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Disappointing Olympics coverage, Stranger Things character quiz results, and more casting news.

Tuesday August 16th 2016

People Talking About TV

“Following the DGA report last year, and Variety TV critic Mo Ryan’s excellent reporting based on that report, Landgraf sent a letter to all of FX’s showrunners—the people actually responsible for hiring directors—and asked them to make a change, sooner rather than later. His showrunners, along with Jonathan Frank, the executive in charge of series, and Nicole Bernard, the network’s head of audience strategy, got the job done. Of FX’s 149 filled directing slots for the 2016-2017 TV season, 76 are women or people of color, while 73 are white men, Landgraf revealed at a Television Critics Association event Aug. 9. (Twenty-one spots are still open.)” It turns out that if you run a network, making excuses about a lack of diversity is just making excuses. Keep it up FX. Also, I am eagerly awaiting both Atlanta and Better Things.

“While most of the Steven Universe fandom is supportive and welcoming, there is a small subsection that’s known for being extreme and hostile under the guise of inclusiveness. Last year, the Steven Universe Tumblr community made headlines after a fan artist attempted suicide because some people were harassing her for the body proportions in her art.” I linked last week to an article about what happens when fans invest too much into a specific ship, and this week there’s another example of fans taking things too far. I know it was a while ago that I spent a lot of time online talking about a specific show, (Buffy, if you must know) and clearly things have changed, but not being able to express an opinion to other fans without harassment sucks. Annie Wilkes should not be the “patron saint of fandom.”

“But the way NBC covers the Olympics on TV isn’t just unfair to sports fans, or to people who live on the West Coast, or to people who have social media and are spoiled on the results of events long before they’re broadcast. It isn’t just racist and sexist and wedded to certain socially conservative expectations of what makes a family. No, it’s all of those things — and it’s awful, awful television.” Ouch. This is from last week, but Todd Van Der Werff’s simple explanation for why NBC’s Olympics coverage is SO BAD just makes me sad. It’s not the 1980s anymore, so get with it NBC.

On a more uplifting note, here’s a comprehensive history of summer Olympics fashion, from playing tennis in heels to those beach volleyball bikinis.

The Business

Comedy Central has announced that Larry Wilmore’s The Nightly Show will end after this week. @Midnight (which is a favorite of mine) will take over the spot for now. Can we blame the show poor lead in (The Daily Show) for this one? For more on this not all that surprising turn of events, if you look at the ratings, click here.

TBS gave The Late Late Show’s Drop the Mic segment a 16 episode straight to series pickup.

Amazon ordered 10 episodes of the new Jack Ryan series that stars John Krasinski.

Jill Soloway will executive produce an untitled musical comedy from Ethan Kuperberg, a writer on Transparent, for Amazon. It’s about “a woman's search for love and self-discovery in Los Angeles.” (So… it’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend?)

Casting: Alia Shawkat and Aubrey Plaza will play Hamilton and Burr in the Lin-Manuel Miranda episode of Drunk History. So good, can't wait. Anna Paquin will play the lead in Netflix’s adaptation of Alias Grace. Geoffrey Rush will play Albert Einstein in Genius, the first scripted drama from the National Geographic Channel. Ron Howard is set to direct the pilot. Kim Cattrall and Andrea Riseborough have both joined Agatha Christie’s The Witness for the ProsecutionNia Long will play Hillary in Lifetime’s remake of BeachesCarrie Preston will star with Niecy Nash in TNT’s Claws, about a nail salon in South Florida. Robert Knepper, who always plays a bad guy, will play a general on Homeland. Helen McCrory will play the lead in ITV’s Fearless, a legal drama that we will all probably be obsessed with sometime next year. Mena Suvari has been cast alongside Alicia Silverstone in TVLand’s American Woman pilot. James Wolk will take a break from chasing killer animals on Zoo to guest star as a tech billionaire on Billions.

Don’t worry about Jay Pharoah and Taran Killam, they both landed Showtime pilots after getting let go from SNL. Pharoah will be a lead in Jamie Foxx’s White Famous, and Killam ended up at Jason Katims’ comedy anthology Mating.

Renewals: USA renewed Mr. Robot for a third seasonTell your mom that Showtime renewed Ray Donovan for a fifth season. It’ll make her happy.

Firings: Thomas Gibson was fired from Criminal Minds on Friday after another on-set altercation.

In development:(?) Robert Downey Jr. and Nic Pizzolatto (True Detective) are reportedly mulling over doing a drama series for HBO that might be reboot of the Perry Mason film that was in development at Warner Brothers. I’d watch that.

What To Watch

I am still watching Felicity on Hulu, god help me. I meant to watch Brooklyn on HBO Now last night, but ended up watching American Ultra on Hulu instead. It probably wasn’t the best use of my evening. Anyway, slow week for new stuff, but the list of TV that’s just around the corner is alarmingly long, so clean out your queues now.

Speaking of, Indie Wire has a big list of the best TV of 2016 so far– from Angie Tribeca to Veep– and where to watch them.

Outcast kind of got overshadowed by Stranger Things, but it’s been over on Cinemax all summer getting good marks, and it got an A for the season finale. Since so many shows have whiffed at crafting a good finale lately, that’s an achievement. I am going to catch up with this one before the second season arrives, but probably with the lights on.

The Yahoo Screen season of Community is now on Hulu, which is good news for fans who didn’t want to deal with the often buggy service when it first aired.

Did you watch any episodes of The Get Down this weekend? I admit that I did not, I came home Sunday night and watched two episodes of Vice Principals instead. If you are caught up, here’s a list of “6 moments when it really got up and moved.” Here’s an interview with the choreographers who talk about the icons that inspired the dance sequences.

If you are behind of the second season of Black-ish and you want to get caught up, iTunes if offering it for free until tomorrow, so hurry.

I’ve been avoiding The Hunt, the BBC’s newest nature series narrated by Sir David Attenborough, because I usually can’t watch hunting scenes, but this review made me rethink skipping it. It says it’s more about the tactics predators use, which still only have a low rate of success. It also talks about how the BBC has a large budget, so despite the addition of sound effects, and one sequence with an octopus that plays like a Twilight Zone episode, you get realistic animal behavior, and not lemmings being driven off a hill into a river.

Io9 has a list of some movies you should watch on Netflix now that you’ve finished Stranger Things.

Here’s a list of what is leaving and arriving on Hulu in September, but you will never see any of these because Hulu will keep trying to get you to watch Age of Adaline. (No way Hulu, no way.)

Odds and Ends

Stranger Things: I got Hopper on Variety’s quiz for what character you are from Stranger Things, and yeah, I can see that. Also Variety did a character quiz? Apparently they are Buzzfeed now. Love this– Vox talked to the company that made the show’s opening credits. I love the list of other places that use the typeface. Finally a post about Tommy and Carol, Steve’s garbage friends who are like two years away from a Natural Born Killers style crime spree.

Want to get drunk really fast? Then this Law & Order drinking game should do the trick.

Trailers: If you were worried that High Maintenance moving to HBO would mean big changes for the show, don’t worry, it looks the same.

I don’t know where else to put this, so Odds and Ends it is, but Brendan Dassey from Netflix’s Making a Murderer will be released from prison with 90 days after a federal judge overturned his 2007 conviction. So season two should be interesting.

That’s a wrap for today, but I will be back on Thursday with more. Thanks for reading!

-Alana Cloutier

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