educational programming on a public access channel and YouTube.
In D.C., 30-minute TV shows pair with phone callsThe teachers' union spurred the televised lessons in D.C. By partnering with a local Fox station that agreed to clear out a 10-10:30 a.M. Time slot each weekday. Monday is for early learners and first graders, Tuesday is for second and third graders, Wednesday for fourth and fifth grade students, Thursday for middle school students and Friday for high schoolers.
The televised lessons are a critical addition given that about half of D.C. Students don't have computers in their homes and the district has been slow to release more district-owned devices to families, said Elizabeth Davis, president of the Washington Teachers' Union.
"We're trying to find all the ways possible to get learning to students," she said.
Teachers can't cover much content in just a 30-minute time slot. And so far, they're having to record the lessons after their normal daily duties, which include connecting with students and families through a variety of platforms, including plain old phone calls.
Mandrell Birks, the technology instructional coach at Eliot-Hine Middle School, edits and produces the segments before sending them to the station. He's squeezing in the work on nights and weekends, after helping his colleagues troubleshoot a new reality of digital teaching each day.
Birks chats with teachers about how to design lessons for TV, what the background should look like and what props would work well. He then sends a link they can click to record themselves, and he watches live, from his own home, to offer feedback.
When Sharma recorded her first lesson for her preschool students, the half-hour she planned finished in a mere 18 minutes.
"No students in front of you and no checks for understanding — I'd never taught to a screen before," she said.
Birks told Sharma she'd need to record the lesson again, so she spent a couple hours gathering more props to keep viewers engaged. She turned water bottles into puppets. She drew multiple faces to stick on each side of a spatula: Happy and sad, calm and disappointed. She practiced floating and sinking her tinfoil boats in sink water. (She added coins to one of the boats to make it heavier).
Her second recording was masterful, her colleagues said. But Sharma thinks she can do better.
"The first lesson, I just wanted them to understand: It’s OK. We all have feelings and we are all living with uncertainty," Sharma said.
Academic content can come later, she added.
"I thought puppets would be a better way for them to express their feelings. And I hope families will get engaged with them to talk about their feelings."
Kalpana Sharma, a preschool teacher in Washington, D.C., is one of the first teachers in the district to record lessons for broadcast television to reach students without home computers or internet. She poses with one of her homemade props, a spatula puppet. (Photo: Kalpana Sharma)
Teaching kids at home? We tried Outschool, online classes taught by real teachers. Here's what happened.
Contact Erin Richards at (414) 207-3145 or erin.Richards@usatoday.Com. Follow her on Twitter: @emrichards
Education coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation does not provide editorial input.
The coronavirus outbreak is forcing parents to work from home with kids. Here are 4 tips to keep in mind to still work effectively. USA TODAY
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TV Pilots, A Big Employer In L.A., Are In Limbo. How The Coronavirus Could Change The Industry - Los Angeles TimesRead Now
This year's batch of TV pilots included some ominous names: "Triage," "Wreckage" and "Housebroken."
Now, those show titles also describe network TV's pilot season, which has been upended by the coronavirus outbreak.
Broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW were gearing up to employ thousands of workers in Los Angeles; Vancouver, Canada; New York and beyond when film and TV production shut down two weeks ago.
Opportunities vanished overnight. For some, the work stoppage came just days after being hired onto a pilot, the industry term for the initial episode of a proposed series.
Pilot season, which typically runs from late February to early May, injects an estimated $500 million in annual spending into the entertainment economy, which also boosts small firms such as prop houses and catering firms that provide support.
The disruption of pilot season underscores the rippling economic effects of the health crisis. Some industry veterans are predicting that pilot season, as we know it, may never be the same, especially if network executives discover they can live without the compressed window of production — a mad dash to find the next big hit.
"I suspect that we'll look back on this event and say: 'That was the tipping point,' " said producer Warren Littlefield, who ran NBC Entertainment during its 1990s heyday. "All the walls have been crumbling, and this is the final blast."
Pilot season has long been television's petri dish. The custom began in the early 1960s to bring big advertising dollars to prime-time TV. A decade ago, the five broadcast networks combined would order nearly 100 pilots in February and early March, then task writer-producers with delivering their episodes in less than six weeks.
But as network TV's dominance waned, executives have increasingly bought shows out of season. They didn't want to lose another big-named writer-producer or prominent actor to a project for a streaming service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, which are not hemmed in by the seasonal rhythms of network TV.
This year, the five broadcast networks had ordered 56 television pilots. ABC picked up its last pilot March 9, one week before the production shutdown. Only one pilot, "B Positive," for CBS from prolific producer Chuck Lorre ("The Big Bang Theory") and writer Marco Pennette ("Mom"), had finished shooting before production halted. Now, the other 55 pilots are in limbo.
Carla Banks Waddles, a writer and producer of "Good Girls" on NBC, was two weeks away from shooting a pilot she wrote for NBC called "At that Age," which explores an African American family's legacy in Harlem.
"We were in New York, location scouting and having daily meetings with key departments who were all ramping up to shoot," Waddles wrote in an email. Then came the order to shut down.
"I'm still in contact with the other producers to make any decisions we can, having story meetings, music meetings, minor casting and creative discussions, etc.," Waddles said. "Anything to keep the train moving forward."
Producers and studio executives say it is doubtful that full-scale TV production could resume before June or July. Several network executives predicted that new scripted shows might not be ready to air until November or January, delivering another blow to broadcasters, which have been steadily losing audiences to streaming services, video games and other TV outlets.
Viewers might not see a flurry of new scripted shows in late September, as is the tradition. Instead, several network executives said the September-through-May television season may become a thing of the past, with networks shifting to a calendar year by staging premiere week in January.
Executives said they intend to keep many of the pilots alive, particularly those that have received a series commitment. In addition, networks in the last week have asked show producers to submit scripts for a possible second episode so they can better evaluate a show's prospects in such a tumultuous climate.
One veteran TV producer, who asked not to be identified, said he considered second scripts as an "audition," so network executives can narrow the field without shooting any video, thus saving time and millions of dollars.
Waddles, the writer-producer for NBC, said she welcomed the request for an additional script, which she called "a great show of support and a way for everyone to stay engaged during uncertain downtime. And it puts us that much further ahead to have a second episode ready to go later."
Network executives said the situation will be in flux as long as the COVID-19 crisis continues.
"Everything has been disrupted. We don't have enough information at the moment to make decisions," said one senior network executive who was not authorized to comment. An executive at another network said: "There's no playbook for how you work through a pandemic."
This much is clear: TV production, a major source of employment in the Los Angeles region, will fall well short of last season. Broadcast networks, cable channels and digital platforms produced 196 new scripted dramas and comedies from June 2018 through May 2019, according to an analysis by FilmLA. (There were a total of 465 live action scripted shows last season, FilmLA said).
Of the new shows, 67 aired on a broadcast network; 53 were on a cable channel, and 76 were featured on a streaming service (up from 41 new streaming shows the year before). Last year marked the first time that streaming companies ordered more programs than cable channels or broadcast networks.
Even before the pandemic, broadcast networks already were cutting back. Last year's broadcast orders represented a 12% decline from the previous season, when the big networks bought 76 new dramas and comedies, according to FilmLA.
"This was a trend that was already gaining momentum," said Gary Newman, former co-chief executive of the Fox network and TV studio. "Now that trend will probably speed up."
Ordering a show "straight-to-series," without commissioning a pilot, has been gaining favor as the networks face fierce competition.
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ typically order a full season of episodes without making a pilot. So the broadcast networks increasingly have made similar deals to remain competitive. They want to be welcoming to top producers seeking a home for their projects, even if it means taking a leap of faith without first reviewing a pilot.
For example, in this year's crop of pilots are at least eight straight-to-series orders, including a proposed ABC drama, "The Big Sky," a Montana detective mystery from producer David E. Kelley. Fox made a straight-to-series order for "Call Me Kat," a comedy featuring Mayim Bialik, a fan favorite from "The Big Bang Theory." The show is co-produced by Jim Parsons, her former costar.
In the past, networks sparingly made series orders because of the high cost of gearing up a production, building sets and hiring a large cast and crew for an unproven concept. What if the jokes fall flat? What if the cast lacks on-screen chemistry? Networks preferred to shoot a pilot that could be screened for test audiences and pitched to advertisers.
Pilot season has long been a spring affair because networks needed it to mass-produce new shows to promote to advertisers in lavish presentations in mid-May. Those presentations, in New York City at Radio City Music Hall and Carnegie Hall, kick off frenetic negotiations known as the upfront market.
That's when advertisers scramble to buy commitments for commercial time in shows that will run in the upcoming season. The calendar was established some 60 years ago when TV networks bowed to Detroit automakers, who wanted to promote new models arriving in show rooms in late September. And the season stuck.
"The upfront process may seem anachronistic, but it's a functioning market that brings in around $7 billion in advertising commitments in just a few weeks," Newman said. "It would be chaos if you were to lose that process."
Television historian Tim Brooks agreed. "The upfront is the economic pillar that supports broadcast networks, and cable networks too. I would not be too quick to put it in its grave."
Earlier this month, the networks canceled the May upfront presentations because of the coronavirus. There were health concerns about drawing together thousands of people. In addition, without pilots, the networks won't have clips to show advertisers.
Now the fear is whether the health crisis will topple the larger economy into a recession, which would then strain advertisers' budgets.
The challenge for networks is to figure out how to keep the dollars flowing without the pilots and upfront presentations in large venues.
Producers say the shutdown might breathe new life into shows that have been drawing mediocre ratings. For example, CBS' "Carol's Second Act," which stars Patricia Heaton as a middle-age woman becoming a medical intern, could be brought back for a second season.
"Shows that were 'on the bubble' might get renewed," said veteran producer Gail Katz, who helped make "The Perfect Storm," and "Air Force One." "Networks will consider them a safer bet because they already have a cast, crew and a writers' room assembled — and an audience."
Katz has experience with catastrophic events: She was a producer on the 1995 movie "Outbreak," starring Dustin Hoffman and Morgan Freeman, about a rapidly spreading deadly virus. Now, that film is suddenly in demand. But another of her past projects, the ABC comedy-drama "Cashmere Mafia," debuted during the bitter Writers Guild of America strike in 2007-08. Only a handful of episodes were produced, and the show was quickly canceled.
"So much depends on how long this whole thing lasts," Katz said. "And it feels like a lot of things could be done online, without driving all over Los Angeles, because we are already doing so many things online.
"But one question is, what will people want to see after this?" she said. "Will they want comfort food, escapism, feel-good programs, comedies or more medical dramas?"
©2020 the Los Angeles Times
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- Article via Gold Derby
Talk about drama! An Emmy uproar exploded in my email box after our Senior Editor Joyce Engwrote an article exploring whether or not “This Is Us” will be nominated again for Best Drama Series.“Is she crazy?” some folks demanded to know. “Why does Joyce hate ‘This Is Us’?” Etc. Etc. She doesn’t, of course, but curious hubbub was brewing. Moments after he published it, our Executive Editor Paul Sheehan called me to ask, “Have you read Joyce’s article on ‘This Is Us’ yet? I think you need to take a look at it right away. It’s going to cause some controversy.”
Well, that’s what we love about the Emmys, isn’t it? Lots of suspense, gutsy opinions or at least suspicions. Of course, Joyce isn’t saying that “This Is Us” won’t snag that best-series nom. As a brilliant Emmyologist, she’s too smart for that. The widely beloved NBC series was consistently nominated for the past three years, but Joyce is just wondering if it can return in such a crowded field.
As Joyce notes, all of these nominees from last year are eligible to return: “Better Call Saul,” “Killing Eve,” “Ozark,” “Pose” and “Succession.” They’re now competing against these past nominees that weren’t eligible in 2019, but are back: “The Crown,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Stranger Things” and “Westworld.” So that means it’s now a fierce fight to get one of the seven slots in the category.
Joyce wonders if “This Is Us” can break through because it “took a massive hit when it missed out on a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for drama ensemble, aka the category in which it was a two-time defending champ.” OK, but Joyce doesn’t think that same snub is a problem for “Better Call Saul,” which also failed to return. Hmmm. “Saul” is ranked in third place in Gold Derby’s predictions for Best Drama Series.
Here’s something else to consider: “This Is Us” star Sterling K. Brown did get his usual SAG nom for Best Drama Actor this year, so that means the program is still on the radar of industry award voters. If you just want to focus on the ensemble category, it’s important to note that all of these drama series also failed to make that SAG race after getting nominated for best series at the last Emmys: “Killing Eve,” “Pose,” “Ozark” and “Succession.” As we all know, at least two or three of those shows will likely be back at the next Emmys.
Last year “This Is Us” scored an impressive tally of nine Emmy nominations. Lots of voters love it. So do average Americans, who watch 60 million episodes every week across all media platforms: broadcast, cable, web, streaming, social, etc. It’s a classy, upscale soap for smart people – and it’s highly addictive. The series has a passionate core base of loyal support and that’s what is needed to stand out on an Emmy ballot that will list more than 150 contenders for Best Drama Series. When competing against so many rivals splitting up the votes, a contender may not need a ton of support to break through. How much is enough? There’s a good chance that “This Is Us” has it.
- full original article with images here: cinemablend.com
Welcome to the unofficial Cats support group. It’s an exclusive club considering the movie musical completely bombed at the box office when it opened against Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker. But since the feline-filled film was recently made available on digital, more movie fans are turning to Tom Hopper’s magic and mythical musical to pass their extended couch time. Seth Rogen even got high and live tweeted his first viewing last week, along with uncovering the film’s mysterious “Butthole Cut”. In other words, you’re not alone Cats viewers. It’s time to process the unique experience (trauma?) through a ranking of the movie’s characters.
No, we’re not picking the Jellicle choice. That was the whole point of the movie, wasn’t it? The time has now come to reach into that memory and decide which Cats characters have become “Beautiful Ghosts” that have and will sear into our consciousness for years to come. We’re not talking about the scariest looking cat or worst music number – these are the show-stopping Jellicle cats that simply cannot be forgotten. They might just curl up in a corner hidden somewhere in our minds forever. Let’s get to it:
Victoria (Francesca Hayward)
The leading feline of Cats is Victoria – who is a rather plain character in comparison to the cat-human CGI hybrids she shares the screen with during the musical. She’s also the cat viewers spend the most time alongside as she gets to know each of the contenders for Jellicle Choice. Victoria is perhaps the only character with a complete story arc and she has the honors of singing Taylor Swift’s shiny new track made specifically for the movie. Francesca Hayward is a classically trained ballet dancer and wow does she keep dancing… and dancing… and dancing. Although Cats serves as an introduction to show her talent, Victoria’s at the bottom of this list because the movie demands the offbeat and she’s just playing the straight man here… err, woman-cat.
Bombalurina (Taylor Swift)
Speaking of Cats cast members who are trying, when Taylor Swift’s Bombalurina enters the movie about two-thirds of the way in she really stands out. The pop singer gives a cool cat performance of “Macavity” by strutting her unique charm and impressive vocals. Whereas many of the other scenes have an edge to them, Swift’s feels like a straight-up number from a musical. She’s a bit of a relief to witness (over-the-top British accent and all) but perhaps she comes in too late for us to bear. Swift is undoubtedly having a ton of fun being in Cats, but it’s not nearly enough to wake us from any music-filled fever dream. It’s almost soothing to hear her sing “Macavity’s not there", because we really wish he wasn’t. But, more on that later.
Rum Tum Tugger (Jason Derulo)
One recurring question many of us had during the viewing of Cats is this: are they supposed to be sexy? Jason Derulo is an early indication of Tom Hooper’s best efforts to awaken something sexually in those watching. Thankfully, even Rum Tum Tugger’s pop and locking doesn’t stick the landing. (But hey, to each its own?) Derulo’s fur-coat wearing, song-and-dance number at what can only be described as a cat rave is one of the more upbeat portions of Cats. Neutered manhood and all, Rum Tum Tugger is clearly a “player” cat and it shows. But that’s kind of it. He’s a CGI Jason Derulo dancing. The audience demands theatricality, make us believe you’re a Jellicle cat!
Mr. Mistoffelees (Laurie Davidson)
This, of course, leads us to one of the few fully clothed cats in Cats: Mr. Mistoffelees. Is there a Miss. Mistoffelees at home that made him his top hat? Anyway, Laurie Davidson’s cat is more hauntingly memorable perhaps due to his specific outfit choice in the show. That bedazzled coat is a real winner. He’s one of the more adorable characters in Cats – which is what felines are supposed to be right? He primarily finds himself in the middle of this ranking because of his signature musical sequence that still gets random airplay in my head whenever it’s convenient to hound at me. You know the one. “Oh! Well I never! Was there ever a cat so clever as magical Mr. Mistoffelees!” The lyrics repeat over and over in the sequence, we’d thought it might never, ever end.
Grizabella (Jennifer Hudson)
Cats’ Jellicle Choice makes it to the top five, but there are a ton more memorable performances blocking the way for her spot all alone in the moonlight. Jennifer Hudson’s Grizabella has of course a beautiful voice as she belts out “Memory” – well because she’s Jennifer Hudson. The singer knows how to bring out emotion in her performance, but someone needs to hand that kitty a Kleenex for meowing out loud!! If you witnessed Cats on the big screen, you must have noticed Hudson’s snot in high definition and wow. Why? Just why? She’s already a CGI cat human person. So it definitely might have been her tears running around her nose, but come on. Jennifer Hudson didn’t deserve that.
Macavity (Idris Elba)
And now back to Macavity. Taylor Swift told us “he’s not there” but wow is Idris Elba all there. The green-eyed villain of Cats wears a My Name is Dolemite type of coat for the most of the movie but once Swift starts singing about him, he takes off the extra fur and bares everything. Unlike the other cats in the production, Elba’s skin color matches the fur of his car character and there’s not a ton of fur to leave much to the imagination. That, his choice of a hat alongside his near-nakedness and that time when he says something “meow-out” as he uses magic to disappear into nothingness out of nowhere without context or warning, certainly makes Macavity a major contender for this list’s own Jellicle choice.
Bustopher Jones (James Corden)
It’s not easy to feel sorry for a wildly famous celebrity, but then James Corden’s Bustopher Jones appears on screen. Not to say he doesn’t do the best he can and give an entertaining few minutes to the film. The late night host is packed with talent as he musters through a musical number that has him (literally) busting his balls and eating a ton of gross trash. His character design is simply ridiculous. Bustopher Jones has a massive twisty mustache and eyebrows made of fur and again with the top hats! Did you notice he takes off a tuxedo to reveal that his fur actually takes the shape of a tuxedo as well? Incredible. We’ll never look at Carpool Karaoke the same again.
Old Deuteronomy (Judi Dench)
Sure Judi Dench has over a hundred acting credits to her name, but there’s no way we’re forgetting her Old Deuteronomy anytime soon. Dench’s royal cat earned the film one of many Razzie nominations, which she had the purr-fect response to. While the rest of the Cats characters have a creepy memorability about them, Judi Dench manages to achieve this along with finding some endearing quality to Old Deuteronomy. If the character was a normal looking cat and not weird human CGI, I might adopt her. Judi has a gentleness about her performance that the actress doesn’t often emit. However, the haunting quality of her character certainly has to be the moment when she looks right into the eyes of the camera and into our collective souls to say a cat is NOT a dog.
Gus the Theatre Cat (Ian McKellen)
It’s been well publicized that the actors of Cats went to “cat school” to get ready for the big-screen adaptation. It’s evident that Ian McKellan was paying attention the most because wow does he really go for it with the character work. If you didn’t catch it, Ian McKellan’s cat is named Asparagus and “Gus” is for short. Oftentimes it feels like McKellan is the only actor in Cats that really understood what kind of movie it was going to be and leaned into it in every way. From his random uses of “meow”, searing few seconds in which he just licks into a bowl of milk and “serious” musical monologues, Ian McKellan is absolutely perfect in Cats.
Jennyanydots (Rebel Wilson)
The only feline with an edge over Ian McKellen’s performance in Cats is Rebel Wilson’s Jennyanydots. And while McKellen is perfect in Cats, Wilson’s character encompasses the nightmarish quality of the movie to its full intensity. Whenever she is on screen, audiences are witnessing the most bonkers sequences in modern cinema. She’s the one to introduce viewers to humans dressed as cockroaches by the gift of CGI and children playing absolutely horrifying mice. Between her bumbling around and failed physical comedy, Jennyanydots actually unzips one of her catsuits to reveal another bit of fur during her musical number. And then she does it again in another scene! Which poor things is she skinning to add to the shock value of her songs? It’s the most hauntingly memorable bit of Cats that you have to see to believe.
Oscar®-winning director Tom Hooper transforms Andrew Lloyd Webber's record-shattering musical into a cinematic event. Starring James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and introducing Royal Ballet principal Francesca Hayward. With a world-class cast of dancers showcasing styles from classical ballet to contemporary, hip-hop to jazz, street dance to tap, this film reimagines the stage musical for a new generation. You will believe in the fun and magic of Cats. Directed by: Tom Hooper
Starring: James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Francesca Hayward
- Comedy Central
Some new officers have joined the Reno Sheriff’s Department.
About RENO 911!: The brave men and women of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department give you the 411 on the thin khaki line that keeps Reno, Nevada on the straight and narrow. Led by Lt. Jim Dangle, the officers of RENO 911! attempt to keep the streets safe – mainly from themselves.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is set to narrate Disney+'s new movie 'Elephant'.
The 38-year-old royal - who starred on the US legal drama 'Suits' before marrying Prince Harry in May 2018 - has secured her first post-royal job, having previously announced plans to step down as a "senior" member of the royal family at the end of March.
Teasing the upcoming release, Disney+ posted on its official Twitter account: "Disneynature's Elephant, an Original Movie narrated by Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, starts streaming April 3, only on #DisneyPlus. (sic)"
Since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their intention to step down as senior royals, speculation has continued to surround their long-term plans.
But the duo - who are parents to ten-month-old son Archie - are currently in Canada, where they are self-isolating amid the coronavirus pandemic.
And earlier this month, they shared important tips on tackling feelings of "loneliness" during the health crisis.
The couple took to their Sussex Royal Instagram account to share a lengthy post aimed at helping those who are struggling with self-isolation and social distancing.
On the post - which was accompanied by an image which read "Today I feel ..." - they wrote: "With everything going on, it's a lot to take in. Many of us may feel confused. Or alone, or anxious or scared...And in isolation, some of us may just feel bored, or that you don't know what to do with yourself without your normal routine. It's perfectly normal to be feeling any of these things.
"Our emotional well-being is challenged everyday whether we realise it or not, but our lives are usually filled with distractions. Now with constantly changing COVID coverage, we are all adjusting to this new normal and the feelings that come with it. (sic)"
The Duke and Duchess went on to list a number of resources which are providing help for those whose mental health has been impacted by the virus.
They added: "There are resources that can help us all through this process, and ways that YOU can become one of those resources. @crisistextline @giveusashoutinsta @kidshelpphone and CTL Ireland are organisations that need new volunteers now more than ever and have an open door for you to get the support you need.
"- If you're home and feeling bored, you can digitally train to be a counselor and HELP someone who really needs your support! What an amazing way to use this time
""- If you feel alone, overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious, you can text one of these lines and talk it through.
"- If you are in an abusive relationship and now find yourself in isolation with your abuser, these counselors are there for you. You do not need to suffer in silence. (sic)"
Rihanna and A$AP Rocky joined the likes of Cate Blanchett, Naomi Campbell, Shailene Woodley and more at the Fashion Awards in London. (Dec. 3) AP Entertainment
Rihanna fans, rejoice!
The singer is back on a new track "Believe It" with PartyNextDoor. The track comes after fans have been impatiently awaiting her teased upcoming album, which fans have referred to as "R9."
Rihanna's last album "ANTI" was released over four years ago, making listeners anxious for new music from the singer. More recently, she collaborated on multiple projects in 2017 including "Wild Thoughts" with DJ Khaled, "Lemon" with N.E.R.D. And "Loyalty" with Kendrick Lamar.
Fans are expressing their excitement for the latest track on social media.
"rihanna is trending #1 in ww trends because she said FIVE words in a collab with partynextdoor after not releasing music for 4 years," user @saintlalisa tweeted.
"this song is fiiiireeee Smiling face with heart-shaped eyesLoudly crying face thanks @partynextdoor & @rihanna," user @caitlintiffanyy tweeted.
"No offense to PARTYNEXTDOOR but I only came here for Rihanna," user @Hlangi_Hlungz tweeted.
"* Rihanna singing the same six words on the PARTYNEXTDOOR track* Me:," user @vell_vet tweeted with a GIF of someone getting emotional.
"me skipping partynextdoor’s album straight to the song with rihanna first," user @mahabalucci tweeted with a video of someone scrambling to get their earbuds.
Others expressed a little more frustration over not seeing her own new music yet.
"ok those 5 words were cute rihanna but drop the album, we’re waiting.." user @lookingforlewys tweeted.
"Rihanna really made us wait this long for 5 second background vocals??" user @unacceptableC shared.
Former boyfriend and collaborator Drake is among those wanting her to drop her new project. During a Instagram Live of DJ Spade, the rapper interacted with the singer in the comments, writing "Rihanna drop R12 right now," referring to the upcoming album. The convo was captured and shared on social media.
Rihanna recently made headlines, not for her music, but for her philanthropy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The 32-year-old artist's Clara Lionel Foundation announced in a press release Saturday it's giving $5 million to support those on the front lines of the COVID-19 response efforts, especially those working to serve marginalized communities in the United States, the Caribbean and Africa.
Rihanna's foundation is partnering with organizations like Direct Relief, Partners In Health, Feeding America, the International Rescue Committee and the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
The $5 million will fund protective gear for hospital workers and first responders, local food banks that serve the elderly, distributing respiratory supplies and streamlining a process for testing and care in countries like Malawi and Haiti.
Contributing: Rasha Ali
A family watches TV together in 1958.
© Provided by The Boston Globe
Once upon a time, families spent their evenings together gathered around an electronic device called a “radio.” When television sets became widely available in the 1950s, Mom and Dad and the little nippers clustered on the sofa to watch “I Love Lucy” or “The Lone Ranger.”
Believe it or not, families practiced this alien form of multi-generational bonding for the better part of a century. And especially so in times of hardship: Much has been made of the Beatles’ first appearance on American television a few months after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but “The Beverly Hillbillies” had a similar impact, reintroducing joy to a shellshocked nation.
“It was total escapist television,” says Ron Simon, chief curator at the Paley Center for Media. “It was a fish-out-of-water story. Perhaps that was how people felt then.”
As the American public confronts the unprecedented lockdown of the current pandemic, we wondered: Are families seizing this opportunity to revisit a golden era of couch-bound domestic bonding?
During the Watergate era, Simon reminds us, families planned their weekends around CBS’s legendary Saturday night primetime lineup: “All In the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and “The Bob Newhart Show.” After 9/11, it was “Friends” that comforted.
In the age of streaming services, video-on-demand, and personal media devices, is there any kind of equivalent today?
Surely, we figured, a nationally recognized TV critic could help. Maybe he’d have some suggestions for sharing classic shows or movies with the kids, or how an average middle-schooler might explain those bizarro Cartoon Network series to the olds.
Somewhat alarmingly, the television connoisseur we contacted, who writes for a household-name entertainment magazine, politely declined to play along.
While his household self-isolates, he wrote in an e-mail, “we’ve all been doing our own thing, screenwise.”
Uh-oh. Isn’t that precisely what we were all doing before The Virus That Changed Everything? Aren’t we squandering a readymade chance to resurrect that rarest of old-fashioned traditions — one that might actually be as wholesome and mutually beneficial as we choose to remember it?
Thankfully, maybe not, says Dr. Michael Rich. He’s the founder and director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital. Known as the “Mediatrician,” Rich worked for several years behind the camera in the film world before a midlife career switch into medicine.
He says it’s not just wishful thinking to believe that parents can create a little family togetherness during these stay-at-home weeks by ritualizing some collective TV time.
“We have an opportunity to reinvent ourselves,” says Rich. “We’re forced to. Why not reinvent ourselves in a direction that may have seemed completely unrealistic even a month or two ago?”
As personal technology has grown increasingly accessible to an ever-younger audience, it’s only natural that children have learned to use it to distance themselves from their parents, he says. Rich likens directed-at-adolescent shows (such as “Rick and Morty,” let’s say) to “what rock ‘n’ roll was to us” — not just speaking to young people, but to the fact that their moms and dads don’t get it. For the young, he says, “the developmental task is to differentiate, individuate, to step out of the nuclear family.”
Yet they still need guidance in doing so, and their elders have not yet been written out of the equation.
“All the research we see says that parents and families are still the most important influence on life decisions and life choices,” says Rich.
Ron Simon, for one, thinks the flat screen in your living room could become the kind of focal point that the console television once was, back in the days of “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
“Certainly television can bring the family together,” he says. “What’s important is understanding how different people react. It’s a way of sharing experience, sharing your emotional inner life with the rest of the family.”
Just a month or so ago, the Family Dinner Project instituted a new feature, urging families to try an occasional “Dinner and a Movie” together. Dr. Anne Fishel is the project cofounder and director of the Family and Couples Therapy Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The initial goal for the project, created in partnership with Common Sense Media, was to get parents and children talking about family history, Fishel says. Some of the suggested films included “Coco,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” and “The Book of Life.”
Now, as we’ve all been cut off from our daily routines, Fishel is thinking of films that could facilitate conversations about the idea of separation — “Where the Wild Things Are,” “The Martian,” “Cast Away.”
At a time when routines have been upended, she says, rituals like dinner and a movie can take on added meaning.
“Routines are instructional — ‘This is what we have to do to get through our days,’ ” she explains. Rituals, by contrast, are more about family values: “This is who we are.”
“When routines are disrupted as seismically as they are right now, it’s a hassle. But when rituals are disrupted, it’s even more upsetting to family stability.”
Rich agrees. Before there was social distancing, he says, we’d become socially fragmented.
Establishing a ritual such as family TV time, at least for the duration of the stay-at-home advisory, “can actually be kind of anchoring” for the kids, he says. “Even if it’s a pain in the [butt]. Otherwise they’ll feel completely unmoored.”
And with parents overwhelmed by the need to balance work, home schooling, and health concerns, Fishel says, “I think this is a time to think of rituals that include a lot of relaxation, decompression, and having fun together.”
That could include extended screen time. But just the one screen.
E-mail James Sullivan at jamesgsullivan@gmail.Com. Follow him on Twitter @sullivanjames.
"Will" - Joyner Lucas
"Very proud of this video for many reasons. Also proud of the details achieved in each piece of wardrobe, makeup included for the genie. Couldn't have done it without Jaimee Martin who helped me in so many ways. We got it done and done well!"
Facebook: Amanda Marie
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This isn’t the first time Kelly has attempted to enter the music industry. In fact, he’s has modest success for a few years, including a short stint in the early rounds of the FOX reality show American Idol.
“While I consistently received praise from the producers, I never moved past the non-televised portion of the contest,” he said. “It was a wake-up call for me. I have these ideas and content that break the convention mold of ‘filler’ lyrics, and I realized that I was going to have to make my own dreams come true. That’s why I put out ‘Hold On To Me’ a couple of years ago. The positive response has been overwhelming. My followers on Soundcloud just exploded, and some of the heavy-hitters in the music industry began to take notice.”
“Not only did I learn a lot of instruments as a kid, but I also taught myself how to sing,” he said. “I’ve been singing now since I was 17 or 18. A lot of people have vocal coaches, but I didn’t have that and I taught myself to sing. I just kept practicing, trying to be good at it. I really believe that all you need is a steady tone and the ability to hold a note and you can do some things in this industry.”
“Now or Never” is available for purchase on iTunes, Spotify and other digital media sites. Fans who want to sample more of Kelly’s music can visit his Soundcloud page, or check out some of his music videos on YouTube. Fans can also follow him on social media @glancysinger on Twitter and Instagram and www.facebook.com/glancykellyofficial
© Provided by GamesRadar
The Coronavirus has all but halted the movie industry, with announcements of delays and cancellations coming thick and fast. With cinemas now under orders to shut their doors, recent theatrical releases are finding their audiences elsewhere by releasing on Digital just weeks or even days after premiering.
Firstly, Disney announced the early release of Frozen II on Disney Plus to provide “some fun and joy during this challenging period,” and later dropped Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to purchase digitally ahead of schedule. They later made Pixar's Onward available for purchase early.
Following Disney’s move, Universal Studios moved it’s current theatrical releases to streaming services for rent. Titles like The Invisible Man – which proved a box office smash – The Hunt, Emma, and Trolls: World Tour will all be available to rent and watch at home. Warner Bros. Went next, with Birds of Prey and The Gentleman both being brought forward to provide audiences with some home-viewing during these trying times.
Bloodshot, the superhero movie starring Vin Diesel which was only released in cinemas a week ago, has also been moved forward, as has Ben Affleck's The Way Back and the Sonic movie. And, for animal lovers, both Cats and Dolittle have been released digitally. Yay?
© Provided by GamesRadar
Wondering what else has been moved forward? GamesRadar+ is staying on top of everything. Here is your comprehensive list of every movie available early on digital:
- YouTube Video: Top Music
Apple Music: New music Daily Playlist
Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) devises a sick game for a love triangle that plays out in a very public way.
The Saw series continues with this seventh entry, spearheaded by returning Saw VI director Kevin Greutert. Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton also are back to pen the script, which details the exploits of serial killer Jigsaw's surviving victims, who seek counseling from a self-help mentor (Sean Patrick Flanery) whose past as a previous victim figures directly into each one's fate. Cary Elwes returns to the franchise for the first time since his character survived Jigsaw's first cinematic outing in 2004.
TM & © Lionsgate (2010)
Tobin Bell, Jon Cor, Anna Greene Director: Kevin Greutert Producers: Troy Begnaud, Peter Block, Mark Burg, Jason Constantine, Daniel J. Heffner, Kaleigh Kavanagh, Oren Koules, Stacey Testro, James Wan, Leigh Whannell, Gregg Hoffman Screenwriters: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan
As we begin another week of social distancing, you'll need new TV shows and movies to help pass the time. Thankfully, there are some interesting things happening on streaming and network television over the next few days. From the return of One Day at a Time to a new season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, there's plenty out there to help you temporarily forget about the bizarre world we're currently living in. A little escape never hurt anyone, right?
Below, all the TV shows and movies to watch this week.
House in a Hurry: A new series about people who need to relocate homes quickly. 9 P.M. ET on HGTV
Freud: A new drama series about young Sigmund Freud living in 19th century Vienna. Streaming on Netflix
Council of Dads: Per NBC, "Family takes on a different meaning in this transformative and inspirational new drama when Scott Perry, a loving father of five, has his entire life's plan thrown into upheaval by an unexpected health scare. He calls on a few of his most trusted friends to step in as back-up dads to help guide and support his growing family - just in case he ever can't be there to do it himself." 10 P.M.ET on NBC
One Day at a Time: There was an uproar when this comedy-drama left Netflix. But thankfully Pop picked it up for a fourth season so we can continue following the shenanigans of the Alvarez family. 9:30 P.M.ET on Pop
CMT Crossroads: Halsey & Kelsea Ballerini: A classic CMT series returns, infusing the artistry of pop's resident cool girl Halsey and country queen Kelsea Ballerini. 10 P.M. ET on CMT
Crip Camp: A new documentary, which Netflix describes as: "On the heels of Woodstock, a group of teen campers are inspired to join the fight for disability civil rights. This spirited look at grassroots activism is executive produced by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama." Streaming on Netflix
Keeping Up With the Kardashians: The Kardashians are back for a new season on a brand new night. What is going on with Kourtney and Kim in this trailer?! 8 P.M. ET on E!
Uncorked: Starring Mamoudou Athie, Courtney B. Vance, and Niecy Nash, this film centers on a man who "must find a way to balance his dream of becoming a master sommelier with his father's expectations for him to carry on the family’s popular Memphis barbeque joint." Streaming on Netflix
The Forgotten West Memphis Three: A new true-crime special centered on the 1993 murders of Stevie Branch, Michael Moore, and Christopher Byers. 8 P.M. ET on Oxygen
In-studio host, ABC’s Dan Abrams, alongside analyst Tom Morris Jr., guide viewers through the night, giving insight to what audiences see in real time (via a mix of dash cams, fixed rig and handheld cameras), bouncing minute-by-minute between the featured police departments and offering an inside look at each live incident. A&E leads the cultural conversation through high-quality, thought provoking original programming with a unique point of view. Whether it’s the network’s distinctive brand of award-winning disruptive reality or groundbreaking documentary, A&E makes entertainment an art form. Visit us at aetv.com for more info.
Even under the best circumstances, Hollywood studios and exhibitors were concerned about how the 2020 box office would stack up in a year with decidedly less sure-fire hits. But now that movie theaters across the country have begun dimming their marquee lights for an indefinite period of time to help contain the spread of coronavirus, the industry is left with a confusing picture of when — and at what scale — Americans will return to multiplexes again.
Already, Disney’s “Black Widow,” “Mulan” and “The New Mutants,” as well as Universal’s “Fast & Furious” installment “F9,” Paramount’s “A Quiet Place” sequel and MGM’s James Bond adventure “No Time to Die” have been postponed. More movies could be impacted if theaters are closed longer than expected. But there are looming concerns about where to move these films without impacting fall and winter release schedules.
After the world emerges from this unprecedented crisis and theaters slowly reopen, the studios executives tasked with deciding when movies hit the big screen will have to navigate a calendar minefield.
“Setting release dates and moving movies around is a very difficult task,” said Jeff Bock, a media analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “There’s a think tank for each one to capitalize on the right time.”
For now, wondering when theaters will be back in business remains a question without an answer. AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark, the nation’s three biggest circuits, shuttered nationwide. AMC estimates its venues will be closed for six to 12 weeks, though other chains didn’t offer up a time frame. Best case, theaters will reopen in mid-May. Worst case, they remain closed through May and into summer, a time of year that usually fields some of the biggest blockbusters.
Only two movies that vacated their release dates — “No Time to Die” (shifting from its original April 3 debut to Nov. 25) and “F9” (moving from May 22 to April 2, 2021 in the slot once occupied by the franchise’s 10th installment) — have planted flags back in the calendar, so far. For the remaining tentpoles that were pulled, it’ll be a puzzle that requires cautious and strategic planning. These movies carry outsized budgets and are vital to companies’ bottom lines.
Studios carefully plot these dates sometimes years in advance to have enough space from rivals’ major films, as well as their own movies. There are 52 weeks in a year, as executives responsible for playing this unique game of chess often say, but the amount of available weekends to claim could shrink if quarantine efforts could extend through July or August. The rest of the year has the potential to become more crowded with each delay, and if marquees overflow with options, it could in turn, reduce the appetite for individual movies.
“Studios spend a lot of time picking release dates for their films,” said Paul Dergarabedian, a senior analyst at Comscore. “That’s why you see big blockbuster tentpoles planting a flag on a date two years in advance.”
Having to rearrange the box office calendar could create a domino effect, since the rest of 2020 is already slated with other blockbuster hopefuls. It’s not just finding the right time to reschedule their own movies; studios also have to make sure they don’t end up cannibalizing other films they’re planning to release. Adding to anxieties for other companies, Disney’s chokehold over the marketplace means the Magic Kingdom has most of the power when it comes to setting the cultural agenda.
But even Disney has its own dilemmas. The studio’s schedule is cleared through Memorial Day, and it has three major movies — “Mulan,” “Black Widow” and “The New Mutants” — without release dates. By dropping one of those films in summer, it could take audiences away from Pixar’s “Soul” (June 19) or “Jungle Cruise” with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt (July 24), two other films in which Disney has invested heavily. And at this point, there’s no guarantee theaters will be open for those films to debut.
Around the holidays, Disney has to avoid competing with Marvel’s “The Eternals” (Nov. 6) and Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” (Dec. 18), another pair of high-profile, upcoming releases. That’s to say nothing of having to weave around other big titles like Warner Bros. Musical adaptation of “In the Heights” (June 26), “No Time to Die” (Nov. 25), Sony’s “Venom 2” (Oct. 2) and Paramount’s “Top Gun Maverick” (June 24).
Universal opted to forgo a traditional theatrical release for “Trolls World Tour,” an animated sequel to 2016’s “Trolls,” which grossed $346 million at the global box office. Instead, the studio will put the family film on home entertainment on April 10, the same day it was supposed to hit theaters. But experts, for now, think that example will be the exception, not the rule. That’s mostly because exhibitors have been vehemently against any attempts from studios to shorten the amount of time that films are exclusively available in cinemas. It came as a sign of comfort to theater owners when John Krasinski pledged loyalty to the big-screen experience after Paramount pushed “A Quiet Place Part II.”
“One of the things I’m most proud of is that people have said our movie is one you have to see all together,” Krasinski said at the time. “I’m gonna wait to release the film till we CAN all see it together!”
Analysts suggest the release calendar might have some wiggle room — particularly in the stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, an already busy time for moviegoing. Labor Day could be similarly opportune since few major films are typically released that weekend. This December seems to have more space than usual, since Disney won’t be releasing a “Star Wars” chapter for the first time in years.
“We’ve always been a couple films short in the holiday corridor,” Bock said. “People have a lot of time off between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There’s certainly room to add big Hollywood films in that time.”
He adds, “If things get better by summer, studios can rewrite the box office record books in doing so. There are a lot of opportunity here.”
Christmastime is one period that could use a boost from blockbusters. Though it leaves limited time in the calendar year to bolster overall box office earnings, it’s one of the most popular frames to gather the family and see a movie on the silver screen. Universal’s Western drama “News of the World” with Tom Hanks is currently set to open that weekend alongside Paramount’s sci-fi fantasy film “The Tomorrow World” and Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel” with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon (in limited release). While those could end up being beloved movies, they aren’t expected to sell the same amount of tickets as last year’s top December earners, “Rise of Skywalker” ($1.07 billion) or Sony’s “Jumanji” follow-up ($795 million globally). There’s certainly capacity for theatrical draws that could appeal to other demographics.
Nearly all tentpoles presently in production — including Warner Bros. “The Batman” with Robert Pattinson, Universal’s “Jurassic World: Dominion,” Paramount’s next “Mission: Impossible” sequel and Sony’s “Uncharted” with Tom Holland — have shut down as coronavirus spreads, meaning some could end up being postponed if they’re not completed in time. If that’s the case, studios could push some movies to 2021 in spots once held by its own titles.
“Studios are going to have to recalibrate and do things differently,” Bock said. “Innovation is one of the hallmarks of the industry, and if Hollywood is going to continue to make strides when all this blows over, they are going to have to change things.”
Looks like a solid chunk of the people staying in due to the coronavirus tuned in to “The Voice” last night. The NBC competition series leapt to season high rating and total viewership tally, easily beating “American Idol” in the process.
“The Voice” hit a 1.8 ratings high note among adults 18-49 and drew 9.9 million total viewers, over 1 million more than last week. Its belting performance also helped “Manifest” to a 0.8 rating and 4.5 million total viewers, its largest tally in both metrics since the season 2 premiere in January.
“American Idol” scored a 1.2 rating and 6.3 million viewers in its new Monday time slot, its lowest rating and viewership so far in season 18. A “20/20” special about the coronavirus pandemic followed it up with a 1.1 and 6.2 million viewers.
“9-1-1” came second overall on the night behind “The Voice,” returning from three-month break to a 1.4 rating and 6.8 million pairs of eyeballs. “Prodigal Son” aired its first episode in a month to a 0.7 and 3.4 million viewers.
Things looked pretty rosy for CBS last night, as its entire lineup ticked up from previous episodes. “The Neighborhood” led the way with a 1.1 rating and 7.4 million total viewers, its highest rating of the season on both metrics and its third largest total audience ever. “Bob Hearts Abishola” followed that up with a freshman season high 0.9 and 6.8 million viewers. “All Rise” rose to a 0.7 and a six-week high 5.9 million viewers, while “Bull” rounded things off with a 0.7 and 7.1 million.
Over on the CW, “Supernatural” came in at a 0.2 and just over 1 million total viewers, followed by the season 2 premiere of “Roswell, New Mexico” at a 0.2 and 769,000.