When Trey Parker and Matt Stone signed their $935 million megadeal with ViacomCBS in August, it was reported that they agreed to make 14 movies for Paramount+. Parker and Stone clarify to The Hollywood Reporter that the Paramount+ projects are not feature films, but they are also not the longform South Park specials released on Comedy Central during the pandemic. Today, Paramount+ announced the first South Park special, South Park: Post COVID, will premiere on Nov. 25. The second of the 14 specials is scheduled to drop in December. “With Viacom, we realized we could make them as long or as short as we needed,” Parker says of the upcoming projects. “And they then went and called them movies. They are the ones who said we are giving them 14 movies in seven years. All I can say is for me, personally, I am 52 years old, I have made three movies in my life. So you do the math.” Stone adds: “We’re trying to make what’s on Paramount+ different from anywhere else, so hourlong made-for-TV movies is where our head is at. We’ll do two made-for-TV movies every year. They will be big, but they are not quite movie scale.” Parker and Stone and their crew are still working remotely as their Marina del Rey studio remains closed, and they admit that the lack of in-person interaction has taken a toll. “That energy of closing a show, I think that is something we are trying to figure out remotely,” says Stone. Currently, Stone explains, the plan is for a portion of the South Park crew to return to the studio part-time in January to work on the new season.
Starting with Thursday's episode, the CBS sitcom is overhauling its premise with a focus on Ashford's Gina. As such, B Positive decided to have Tony-winning Ashford star in a new Broadway musical-style opening credits.
"When a beloved franchise is rebooted, the risks almost always outweigh the rewards. This is especially true for a television series," says Terry Terones. "For every Battlestar Galactica and One Day at a Time there are 10 Magnum P.I.s and Knight Riders, with the latter reimagined twice and each version failing spectacularly. Despite most reboots having a history of success only acceptable for a Major League hitter, The CW is wading into the waters with another franchise near and dear to many: 4400. The original series, titled The 4400, debuted on the USA Network in 2004 and ran for four seasons. It had pedestrian ratings but was a critical success and acquired a cult following, with fans viewing the series as a mix of The X-Files and The Twilight Zone. The cast was also loaded, with Peter Coyote, Billy Campbell, Garret Dillahunt, Summer Glau, and future Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali playing pivotal roles. A 14-year gap between the first series and the latest iteration provided producers with a chance to put their mark on the franchise, which they’ve certainly done in the pilot (the only episode available for review)." Terones adds: "While at first glance 4400 has potential, there are several red flags that should make viewers proceed with caution. The dialogue is clunky, with some lines bordering on parody, particularly for any character from a time period more than 20 years in the past. There are dubious plot choices, starting with how the 4400 quickly learn from a guard what year it is. Amazingly, they take the news relatively well, which is quite strange. The apparent antagonist in this series, the government officials quarantining the group, seem to be understaffed and disorganized. While that last point might be realistic, it also illustrates the show’s overall ramshackle and dated feel. Somewhat ironically, 4400 feels like it was made in 2004, with characters quickly pigeonholed into specific archetypes and a plot that’s easy to poke holes through.The pilot is disjointed, which will remind hardcore fans of one of the original series’ most nagging issues."
The Nov. 6 virtual reunion -- costing $24 per person -- will celebrate the 20th anniversary of 24's Nov. 6, 2001 premiere with panels and numerous alumni, including Sutherland, Leslie Hope, Elisha Cuthbert, Sarah Clarke, Eric Balfour, Reiko Aylesworth, Xander Berkeley, Sarah Wynter, Gregory Itzin, Mykelti Williamson, Chris Diamantopoulos, Cherry Jones, Louis Lombardi, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Tzi Ma and Sprague Grayden. “24 fans were the greatest I’ve ever experienced. I can’t wait to talk to you all,” says Sutherland.
Tolan will write, direct and executive produce Belated, "about an unexpected intergenerational friendship between Owen, a recently out man in his 40s, and Clay, a 17-year-old trans teen, as Owen and his ex-wife and children attempt to find their new normal," per Variety. In addition to co-creating Rescue Me with Denis Leary, Tolan co-created The Jim Gaffigan Show with Jim Gaffigan and served as showrunner on the 2019 Mad About You reboot.
With Halloween just around the corner, there’s no better time to settle in for a spooky TV marathon. For decades, television’s biggest sitcoms, dramas, and animated series have gone all-out in celebration of the holiday, churning out special episodes designed to help viewers get into the Halloween spirit. But as...
Konner will serve as co-showrunner of the limited series starring Nanjiani as Somen “Steve” Banerjee, the Indian-American entrepreneur who started Chippendales. Additionally, The White Tiger filmmaker Bahrani has been tapped to direct and executive produce Immigrant.
The gritty BAFTA-winning British crime drama created by Sally Wainwright and starring Sarah Lancashire, James Norton and Siobhan Finneran will return for Season 3 after its first two seasons aired in 2014 and 2016, respectively. After Happy Valley captured an American viewership via Netflix, AMC has picked up the rights to air Season 3 premiering 2022 and will serve as co-producer.
Tyler, who died Sunday at age 59 after battling prostate cancer, was more than a background actor -- he imbued his minor character with a "fourth-wall kind of eloquence" and "a sense of ironized self-awareness," says Megan Garber. Tyler "didn’t play Gunther as a side character," says Garber. "He played Gunther, instead, as a character who was sidelined. That made all the difference. Tyler invested Gunther, who was otherwise the stuff of sitcom cliché, with a biting awareness of his own exclusion from the show’s hermetic main group. Gunther is always in their orbit, but never in their world—and he is keenly aware of that disconnect. In the friends’ lives, though no one told you life was gonna be this way, things work out all the same. Not so for Gunther. Through him, reality pierces Friends’ chipper fantasies." Garber adds: "Sitcoms need both stars and background characters to tell their stories, and most supporting characters do not question their sidelining. But Gunther? Gunther is bitter about it. He is an avatar of the casual arbitrariness of the show, and of the friends’ insularity: These six people are deeply incurious about the people who are not part of their little world. On paper, Gunther is often a sap, a tangle of desire and disappointment. In practice, the way Tyler played him, he is the most human character on the show—and arguably its moral rudder. When Chandler reveals that he doesn’t know the full name of the guy he has seen almost every day for years, the joke doesn’t come at Gunther’s expense. It comes at Chandler’s. Tyler didn’t simply communicate Gunther’s frustrations; he deployed them. His performances convey the simmering indignation of being rendered invisible...Much about Gunther, whether his bleach-bright hair or his fluorescent outfits, suggests a deep desire to be the center of attention. And yet the show, on the whole, keeps him relegated to the spaces behind the scenes. Gunther functions, in Friends, as a consequential stranger: a person you might often encounter as you live your life, but whom you don’t, in any meaningful sense, know. Viewers are exposed to him in roughly the same way they might be exposed to the people they casually interact with in everyday life...Gunther is a background character who knows that, in another show, he would have been the star. And although Tyler did not have many lines, he used the ones he did have to give Gunther a fourth-wall kind of eloquence. Particularly as Friends moved into its later seasons, Tyler imbued the character with a sense of ironized self-awareness. To watch Gunther is to suspect that he is watching the proceedings—these blandly telegenic young people, with their blend of cheerful entitlements—at the same time that we are. He’s a viewer, too. He exists in a liminal space, seemingly hovering between the world of the show and the world its audiences inhabit. Tyler gave Gunther the feel of a Greek chorus, or of a narrator: He sees the hijinks onstage for what they are. He knows that Friends is selling a fantasy. But he also knows that he can have his moments inside the illusion." ALSO: Lego pays tribute to James Michael Tyler.
As TVLine notes, the Tiger King 2 trailer suggests it will use a lot of leftover Season 1 footage while putting little focus on the imprisoned Joe Exotic. Season 2 will also revisit his rivalry with Carole Baskin, even though she didn't participate this time.
The Billy Crudup-led dramedy has also rounded out its cast with Nick Podany and Dewshane Williams. Hello Tomorrow! stars Crudup as Jack, a salesman of great talent and ambition, whose unshakeable faith in a brighter tomorrow inspires his coworkers, revitalizes his desperate customers, but threatens to leave him dangerously lost in the very dream that sustains him.
Fightmaster, who's coming off of roles on Shrill and Work in Progress, made their Grey's debut earlier this month as Dr. Kai Bartley as Ellen Pompeo's Dr. Meredith Grey "was being wooed by a well-funded Minnesota hospital who wanted her to join their quest to cure Parkinson’s Disease," says Variety's Kate Aurthur. "Meredith asked neurosurgeon Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) to join her there in order to help with the decision — which was when they both met Kai, who is part of the research team in Minnesota, and whose work Amelia clearly knew well. Now, ABC has announced that Fightmaster — who is non-binary, as is Kai — has become a recurring member of the Grey’s Anatomy cast, the first time a non-binary actor has played a doctor on the show. (Trans actor Alex Blue Davis played surgical resident Casey Parker in Seasons 14-16.)" Fightmaster will begin recurring when Grey's returns on Nov. 11. ABC describes Dr. Kai Bartley as "dedicated to their craft and extremely talented at what they do. “Confident as hell and able to make even the most detailed and mundane science seem exciting and cool, Kai and Amelia bond over their shared love of medicine and the brain.”
When Variety reported last month on the limited series The Comeback Girl, starring Hahn as Rivers and executive produced and directed by Greg Berlanti and written by Cosmo Carlson, the project received negative attention from Sarah Silverman and others for casting a non-Jew as the iconic comedian. But that is not why The Comeback Girl isn't moving forward. "Rivers’ life rights, which are held by her daughter, Melissa Rivers, hadn’t been secured by producers," explains Variety's Kate Aurthur. "The project could have proceeded as an unauthorized venture, but The Comeback Girl wouldn’t have been able to use any of Rivers’ jokes or catchphrases, and, of course, risked running afoul of Melissa Rivers and the estate." The Comeback Girl would've focused on a precarious time in Rivers’ life in 1987 when Fox canceled her new late-night show The Late Show after one season in May 1987 and her husband, Edgar Rosenberg, committed suicide three months later. When asked if Melissa Rivers had any plans for biographical stories about her mother, who died in 2014 at age 81, her spokesperson said there’s nothing to be announced yet.
Keeping track of what's new and noteworthy in the world of television has never been more challenging. From a veteran team behind some of the web's favorite TV sites, Primetimer tracks the Peak TV era in real-time.