Recent Posts in TV - Page 2

February 6, 2015

by Bill Pearis

Getdown

FOX's pulpy hip hop music biz drama Empire has been a surprise smash, making rap a suddenly hot commodity on mainstream network TV. That's good news for Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann, who had been trying to bring a hip hop series to the screen for the better part of a decade. Netflix has bitten and ordered a 13-episode first season of The Get Down, which is set in 1970s New York City. From The Hollywood Reporter:

Consigned to rubble, a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers are nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them -- except each other, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans. From Bronx tenements, to the SoHo art scene; from CBGBs to Studio 54 and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center, The Get Down is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco -- told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world ... forever.
Bringing a little grit to the series is co-producer Shawn Ryan, who created The Shield (and the barely-seen but great Terriers). Baz will direct the first two episodes and the first season finale. There's a teaser trailer you can watch below and The Get Down will hit your Netflix queue in 2016.

In related news, VH1 is producing a made-for-TV film, The Breaks, which was inspired by Dan Charnas' book The Big Payback, and will be a narrative history of the hip-hop business. That begins shooting this spring.

Continue reading "Netflix orders hip hop drama 'The Get Down' from 'Moulin Rouge' director Baz Luhrmann (watch a teaser)"

February 2, 2015

by Bill Pearis

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It's been eight years since Happy Mondays' Unkle Disfunctional and 12 since the amazing mess that was Shaun Ryder's 2003 solo album, Amateur Night in the Big Top. But things are twisting in Ryder's melon with hints that Black Grape may play gigs this year to celebrate the 20th anniversary of that band's debut, It's Great When You're Straight...Yeah. He's also got "something in the pipeline" -- a new album of some sort? We shall see.

Ryder has stayed busy recently as host of History Channel UK series Shaun Ryder on UFOs since 2013.

Convinced from an early age that UFO's exist after spotting one in the sky above his house in Salford, Shaun sets off on a quest to find out the truth. Along the way he scans more than just the sky, speaking to experts and witnesses, academics and abductees, skeptics and believers in an attempt to get to the bottom of their stories and separate fact from fantasy.
Americans can watch Shaun Ryder on UFOs on Netflix and you can check out a few clips from the show, and stream Amateur Night in the Big Top via Rdio, below...

Continue reading "Shaun Ryder hints at Black Grape anniversary shows and "something in the pipeline" ++ watch his UFO series on Netflix"

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As mentioned, Saturday Night Live will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a three-hour live special on February 15 (which is Sunday, by the way). Former castmember Eddie Murphy, who hasn't appeared on the show (which he doesn't have especially fond memories of) since 1984, will return for the special which also features a cavalcade of other past castmembers: Chevy Chase, Jimmy Fallon, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Martin Short, Tina Fey, Molly Shannon, Mike Myers, Andy Samberg, Bill Murray, Amy Poehler, Dana Carvey, Kristen Wiig, Dan Aykroyd, Chris Rock, Garrett Morris, and Maya Rudolph.

There will aslo be lots of former SNL hosts as well, including Five Timers Club members Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Paul Simon, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Walken, and Steve Martin, plus Emma Stone, John Hamm, Derek Jeter, Melissa McCarthy, Jerry Seinfeld, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Jim Carrey, Peyton Manning, Betty White and many more yet to be announced.

In addition to Timberlake and Simon, other musicians appearing on SNL 40 will be Kanye West, Paul McCartney, and Taylor Swift. The Saturday Night Live Special runs from 8 - 11 PM on 2/15. You can watch a couple of promos for the special below.

If that's not enough SNL for you, VH1 Classic's marathon of old episodes is underway and will continue 24/7 through February 15 (schedule is here).

And in related news, Eddie Murphy, who has dabbled in music in the past, having scored a hit in 1985 with the Rick James-produced "Party All the Time," recently released a reggae single "Oh Jah" which you can stream below. It's not his first dip into the genre -- he released a single with Snoop Lion in 2013 and collaborated with Shabba Ranks in 1993.

This past week's SNL featured D'Angelo.

Continue reading "Eddie Murphy, Kanye West, Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, & more appearing on 'SNL 40' special"

February 1, 2015

Dangelo

To quote Fader, "D'Angelo made his debut Saturday Night Live performance tonight and his first TV appearance since releasing his surprise album Black Messiah. Accompanied by his backing band The Vanguard, the '90s icon sang through "Really Love" and "The Charade," both of which appear on his latest record."

As CoS also points out, "During the latter, D'Angelo wore a hoodie, the Vanguard members donned "I Can't Breathe" t-shirts, and a stencil of a body outlined the stage floor -- powerful references to the recent killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner."

Watch below.

Catch D'Angelo live at the Apollo on 2/7, or in Europe. All tour dates are also listed below...

Continue reading "D'Angelo played Saturday Night Live (video)"

January 30, 2015

Varys & Tyrion / Jon Snow & Stannis, Game of Thrones S5 (courtesy HBO)
Puppets
Puppets

Last night was the big IMAX Game of Thrones event where they screened the show's Season 4 finale at theaters around the country. A lot of people went just to get a first look at the Game of Thrones Season 5 trailer which premiered at the event. Reports are, the show will seriously begin to diverge from Georger RR Martin's books, and will likely merge 2005's A Feast for Crows and 2011's A Dance with Dragons' stories, which followed different characters along parallel timelines. Vulture points out that, at least from the trailer, a new contender to the Iron Throne that makes his debut in A Dance with Dragons may have been excised from the story entirely. We shall see. Of course, an "unofficial" version of the trailer has made its way to the internet today which you can watch in its muffled, in-and-out-of-focus splendor, below. One thing you can make out is TV on the Radio's cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" which was recorded in 2009 for a Warchild benefit album.

UPDATE: They've released the official trailer online, and you can watch that below.

In other news, it looks like fans of Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series are going to have to keep waiting for the next book. HarperCollins told The Guardian today that Winds of Winter (the title of the next book) is not on their 2015 release schedule. "I have no information on likely delivery," Jane Johnson of HarperCollins said. "These are increasingly complex books and require immense amounts of concentration to write. Fans really ought to appreciate that the length of these monsters is equivalent to two or three novels by other writers."

Clearly, GRRM is busy, busy writing. Or turning a former bowling alley in his Santa Fe hometown into something called the House of Eternal Return:

The artist collective Meow Wolf outlined its vision Thursday for the complex, which was purchased and is being renovated by author George R.R. Martin with Meow Wolf as the tenant. It is slated for a fall opening.

It will include a room for children's arts programs, as well as 19 affordable artists' studios with shared space for collaboration. A gift shop, gallery for emerging artists, and murals on inner and outer walls are planned.

But the major draw will be a House of Eternal Return, built on the 14,000 square feet where the bowling lanes used to be and offering 20,000 square feet of explorable space as different levels are added. More than 75 artists will collaborate on creating niches and crannies - some 50 to 70 of them - to give visitors a feeling of passing through a portal to a different time and place every time they open a door. - [Albuquerque Journal]

To tide you over till Game of Thrones Season 5 premieres on April 12, the S4 DVD/Blu-Ray set will be out February 17 and you can buy illustrated compendium The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones now.

Watch the S5 trailer, below...

Continue reading "TV on the Radio's cover of "Heroes" in 'Game of Thrones' Season 5 trailer; 'Winds of Winter' is NOT coming in 2015"

January 29, 2015

GethardGethard

After filming a pilot with Comedy Central that didn't get picked up, public access / internet sensation The Chris Gethard Show has been picked up by new cable network Fusion who have ordered a 10-episode run that will air starting in April. Fusion looks to keep the show's anarchic spirit intact. Gethard says "We're not leaving public access, we're taking it with us." And from a feature in The Atlantic:

The fact that viewers can call in, for one, is critical to the show's energy, which is difficult to pull off on a major network since even late night is filmed live-to-tape. Gethard says Fusion seemed much more willing to embrace the show's online side, live-streaming the tapings and accepting live calls, then editing the show down to something it can broadcast. "Really, we can take our time to have the show basically be live and also round it out to a show we're proud of," he says. "They're giving us an opportunity to have the best of both worlds in a way that's truly progressive. They suggested it."
Chris, who's on Broad City too, wrote this on the show's website:
When Next You See Us We Will Be Standing Atop the Rubble Of The Entertainment Industry, Victorious Conquerers In A Strange Land That's Never Welcomed Us. We Are The Outsiders. We Are The Renegades. We Are The Surrogates For The Silent Masses Who Are Not Willing To Be Treated As A Number, Who Are Smart Enough To Know That Their Value Is Rooted In More Than What Demographic Some White Male In A Suit Categorizes Them In. In April We Take To New Airwaves To Shout Furiously On Behalf Of The Sad, Creative, Sexually Confused, Generally Forgotten Kids Who Have Long Found It Unpleasant To Shout For Themselves. We Are A Voice For The Voiceless. We Take To The Grid So That We May Speak On Behalf Of Those Who Opt To Live Off Of It. We Are The Nervous System, And Our Viewers Are The Heart And The Brain. We Aim To Obey The Commands Of The Meekest Voices Amongst The Din. We Are Selling Out, But We Will Never Back Down. We Thank The Powers That Be For Our Seat At The Table But We Refuse To Ever Be Cool And We Insist On Making A Mess. Some People Get Invited In The Front Door. Some People Sneak Through The Back Door. We Are Sleeping In A Tent In The Vacant Lot Next Door And Throwing Eggs At The Metaphorical House. This Is Not Goodbye, It's Only See Ya Later. This Is Not The End, It Is The Beginning. MNN Was Where The Forces Gathered, And Now The Army Marches. And You, The Viewers Who Have Supported Us, Are The Generals In That Army, The Admirals On The Ships, You Tell Us When It's Time To Push The Button And Go Nuclear On The Whole Venture. The Mainstream Entertainment Industry Murdered Andy Kaufman And It Is The Duty Of This Show To Get Revenge On His Behalf.
One drawback, for fans in Gethard's NYC area (where the show currently films), is Fusion isn't carried by Time Warner Cable. But you will be able to watch it live online, and Fusion can, however, be seen on Verizon FIOS, who by the way recently picked up Diddy's music channel Revolt TV a year into its existence.

Last night (1/28) was the final episode of The Chris Gethard Show to air on NYC public TV channel Manhattan Neighborhood Network and featured a live performance by The Weaks. That episode hasn't shown up archived on line yet, but you can watch last week's episode, featuring Jersey band Microwave Death, below...

Continue reading "'The Chris Gethard Show' moving to cable network Fusion in April; last night's episode was final show for public access"

January 28, 2015

WHAS

The film Wet Hot American Summer came out Summer 2001 and didn't do much at the box office but had cult hit written all over it. A satire of '80s summer camp movies, it was written by David Wain and Michael Showalter of The State and featured most of the rest of that comedy in the cast. It also starred a lot of folks who'd soon be a lot more famous -- Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, and Elizabeth Banks, to name a few -- and featured songs by Shudder to Think's Craig Wedren. You probably know all this.

Director David Wain, and pretty much all of the original cast (including Cooper, Rudd, Pohler and Banks), are going back to camp for an eight-part miniseries, subtitled "First Day at Camp," that will air on Netflix this summer. Also appearing on the new series: Chris Pine, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel, John Slattery, and Jason Schwartzman. And probably more. They just debuted a trailer for the miniseries, which doesn't show much beyond the names of the castmembers, but you can watch it below.

Continue reading "'Wet Hot American Summer' coming back as Netflix miniseries"

January 27, 2015

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I guess I didn't have to cancel the show at MSG tonight. I don't blame the mayor. That storm was a monster. We got lucky. When you consider the action taken by the government of entire north east, they got it right. To expect accuracy from each individual mayor is just too much. For us in New York and us in my house and us at MSG it was overblown. But if you expand that 'us' to everyone in the path is the storm, they were spot on. My family in Boston is part of us for me. So that's how I look at it.
While Winter Storm Juno wasn't quite the blizzard in New York City as predicted, tonight's Louis CK show is still canceled. You can fill that void, though, with Louis' new comedy special, Live at the Comedy Store, which was filmed last month at the famous LA spot, and just went up on his website:
I developed and prepared this material over the last year or so, mostly in comedy clubs. This special kind of goes back to when I used to just make noises and be funny for no particular reason. It felt right to shoot this special in a club to give it that live immediate intimate feeling. The show is about an hour long. The opening act, who is seen at the beginning (good place for an opening act) is Jay London. One of my favorite club comics going way back to the late 80s when I first started in working in New York.

I hope you like it.

Louis CK Live at the Comedy Store is available now for five bucks.

Louis talked about his new special, the blizzard, doing big shows like his MSG run, and other stuff on The Late Show with David Letterman last night. Video of that, below...

Continue reading "Louis CK talked blizzard and MSG on 'Letterman' (watch), released new comedy special on his website"

January 22, 2015

by Bill Pearis

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The weekend before D'Angelo plays his now sold-out show at The Apollo (2/7), he'll appear as the musical guest on the January 31 episode of Saturday Night Live with host JK Simmons of Whiplash (and Oz and those Farmers Insurance commercials). This will be his first appearance on the show and certainly his biggest moment in the spotlight since returning to action last year. This weekend (1/24), meanwhile, SNL has country star and The Voice judge Blake Shelton as both host and musical guest. Then on Sunday, February 15, it's the big three-hour SNL 40th Anniversary prime time special.

Leading up to that, VH1 Classic will have a 19-day, 433-hour marathon of episodes from every season of Saturday Night Live that runs from January 28 - February 15. This will include, hopefully, some lesser-seen episodes, like from the years from 1981 - 1985 when Lorne Michaels quit and Dick Ebersol took over as executive producer. Or the rarely seen '85-'86 year when Michaels returned with a cast that included Robert Downey Jr, Randy Quaid and Anthony Michael Hall (who were all let go at the end of the season). In addition to showing whole episodes there will be daily theme blocks, like all six episodes with Justin Timberlake (January 31, 4 - 10 PM). I just hope they make room for "Jackie Rogers Jr's $100,000 Jackpod Wad."

January 20, 2015

Bob's Burgers

One of network TV's funniest series, Bob's Burgers will be taking the show on the road in March with Bob's Burgers Live:

...will feature the talented voice cast of the hit animated series, including H. Jon Benjamin ("Bob Belcher"), Kristen Schaal ("Louise Belcher"), Eugene Mirman ("Gene Belcher"), Dan Mintz ("Tina Belcher") and John Roberts ("Linda Belcher"), along with creator and executive producer Loren Bouchard. Performances will include a raucous and lively mix of stand-up comedy, fan Q&A, a live BOB'S BURGERS table read and an exclusive sneak peek at upcoming episodes.
What, no songs? Surely there will be songs. The NYC stop is March 27 at Beacon Theatre. Tickets go on sale Friday (1/23) at 10 AM with LiveNation, Chase cardmember and local presales starting Thursday (1/22) at 10 AM.

All dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Eugene Mirman, H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal & more on 'Bob's Burgers Live' tour, playing Beacon Theatre (dates)"