Wednesday, November 26, 2014

First Look: Disney Channel's Movie Sequel Teen Beach 2

Surf's up! Disney Channel is ready to give viewers a sneak peek at Teen Beach 2, the follow-up to its hit 2013 entry Teen Beach Movie.
A promo for Teen Beach 2 will air on Friday, Nov. 28 during a holiday themed episode of Jessie, which airs at 8/7c. Disney chose that show because Teen Beach star Maia Mitchell is guesting in the episode; she plays Jessie's famous friend Shayelee Michaels. (The episode also serves as a crossover with Disney Channel's Liv and Maddie).
Ross Lynch, Grace Phipps and Garrett Clayton also star in Teen Beach 2. Here's a sneak preview.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

How Schmidt Happens to Be The Most Popular Name on TV

Max Greenfield, Ashton Kutcher
Holy "Schmidt"! That last name has become a go-to for TV and film writers looking to give their characters a memorable moniker.
Netflix made headlines last week when it picked up two seasons of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the sitcom starring Ellie Kemper as a former cult member navigating the big city. NBC was originally set to launch the new comedy, from 30 Rock exec producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, but the Netflix deal was too good to pass up (and saved NBC the expense of trying to launch the new show in this sitcom-challenged era).
Kemper's character is just the latest in a growing community of TV and movie Schmidts. Max Greenfield plays the bro-tastic Schmidt (first name unknown) on Fox's New Girl, while Ashton Kutcher is wealthy Internet tycoon Walden Schmidt on CBS' Two and a Half Men. In features, Jonah Hill has played undercover cop Morton Schmidt in 21 Jump Street and this past summer's sequel, 22 Jump Street, while Jack Nicholson played in the title character in 2002's About Schmidt.
Why is TV piling up in so much Schmidt? "We wanted a strong, American heartland name for our strong, heartland heroine," Carlock says. But what makes the name funny? Quite simply, Carlock notes, "It is German." (The fact that it sounds a lot like an epithet obviously doesn't hurt.)
Is there a chance all of these Schmidts are related? "I smell a spinoff," Carlock says with a laugh. "With Phillies great Mike Schmidt playing the dad!" We have to say, that idea sounds full of Schmidt.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

How the NBA's Biggest Stars Are Taking on TV

Jessie Usher, RonReaco Lee, Mike Epps
They've got game on the court — but what about on TV? Several current and past NBA stars are taking a shot at producing, often with shows that were inspired by their own lives.
Many of them have even formed production companies, with an eye toward making Hollywood more of a full-time gig once they're pooped on hoops. Recently returned Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James is leading the charge, as one of the executive producers on the new Starz comedy Survivor's Remorse (along with his producing partner, Maverick Carter, and The Cosby Show's Tom Werner).
"When you have a guy like LeBron you don't expect him to go into the writers' room and write stuff or go on the floor and direct scenes," says Starz CEO Chris Albrecht. "What you really want him to do is be there for the authenticity, to use his social network platform and credibility to spread the word about the show. He does here what he does on the court: He puts together a team and then inspires them to do really good work." Here's a roundup of basketball stars' tube dreams.
LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)Show: Survivor's RemorseStats: Airs Saturdays at 9/8c on Starz. It has already been renewed for Season 2.
Premise: The comedy follows a rookie basketball player (Jessie T. Usher) who moves his family to Atlanta after signing a multimillion-dollar contract.
Extra Shots: James' Springhill Production Co., which he runs with Maverick Carter, partnered with ESPN Films to produce the Disney XD special Becoming, which aired Oct. 26. The show, which profiles athlete's journeys, could return as a series. On camera, James will play himself in next year's Judd Apatow film Trainwreck, starring Amy Schumer.

Kenny Smith (retired)Show: The SmithsStats: Premieres Spring 2015 on TBS.
Premise: The reality show centers on Smith (now an NBA analyst for Turner Sports) and his wife, Price is Right model Gwendolyn Osborne-Smith, along with their Brady Bunch-style blended family of five kids.
Extra Shots: Smith is also developing a sitcom at TBS loosely based on his life, and is a NCAA March Madness studio analyst for TNT, TBS, truTV and CBS.
Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)Show: Untitled comedy
Stats: A script (written by Warren Lieberstein) is in development at ABC.
Premise: The multi-camera sitcom is based on the childhoods of Paul and his brother C.J., who both worked at their grandfather's gas station in North Carolina.
Extra Shots: Paul will executive produce the sitcom, his first TV project. The player has also been seen in commercials for State Farm. He and fellow Clipper Blake Griffin appeared in two hybrid sketch comedy/shoe commercials that aired on Adult Swim.
Baron Davis (free agent)Show: Untitled comedy
Stats: A script (written by Courtney Lilly) is in development at Fox.
Premise: Based on Davis' life, about a kid from South Central L.A. who lands a scholarship to a prestigious, expensive high school, and must balance both worlds.
Extra Shots: Davis has hosted the Esquire Network shows How I Rock It and Alternate Route. He also runs the production company Verso Entertainment with Cash Warren.
Yao Ming (retired)Show: Saving Africa's Giants with Yao MingStats: Aired November 18 on Animal Planet.
Premise: In this one-hour special (narrated by Edward Norton), Yao visited Africa to witness the continent's poaching epidemic, which kills thousands of elephants and rhinos each year. Yao hopes to spread the message that once ivory is no longer in demand, the killing will stop.
Extra Shots: Yao was the subject of the 2004 documentary The Year of the Yao and also was a voice in the 2009 Chinese animated film The Magic Aster.
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)Show: Kobe Bryant's MuseStats: The Showtime special will air in February.
Premise: The documentary (directed by Gotham Chopra) chronicles Bryant as he bounces back from late-career injuries and ruminates on his life and career.
Extra Shots: Bryant's Mamba Media doesn't have other TV or film credits, but he has appeared as himself in countless TV shows and documentaries. Bryant also played "Terry Hightower" on a 1996 episode of Moesha, the year he was drafted as an NBA rookie.

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Watch My Show: Cristela's Cristela Alonzo Answers Our Showrunner Survey

Cristela Alonzo
Cristela is smashing barriers both on and off screen. The sitcom, loosely based on Cristela Alonzo 's life and stand-up routine, stars the comedian as a young woman living with her chaotic family while striving to become a lawyer. The multi-camera sitcom has earned positive attention from critics, particularly thanks to its honest portrayal of an extended Mexican-American family all living under one roof in Dallas. Alonzo, who co-created the show with fellow executive producer Kevin Hench, explains why you should get to know Cristela.
TV Guide Magazine: I have time to watch one more show. Why should it be yours?
Cristela Alonzo: I've heard Cristela saves lives. Maybe it can save yours too. (By the way, everyone who told me that was alive.)
TV Guide Magazine: Who should be watching?Alonzo: Everyone. I've heard the more people watch, the better it is for ratings.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch?
Alonzo: The terrorists win.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for Cristela.
Alonzo: The Mary Tyler Moore Show + Roseanne ÷ the square root of Law & Order + Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol x E (where E = Erik Estrada from CHiPs). I obviously don't do math well.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said about Cristela?
Alonzo: "Thanks for making a show I can watch with my kids."
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst?
Alonzo: "Cristela is a show that stars a chick who looks like a fat Demi Lovato."
TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?Alonzo: Seinfeld. It worked the first time, so let's try it again.
TV Guide Magazine: Finish this sentence: "If you like _______, you'll love our show."Alonzo: If you like rooting for the underdog, you'll love our show.
TV Guide Magazine: What credit of yours would you like us to forget?
Alonzo: My credit score. I would like you to forget my credit score.
TV Guide Magazine: Tell me something about your cast.Alonzo: They're an amazing group of talented people that I respect and love. I had never been to Disneyland and Andrew Leeds (who plays Josh) coordinated a trip for the entire cast to go with me for my first time. We all spent the day together and it was one of the best days I've ever had. That's a great example of how this group of people have become part of my family.
TV Guide Magazine: On what other series would you most like to be an executive producer?Alonzo: The sci-fi portion of Adult Swim's Too Many Cooks.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. Tell us an idea that didn't make it on to the screen.Alonzo: Cirque du Soleil Presents: Cristela. A half-hour of magic and acrobatic feats as we discover that Cristela is being set up on a blind date.
TV Guide Magazine: Pick another show and start a fake feud.
Alonzo: Hey, The Mary Tyler Moore Show! Your ass is mine! (Did I do that right?)
TV Guide Magazine: With which show would you like to do a crossover episode?
Alonzo: Too Many Cooks, where Smarf [a cat puppet] and I get into a misunderstanding via text.
TV Guide Magazine: Come up with a premise for the spin-off.Alonzo: My mother Natalia (Terri Hoyos) starts helping the Dallas police department solve crimes but has trouble because as a devout Catholic, she thinks EVERYONE is guilty.
TV Guide Magazine: How will your show change the face of TV?
Alonzo: Well, I think our show certainly makes the TV landscape a lot browner. That's for sure.
Cristela airs Fridays, 8:30/7:30c, on ABC

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

GSN's New Development Includes Horror Game Show; Two App-Themed Series

Game Show Network
Horror filmmaker Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, The Purge) is getting into the game show business. Blum is behind Hellevator, a scary competition series in development at GSN.
Hellevator is one of several projects in the works as GSN looks to ramp up its development for 2015. The show follows contestants as they enter a scary warehouse via a creepy elevator. The players will then compete in spooky and exhausting challenges until just one is left. Blum is executive producing with Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin for Lionsgate TV and Matador.
Also in the works at GSN is Steampunk'd, a competition series based on the "steampunk" genre, which fuses Victorian age imagery with modern technology. Artists, designers and inventors will compete to create futuristic inventions that marry design from the past and present. John Ehrhard (Hogan Knows Best), Kimberly Belcher Ehrhard and Lauren Stevens are executive producers.
Other development includes How-To Games, in which contestants are tasked to master a wide variety of skills by watching internet how-to videos; Bingo Bash, which turns GSN's popular digital app into a TV show; Winsanity, a game in which contestants must rank facts in numerical order; and Face 2 Face, a dating show that uses apps to find each dater's ideal "type."
GSN also announced that Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) will host its previously announced pilot App Wars, which features app inventors who pitch their ideas to a panel of three technology industry advisors.
"GSN has taken some big swings in development over the past year," says David Schiff, senior vice president of programming and development at GSN. "That push is paying off."
Some of these projects may wind up on the air along side GSN series such as Idiotest, which recently landed a 65-episode second season order, and the body painting competition series Skin Wars.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Exclusive: Jim Rash and Nat Faxon to Direct Community Episode

Jim Rash, Nat Faxon
In a Season 3 episode of Community, Dean Craig Pelton breaks down after trying to direct an out-of-control commercial for Greendale College. Now, Jim Rash — the actor behind the Dean — is stepping behind the Community lens for real.
Rash and his longtime directing/writing partner Nat Faxon have signed on to direct the second episode of Community's upcoming Season 6 (premiering in early 2015 on Yahoo! Screen). The episode represents the first time any of the Community stars have directed the show.
The Rash/Faxon episode will introduce Keith David's character, Elroy Patashnik, a retired scientist who comes to Greendale to reinvent himself.
Rash previously wrote an episode of Community during Season 4 ("Basic Human Anatomy"). He and Faxon's script for the film The Descendants won the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay, and the duo also wrote and directed last year's indie The Way Way Back. They also directed last season's Fox pilot Fatrick. Next up, Rash and Faxon are writing and directing the film The Heart, starring Sam Rockwell, Kristen Wiig and Allison Janney.
Among their other credits, Rash hosts SundanceTV's The Writers Room and provides a voice on Adult Swim's Mike Tyson Mysteries, while Faxon stars on FX's Married.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Exclusive: NBC's The Blacklist Casts the Villain For Its Super Bowl Episode

Ron Perlman
Ron Perlman is bringing anarchy to NBC's The Blacklist. The actor has signed on to play the drama's next mega criminal when it returns on Feb. 1 behind the Super Bowl.
Perlman will appear as Luther Braxton, a meticulous thief who plans his international heists over the course of several months or years. The ruthless baddie creates great diversions and chaos to get what he wants — that is, until he faces off with Red Reddington (James Spader).
The episode will mark The Blacklist's return after a holiday hiatus (the show aired its fall finale on Monday) and also serve as a springboard to help promote the show's move to Thursday nights.
Most recently known for his lengthy stint on FX's Sons of Anarchy, Perlman's credits include the Hellboy movies as well as the original 1980s Beauty and the Beast TV series. He's also a prolific voice-over actor, including Adventure Time and Archer.
The Blacklist has welcomed several high-profile guest stars this season, including Paul Reubens, Mary-Louise Parker, Peter Fonda and Krysten Ritter.

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Brooke Shields On Why She Joined Adult Swim's Homicidal Dog Cartoon Mr. Pickles

Brooke Shields
Adult Swim's Mr. Pickles, featuring an evil dog who regularly kills, beheads and mutilates deserving victims, might make you rethink pets. And Brooke Shields' involvement in the cartoon might make you rethink Brooke Shields.
Shields plays the matriarch of the Goodman family, an innocent, old-fashioned clan living in the throwback world of Old Town. But all around them, the modern world is seeping in — and unbeknownst to them, their 6-year-old son Tommy's lovable Border Collie, Mr. Pickles, is actually a homicidal monster. (Actually, Tommy's Grandpa knows, but no one pays attention to him.)
"He's definitely disturbed and a little misunderstood," Shields says of Mr. Pickles. "Any time Mr. Pickles dismembers somebody, I have to turn my head."
Shields probably isn't an obvious choice to voice Tommy's mom, but the actress is actually a fan of subversive comedy. "I wanted to be involved with [creators and executive producers] Will Carsola and Dave Stewart. [Plus] I don't have to be in hair and make-up."
Shields describes her character as "sort of a little Marge Simpson, a little Midwest, a little ditzy and very earnest, but with a flip side."
Stewart, Carsola, Frank Collison, Jay Johnston and Kaitlyn Robrock also provide voices on the show. Mr. Pickles airs Sundays at 11:30/10:30c on Adult Swim.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Exclusive: Community Hires Two New Series Regulars

Paget Brewster, Keith David
Two new Human Beings are on their way to Greendale. Paget Brewster and Keith David will join Community full time as the comedy enters Season 6 and moves to its new home on Yahoo! Screen.
Brewster plays Francesca "Frankie" Dart, a consultant hired to help shape things up at the underachieving school. David will appear as Elroy Patashnik, a retired scientist who comes to Greendale to reinvent himself.
Brewster is no stranger to Community fans, having played a different character, IT department staffer Debra Chambers, in the Season 5 episode "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking." Brewster's lengthy TV resume includes Criminal Minds (which she returned to last season for one episode), Friends, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Huff and American Dad. More recently, she was seen on Drunk History and Key and Peele.
David recently played Sgt. Major Donald Cody on the short-lived critically acclaimed sitcom Enlisted (a show that, coincidentally, Yahoo also considered rescuing). As a voice actor, he narrated last year's The Bible and plays the Flame King on Adventure Time. His feature credits include Platoon and Crash.
David is also familiar to Community die-hards: He narrated the faux Ken Burns-style documentary at the center of the Season 3 episode "Pillows and Blankets." David has won two Emmys for voice-over work (for The War and Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson.)
Brewster and David fill the void left by several departing cast members, including Yvette Nicole Brown, who has exited the fan favorite comedy after five seasons for personal reasons.
Also gone is Jonathan Banks, who is committed to AMC's Better Call Saul, while John Oliver, who played a larger role last season, is now focused on his HBO talk show.
Executive producers Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna have been busy at work on Community for several months now. Production on the Sony Pictures TV series' 13-episode sixth season begins on Nov. 17, and it will premiere exclusively on Yahoo in early 2015.
Cast members set to return for Season 6 include Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Jim Rash and Ken Jeong.

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