Recent Posts in TV

December 19, 2014

by Bill Pearis

David Fincher
fincher

We recently posted about the new HBO series that's going to be about '70s-era music biz in NYC that being made by Terrence Winter (The Sopranos), Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger. Turns out it's not the only music-related show on the network's upcoming slate. Deadline reports that David Fincher, who will likely be up for an Oscar this year for Gone Girl, is behind a new series currently titled Livng On Video, set in the world of MTV:

Set in 1983 Los Angeles, Living On Video centers on Bobby, a wide-eyed guy who drops out of college and drives to Hollywood with dreams of directing a sci-fi epic. He lands a job as a PA for a company making music videos. In the vein of HBO's Entourage, the series revolves around the players of the then-exploding music video industry -- directors, record executives and crew members, many of them dabbling in drugs -- through the eyes of the newcomer.
Fincher has a lot of firsthand knowlege on this subject, having come up through this world, and directed such MTV classics as Madonna's "Express Yourself," Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun" and Billy Idol's "Rock the Cradle of Love." He made his first music video in eight years in 2013 for buddy Justin Timberlake's "Suit and Tie" with Jay Z.

The plot also sounds a little like the underrated 1988 John Cusack / Tim Robbins comedy, Tapeheads, which you can watch the trailer for (along with some of those Fincher-directed videos) below...

Continue reading "David Fincher working on series for HBO about the world of '80s music videos"

Colbert

The Colbert Report aired its final episode last night (12/18) after nine seasons on Comedy Central. At the end, Randy Newman and Jon Stewart came out to help Stephen Colbert sing the 1939 standard "We'll Meet Again" and soon they were joined by stageful of celebrity guests, including Willie Nelson, Michael Stipe, Jeff Tweedy, Cyndi Lauper, Bryan Cranston, Tom Brokaw, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Ric Ocasek, James Franco, Patrick Stewart, Arianna Huffington, George Lucas, Henry Kissinger, and many, many more. You can watch that below.

Then, instead of the usual closing-credits music, Colbert used Neutral Milk Hotel's "Holland 1945." Slate notes that the song, from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, has special importance to Colbert who lost his father and two brothers in a plane crash. You can watch the whole episode over at Comedy Central.

Colbert will succeed David Letterman at CBS' The Late Late Show sometime after May 2015.

Continue reading "'The Colbert Report' finale: group sing-a-long w/ Jeff Tweedy, Michael Stipe, Big Bird & more ++ NMH's "Holland, 1945""

December 18, 2014

Dan Deacon (right) and MC Schmidt takes notes in Adult Swim's latest "informercial"
Dan Deacon

Adult Swim has released another oddity into its 4 AM "Infomercial" slot that unleashed "Too Many Cooks" and "In Search of Miracle Man." Titled "Unedited Footage of a Bear," it starts off just as that but quickly transitions into commercial for fake allergy medication "Claridryl," the kind where the warnings go on longer than the selling of the product. We'll stop there, but writer/directors Alan Resnick and Ben O'Brien pretty much echew any attempts at humor, happy just to be weird, unsettling and, actually, pretty scary. Dan Deacon, who has a new LP on the way and worked with the filmmakers on another Adult Swim short, did the music and cameos (along with Matmos' MC Schmidt) as a police detective. Watch it below.

For those watching it online, note that clicking the familiar "Skip Ad" button it takes you to a fake Claridryl website. If you're looking for something that's unsettling, weird and funny, you might want to try The Heart, She Holler.

Continue reading "Dan Deacon scores (and appears in) Adult Swim's latest "infomerical," 'Unedited Footage of a Bear' (watch)"

December 17, 2014

Colbert

The Colbert Report will air its final episode on Thursday night (12/18), after which Stephen Colbert (the real person, not his Report persona) will begin prepping to take over for the retiring David Letterman sometime next year. Last night (12/18) featured an appearance by Kendrick Lamar who will have the distinction of being the last-ever musical guest on the show -- unless Colbert pulls out some surprises tomorrow night. "No pressure, " Colbert told Kendrick, "but that means Paul McCartney, REM, Jack White and Nas were your opening acts." After an interview segment, Lamar performed a new, untitled song with backing from Thundercat, Terrace Martin on saxophone, and back vocals from Bilal and Anna Wise. You can watch that below.

Tonight's penultimate episode of The Colbert Report features Redeployment author Phil Klay and Thursday's finale features...the Grim Reaper? Tune in and find out. David Letterman's final The Late Show will be May 20, but reports are that Colbert may not take the host seat till September. Larry Wilmore will take over Colbert's time slot on Comedy Central. Craig Ferguson, meanwhile, will exit CBS' The Late Late Show at the end of December, with guest hosts filling in until James Corden (and bandleader Reggie Watts) take over in March.

Continue reading "Kendrick Lamar was the last-ever musical guest on 'The Colbert Report,' which signs off for good this week (video)"

December 15, 2014

Reggie Watts

The Late Late Show with James Corden will take over for the departing Craig Ferguson on March 23 and it's been announced that Reggie Watts will be the show's bandleader. It's a role Reggie already knows, as he's been doing it on Scott Aukerman's quasi-talk show Comedy Bang Bang! for three seasons. As for that show, Aukerman says, "Reggie is sticking around thru the first half of 2015, during which he have planned a very fitting goodbye for him." Comedy Bang Bang! wraps up its third season this Friday (12/19) and Season 4 begins January 9 on IFC.

Right before the S4 premiere, Reggie will be appearing on Nat Towsen's Downtown Variety Hour which happens at NYC's UCB East on January 5. Other guests include Janeane Garofalo, Jamie Kilstein and Allison Kilkenny (#NEWSFAIL, Citizen Radio), and "a special Two Boots Pizza Dedication Ceremony." Reservations (tickets $5) will be available soon.

This past Friday's episode of CBB! was an especially good one, featuring guest Eric Andre and a whole lot of time travel. You can watch it online at IFCtv.com.

December 11, 2014

golden-globesgolden-globes

It's awards season and this morning the 2015 The Golden Globes nominations were released and there are a few familiar names in the two music categories:

Lana Del Rey: "Big Eyes" (Big Eyes)
John Legend, Common: "Glory" (Selma)
Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye: "Mercy Is" (Noah)
Greg Kurstin, Sia Furler, Will Gluck: "Opportunity" (Annie)
Lorde: "Yellow Flicker Beat" (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1)
And Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, working again with David Fincher this time for Gone Girl, is among the nominees in the Best Original Score category:
Alexandre Desplat: The Imitation Game
Jóhann Jóhannsson: The Theory of Everything
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross: Gone Girl
Antonio Sanchez: Birdman
Hans Zimmer: Interstellar
Among the non-music nominees, Iñárritu's Birdman led with seven nominations, and HBO's True Detective and FX's Fargo (both in the mini-series category) led in television with four and five nominations, respectively. The enigmatic Hollywood Foreign Press Association will hand out the Golden Globes to winners on January 11 at the televised ceremony hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Stream all five Golden Globe nominees for Best Original Song Motion Picture and check out the full list of 2015 nominations, below...

Continue reading "Patti Smith, Trent Reznor, Lana Del Rey, Lorde & more nominated for 2015 Golden Globe Awards"

December 3, 2014

craig-f

Craig Ferguson is in his final month as host of CBS's The Late Late Show. What will he do with his upcoming free time? Well, he hasn't said yet but some touring is probably on the way. A full set of dates hasn't been announced yet, but we do know he'll play three nights at NYC's Town Hall on March 5 - 7. Tickets for those NYC shows go on AmEx presale today (12/3) at noon with the public on-sale starting at noon on Friday (12/5).

What about The Late Late Show? Ferguson's replacement, British actor and comedian James Corden will take over starting March 9, 2015. Until then, CBS will fill the void with a string of guest-hosts, including Judd Apatow, Jim Gaffigan, Wayne Brady, Will Arnett, Thomas Lennon, Kunal Nayyar, Billy Gardell, Sean Hayes and, uh, John Mayer. Drew Carey will be the first up, hosting January 5 - 9.

December 2, 2014

Scorsese

The anything-goes world of the NYC mid-'70s music biz will be the subject of a new HBO series, created by Terence Winter who created Boardwalk Empire and was executive producer of The Soprannos. Martin Scorsese, who knows a little bit about the era, will executive produce and also directed the pilot episode (much like he did for Boardwalk Empire). The script has been kicking around for almost five years but now that Boardwalk Empire is finished, HBO has officially given the show the go-ahead. From Deadline:

The untitled hourlong drama is set in 1970s New York and explores the drug- and sex-fueled music business as punk and disco were breaking out, all through the eyes of a record executive trying to resurrect his label and find the next new sound.
Bobby Cannavale, a vet of Winter's two other series, stars as the beleagured label exec, and the show also features Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano and Juno Temple, as well as Andrew Dice Clay, Ato Essandoh, Max Casella, James Jagger (son of Mick, who's a producer on the show), Jack Quaid (Dennis' son), Birgitte Sorenson, P.J. Byrne, J.C. MacKenzie, Bo Dietl, Robert Funaro and Joe Caniano. No premiere date or title for the show has been given, but one thing seems certan: the music licensing budget has to be huge.

November 17, 2014

by Bill Pearis

Meemaw visits 'Wake Up, White People' host David Cross on 'The Heart, She Holler' S3
IMAGE

John Lee and Vernon Chatman have been weirding out late night television viewers for 10 years as the primary creative forces behind PFFR: first with not-for-kids kids show Wonder Showzen, then with the hallucinogenic, hard-to-look-at Xavier: Renegade Angel and, most recently, on the Southern Gothic soap opera The Heart, She Holler. (They were also writers and producers on Jon Glazer's awesome Delocated.) The thread running through them all: Lee and Chatman's gleeful dismantling of American culture, labyrinthine and pun-filled dialogue, and a desire to see viewers' jaws drop.

Season three of The Heart She, Holler debuts on December 1 on Adult Swim, starring folks like Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Amy Sedaris, Scott Adsit (30 Rock), Steve Little (East Bound and Down) and other familiar comedy faces. You can watch the trailer below. There's a Season Three preview screening on Tuesday (11/18) at BAM at 7:30 with a Q&A with Q&A with Adsit (who just joined the cast) and John Lee. It's free and you can RSVP to attend, though entry is based on capacity. We're also giving away a pair of guaranteed passes as well, and details on that are below.

PFFR's John Lee
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In addition to working on his own shows, John Lee has directed episodes of Broad City and a few music videos, and he used to be in a couple bands: jokey late-'90s indie rockers Muckafurgason, and a pre-TV PFFR who put out records in the early '00s. Full disclosure: I've known John for almost 20 years, and he took a few minutes away from scarring Middle America's eyeballs to talk about The Heart She Holler, food courts, unprecedented sexual positions, Morrissey, David Lynch and the difficulties of wrangling an ex-President for a cameo. PFFR are infamous for their non-interview interviews, but there's at least a little directness here.

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BrooklynVegan: So what are you working on now? Season 3 of The Heart She Holler is in the can, right?

John Lee: Yeah, it's in the trash can as we say. The trash can of America. Any of your local mall food courts, that's what we call the trash can. We call the South "Food Court America" up here in the North.

BV: How much time have you and Vernon spent in the South?

JL: (Laughs) Together or separately? Well, together it was all in sin. It felt like forever but it was only six minutes. Um, separately? Through touring... it would add up to a handful of peanuts. A bag of boiled peanuts, that's how long I've spent in the South. But the thing is you don't even need to spend time in the South to understand American culture, like American hillbilly ideals. All you have to do is go 40 minutes outside of any city and you're there. America, it's all that. It's everywhere you go. The South is just the place everyone says "Oh, it's that." But it's not, it's everywhere.

Did you think you'd be doing a third season of The Heart, She Holler when you guys came up with the idea?

We, as in PFFR, all our shows that are self-created have never gotten past a second season. This is the first time we've broken the curse. Wonder Showzen was only two seasons, Xavier was only two seasons. Delocated made it longer, but that wasn't just our show. It was a thrill, but we were also scared because when you break a curse you never know what sort of demon's going to show up. The undead will rise? Your nightmares will become reality? We'll see.


Continued below...

Continue reading "Adult Swim's 'The Heart, She Holler' returns for S3 (screening at BAM); creator John Lee discusses Broad City, his old bands, casting an ex-president, weirdness & more in BV interview"

November 11, 2014

Miracle Man

Last week, Adult Swin oddity (is that reduntant?) "Too Many Cooks" took the world by storm with its brilliantly strange (eventually disturbing) homage to TV opening credits sequences of the '70s / '80s / '90s. You may remember that Adult Swim initially aired it in a 4AM timeslot that just said "INFOMERCIAL" on cable box schedules. Last night Adult Swim aired a new "informercial" at 4 AM, this time bearing a little more resemblance to "paid programming." Starring UCB's Matt Besser and Rich Fulcher (Snuff Box, The Mighty Boosh), it's a parody of self-help programs with maybe a little Psychic Friends Network thrown in as well. Is that Steve Agee in the audience?

Who is Miracle Man and how can he help you? Well you're just going to have to watch. (It's no "Too Many Cooks," but it has its moments and fans of Besser and Fulcher will definitely want to watch.) It'll air on Adult Swim in the 4AM slot though November 14 and you can watch it via Adult Swim's website if you're a cable subscriber. Or you can watch a medium-definition rip of it over at Gawker.

Adult Swim has other "informercials" too.

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