SMITH DISSED — (Via Roger Friedman’s SHOWBIZ 411) Roughly half the top critics who’ve reviewed Will Smith’s “Emancipation” on Rotten Tomatoes have disliked it. Overall, the Antoine Fuqua film has a 59% so far from all critics, and is considered “rotten.”
Seems like Oscars will not be a part of this discussion after all.
LA Times: Even with a physically impressive production at his disposal, Fuqua’s filmmaking instincts are clumsy and prone to cliché.
Chicago Tribune: While it has been built on the scarred back of a real man, the movie is too busy with the business of entertainment to focus on the “real” part for long.
AP: Fuqua’s film is often harrowing and gripping but also less nuanced and too narrowly confined in genre conventions than its real-life protagonist deserves.
Even Deadline’s Todd McCarthy and moody-Pete Hammond gave it mixed reviews. McCarthy couldn’t stop praising the camera-work while Hammond said it just didn’t move him. Check out their comments here: https://deadline.com/video/box-office-preview-emancipation-lady-chatterleys-lover-all-quiet-on-the-western-front-sr-video/
SHORT TAKES — The trailer for the new Indiana Jones-movie came out last week The movie, set for release next June, is officially titled Indiana Jones and the Dial Of Destiny. No idea what the Dial is, but apparently time-travel is involved as well as a digitally-de-aged Harrison Ford. Some pundits have already gone on record as saying the “old” Indiana Jones meets the new “Indiana Jones” and they both cancel each other out – thereby paving the way for a new Indiana Jones. Got that? Here’s the trailer:
From Bloomberg: SiriusXM Holdings Inc., the satellite radio service controlled by billionaire John Malone, plans to fire staff in the coming weeks amid faltering sales growth, according to people familiar with the matter. Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Witz is looking to reduce costs and get ahead of any potential economic slowdown, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the company is still assessing how deep the cuts will be. Sirius had 5,590 employees at the end of last year, according to filings. The number of cuts wasn’t immediately known. Slowing sales and concerns about a potential recession have led many large companies, especially in technology and media, to reduce staff. Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc. are both firing more than 10,000 employees while Spotify Technology SA and Netflix Inc. have made smaller cuts. Sirius gets a lot of customers from the automotive industry. Its so-called “trial funnel” of new listeners slipped to about 7 million in the third quarter, reflecting weaker auto sales in the period. The company warned of potential cuts in a Nov. 28 town hall with employees, saying it was conducting a review of ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency. “It may indicate the need for staff reductions,” management said ...
Here’s the cover art for Broadway’s Donnie Kehr’s new album BeautifulStrange; set for release on January 24 …
Gary Oldman’s utterly brilliant Slow Dogs on Apple TV + has returned for a second season. We watched the first two installments and just loved them both. with a theme song sung by Mick Jagger, it’s a delicious ride. Dazzling .
Will Eric Adams be best remembered for appointing NYC’s first rat-czar? Terribly sad for sure … Monkee-Micky Dolenz has been set to host the 1967 segment of Beatles Countdown on SiriusXM – which will feature the best Beatles songs released in 1967. Perfect as The Monkees were the biggest group that year. Dolenz will also talk about The Beatles’ “Good Morning Good Morning” being used in the last Monkees-TV episode “The Frodis Caper” which he wrote and directed. It will air New Year’s weekend on the Beatles channel … Happy Bday to Ashley Suppa and Jerry Lembo!
The Glorious Corner
SQUARE ONE SCORES — (Via Square One) As we near its publication date of October 3, 2023, Square One is excited to share the news that Booklist has given a positive review to Secrets of Successful Women Invenbtors.The review is now online and appears also in the September 15, 2023 print issue edition of Booklist (the flagship publication for the American Library Association). See below for an excerpted review quote: “[P]roves that America can indeed be the land of invention opportunities for women . . . includes inventing how-tos and remarks from experts on intellectual property, public relations, social media, funding resources, and the like. This inspirational tome on do-it-yourself inventing would make a great pairing with other related practicums.” —Barbara Jacobs, Booklist This is our second book with acclaimed writer and longtime Inventors Digest columnist Edith G. Tolchin, whose first book with us is Secrets of Successful Inventing was in 2015. About the new book and Ms. Tolchin’s longstanding experience within the industry, Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran has this to say: “Edith G. Tolchin has spent her entire career working with inventors. In Secrets of Successful Women Inventors, Edith highlights some of the greatest top-notch successful women inventors and reputable service providers, all eager to share their stories and advice. In her easy-going, personable style, Edith has gleaned the ‘cream of the crop’ from each of these impressive women. It’s a gift to anyone who’s ever had a winning idea but nowhere to go and no roadmap to birth their vision.”
Secrets of Successul Women Inventors will be available in both paperback and digital/eBook formats starting October 3, 2023 wherever books are sold.
Here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0757005241?tag=squareonepubl-20
THE MORNING SHOW — The Apple TV+’s 4th episode The Green Light was a somewhat scattershot one. As a faithful viewer since Season One, this third season -with essentially a whole new crew and series of writers- has been a season of the writers trying desperately trying to familiarize themselves with their characters.
This episodes does reference some past moments, with Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) in particular. It also develops the relationship between Jon Hamm and Jennifer Aniston – in fact, after a rather odd rendezvous at Coney Island -of all places- they take Hamm’s helicopter (essaying an Elon Musk-like Paul Marks) to Cory Ellison’s (Billy Crudup) home in East Hampton and lands on the beach in front of his house, signaling that the Marks-deal to buy UBA is back on. As Ellison says, “Alex Levy brought home the bacon.”
There was one scene that besides being totally disturbing, I could’t quite figure out why it was there at all. Stella Bak (Greta Lee) was at a restaurant with two ad men, angling for a series of ad buys and they started drinking heavily. At one point Stella asked the waitress to keep her drinks coming, but with water. Then the ad men challenged Stella to see if she was really drinking and asked the waitress to lean over the table and lick up a spilled drink … and, giving her a $20,000 tip. The waitress did and later Stella collapsed with anger in her limo. In the post #Me To era, this scene was totally disturbing and totally not needed. Kind of disgraceful if you ask me.
But, disregarding that questionable scene, the episode was good and bodes well for the rest of the season.COCKER POWER — We received an advance copy of Mark Bego’s Joe Cocker: With A Lot of Help from His Friends (Yorkshire Publishing) and really enjoyed it. It’s Bego’s 68th book – after efforts on Michael Jackson; Bonnie Raitt; Sade; Madonna; Freda Payne; Sade; Billy Joel; Elton John and many others – and stands as one of his strongest.
Cocker may not be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – but he should be. The year Cocker died, Billy Joel interviewed in a documentary about the life of Cocker, admitted he hand delivered a petition to get him included in the hall before his death. The Hall refused and he has not been inducted.
That said, I continue to hear his version of “With A Little Help From My Friends” literally every day on NY’s Q1043.Bego adds: “The idea of writing this book about Joe Cocker first came about over a year ago when I was approached by a movie producer to write a screenplay about the life and music of this legendary singer. I became so engrossed with him as a subject that I was inspired to take it a step further and write an entire book about Joe’s often self-destructive life. In many ways, Cocker was like the Vincent Van Gogh of rock & roll … a genius, but self-destructive.”
With a tremendous foreword from Melanie – his Woodstock-compatriot – it’s a great read – and is out officially November 16. As an added plus, there’s a special launch event for this book which will be revealed next week. Stay tuned as it’s pretty spectacular.And Bruce Morrow (aka Cousin Bruce) gave the book a rave review on his Saturday-night pre-show video. Bravo!
I watched Saturday’s CBS This Morning and just loved it. Anchors Michelle Miller, Dana Jacobson and Jeff Glor were just terrific. In-between was another great Anthony Mason piece of U2’s opening at Vegas’ Sphere. Mason told me later on “it was absolutely jaw dropping. And U2 wasn’t even sharing their best stuff. When that shot of the desert filled the screen, and our TV camera couldn’t capture its depth, I could have sat down and stared at it for hours” …
RIP Don Famularo and Happy BDay Barbara Pepe!NAMES IN THE NEWS ––Anthony Pomes; Rudy Schur; Bill Amendola; Desmond Child; Maria Vidal; Shep Pettibone; Gerry Galipault; Joe Loris; Butterball; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Kent and Laura Denmark; Tyrone Biljan; Anthony Pomes; Robert Funaro; Maureen Van Zandt; Greg Evans; Bruce Haring; Dan Mapp; Rich Dart; John Billings; and CHIP!
The Glorious Corner
JESSE L MARTIN — We caught the debut of Jesse L. Martin’s The Irrational Monday night and really enjoyed it. I’ve been aware of Jesse since his role in Broadway’s Rent and he’s really tremendous. He was great on Law & Order as Ed Green (10 years and 9 seasons); and his role on the CW’s The Flash (as Joe West) was simply terrific.
The show, based on the book by Dan Ariely and created by Arika Mittman, certainly reminds one of The Mentalist or Instinct. This first case isn’t wondrous by any means, but Martin’s charisma carries it all through.
Lauren Holly (NCIS) is in it too, thought her one-scene was over and out in a flash.
I hear the third episode of the show is magnificent, so stay tuned. Don Johnson said many years ago that Don Johnson was made for TV … so is Martin!
SWENSON OUT — (per Deadline) Will Swenson will play his final performance as Neil Diamond in Broadway’s A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical on Sunday, Oct. 29, producers announced today.
A replacement for the starring role will be announced at a future date.
“It’s been the thrill of a lifetime to get to stand in Neil’s shoes,” Swenson said in a statement. “It’s been such an incredible honor to get to know Neil, to tell his powerful story, and bring his amazing songs to Broadway audiences every night. I’m immensely proud of the moving, beautiful show we made. I will miss it very much.”
A reason for Swenson’s departure was not disclosed, but his planned departure date suggests a year-long contract coming to a close: He and the bio-musical began previews at the Broadhurst Theatre last Nov. 2 (official opening was Dec. 4).
“Making A Beautiful Noise with Will Swenson was a deep and wonderful experience,” said director Michael Mayer. “The true affection he has for Neil’s work and life is palpable in every aspect of his tremendous performance. I will miss him terribly, of course, but will always treasure our time together, and very much look forward to the next show we do.”
Swenson has been one of Broadway’s go-to leading men since his breakthrough performance in 2009’s Hair, and he has since starred on the New York stage in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Little Miss Sunshine, Waitress and Assassins, among many other shows.
In addition to Swenson, the cast of A Beautiful Noise features a principal cast of Mark Jacoby as the aged Neil Diamond, Robyn Hurder and Shirine Babb.
The musical includes a score of Diamond’s hits, a book by Anthony McCarten, direction by Mayer, and choreography by Steven Hoggett.
He’s pretty tremendous as Diamond. I didn’t see the show straight away, but absolutely loved it when I did. His exit of kind of short notice … but let’s see what happens.
SHORT TAKES — How about those snappy new graphics for NBC’s Today Show. Introduced a week ago, they certainly look more relevant and certainly more fun. They did the same for Nightly News a week ago. Per TVNewser:The network said the decision to unveil a new logo and graphics for Nightly was made as a way of appealing to younger viewers who primarily consume news using digital media. It’s safe to assume is true for Today, the youngest-skewing of the linear morning shows that boasts a robust digital presence. Here’s their whole story:
The next Rolling Stones single, “Sweet Sounds of Heaven,” is tremendous. Mick hasn’t sounded this good in years and Lady Gaga is an added treat. Magnificent! Take a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEJd5xtbEPY …
Donnie Kehr and Cori Gardner’s Rockers On Broadway (their 30th edition) is coming up on Monday, October 16 at SONY Hall.
Joining honoree Melissa Etheridge will be KT Tunstall and Debbie Gibson, Simon Kirke, Dan Finnerty and Ty Taylor … Happy Bday Chuck Taylor!
NAMES IN THE NEWS –— Anthony Noto; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Paul Lester; Ian Harrison; Magda Katz; Pete Townshend; Miko Blanco; Brad LeBeau; Mal Evans; Derek Taylor; Andrew Sandoval; Rick Rubin; Bill Adler; Cory Robbins; Manny Bella; Race Taylor; Scott Shannon; Buddy Blanch; Steve Walter; Benny Harrison; and BELLA!
STRIKE UPDATE — As we went to press on Sunday, a tentative agreement had been worked out between the AMPTPand the WGA. Of course, it now has to be ratified. Per TV Line: Once the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed on the Writer’s Guild of American’s tentative new deal with the AMPTP, the words “Live, from New York!” might symbolically signal the end of the WGA strike, which spanned a near-historic 146 days.
“We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA (Minimum Basic Agreement),” the WGA posted in a message to its members late Sunday night, “which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language.” The tentative deal now needs to be “papered,” and formally recommended by the WGA negotiating committee to the WGA Board and Council for approval, and then ratified by WGA membership — a process that could take up to two weeks.
The actor’s strike persists and from our sources we hear it’s still a tough go. But not to minimize anything, this is a step in the right direction.
McCALLUM PASSES AT 90 – David McCallum -along with Robert Vaughn- were two of the coolest dudes on TV, ever. Vaughn passed in 2016 and McCallum passed on Monday. Starring as Illya Kuryakin, he literally electrified the screen. I’m an Man From U.N.C.L.E. fan, always have been and per Jon Heitland’s terrific The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Book: Behind the Scenes Story of a Televison Classic (1987) it turns out that McCallum was literally the key to its success. Not only did he become quite the chick magnet, but viewers just loved the character.
McCallum was also ‘Ducky’ on CBS’ NCIS and certainly was their secret weapon too. His character was everyone’s uncle (no pun intended) and possessed a rather quixotic, yet mesmerizing ambiance on the show. Part-doctor, part-therapist, part spy.
Michael Weatherly, also on the show for its greatest years, said “He made every second count.”
I’ll never forget the episode (Meat Puzzle in 2005) when Kate asked Gibbs what Ducky would have looked like as a younger man. Gibbs answers Illya Kuryakin, too funny.
Actually, with Harmon long-gone from his role on NCIS, McCallum, in my opinion, was the glue that still held it together. Huge loss for sure.
Here’s a great look at McCallum’s storied career from Deadline: https://deadline.com/2023/09/david-mccallum-dead-ncis-actor-1235555770/
SHORT TAKES — I don’t know Robert Menendez, but with wild tales of cash stuffed in envelopes in jackets; gold bars; and kickbacks; it sounds like he’s had a pretty interesting run. As more than one has said, where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire. And there does seem to be a lot of smoke … Congratulations to Andrew Sandoval on his marriage to Natasha Rubin …
On Tuesday, September 26, WBGO Studios launched As We Speak, a new podcast hosted by David Sanborn, who interviews major figures in the world of jazz. Kicking off the series are episodes with vocalists Kurt Elling and Cecile McLorin Salvant. Future guests include Sonny Rollins, Terri Lyne Carrington, John McLaughlin and Maria Schneider. The award-winning and influential saxophonist shows his interviewing chops with in-depth conversations with his fellow artists about their creative process and their singular journey in jazz …
Micky Dolenz was interviewed by Mojo Magazine’s Ian Harrison from the U.K. Tuesday and heads to Houston Thursday for the Days of the Dead comic-con (https://www.daysofthedead.com/houston/) in Houston …
Look for keyboard-man Benny Harrison to debut his forthcoming solo album Pages at the Bitter End. Harrison is interviewed for Medium today … Could The Office return to TV? Per items on Tuesday, a re-boot is almost guaranteed …
Netflix is sending their last ever DVDs out this week in those red envelopes. The service ran for 25 years! My, we’ve come a long way … It looks like Robert DeNiro will not be playing off his scenes in Taxi Driver for his new Uber commercial after all. Take a read: https://deadline.com/2023/09/taxi-driver-commercial-featuring-robert-de-niro-draws-comment-from-paul-schrader-1235554798/… (Via Deadline) For the love of Maddie Hayes, look what’s coming to Hulu: Moonlighting. For the very first time, all 67 episodes of Moonlighting will be available to stream on the platform beginning October 10. Hulupromises that each episode of the 1980’s comedy starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd has been remastered in HD from the original film source. It even will feature the original Grammy-nominated title track recording from Al Jarreau … Happy Bday Melissa Davis.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Bob Merlis; Brad LeBeau; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Jodi Ritzen; Dylan Ritzen; Jane Blunkell; Glenn Gretlund; Ian Harrison; Bert Schneider; Jason Elzy; Les Schwartz; Duane Blitzer; Jean Psaki; Chris Hayes; Randy Alexander; Lee Jeske; Chuck Pulin; Race Taylor; Tyrone Biljan; Robert Funaro; and CHIP!
SUNDAY DEADLINE — As we go to press, the AMPTP has submitted it’s last, best offer to the WGAto resolve this strike; now heading into 145+ days. Strikes are meant to be settled, but the damage may have already been too much. Governor Gavin Newsom estimates a 5 billion dollar take-down for Hollywood and the state in general. As we mentioned last time, thousands of below-the-line workers have already been let go or furloughed during the strike and even if it is resolved by later-today, it will take a full 10-12 weeks for everything to be up and running again. By my count, that’s mid-December. Stay tuned … it can only get better.
WAKEMAN’S OPUS —(via Prog) Rick Wakeman has announced that he has released a massive 32-disc box set entitled The Prog Years 1973-1977, which features his studio albums from 1973’s The Six Wives Of Henry VIII through to 1976’s No Earthly Connection, plus his film soundtracks for 1975’s Lisztomania and 1977’s White Rock. You can watch a video trailer for the box set here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nER9BgLka1w
Each album is represented by four discs, either CD or DVD, featuring the original album plus rare live material, demos, alternative mixes and live film footage all from the era. These include live performances of Six Wives… and Journey To The Centre Of The Earth from Melbourne, a DVD of The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table performed on ice at Wembley, the full films of both. Lisztomania and White Rock, and more.
The Prog Years 1973-1977 also features a 60-page hardback scrapbook, 10 x postcards, 8 x full-size replica promotional photos and 4 x A3 posters, plus reproduction press kits for the relevant albums. The first 500 copies of this extremely limited box set will also come with a numbered certificate signed by Rick himself.
He may wear the cape and be a bit old school, but Rick Wakeman is the real deal. He rocked Yes and his solo albums were simply terrific. When Yes did The Apollo several years back, when Wakeman left the stage and went up and down the aisles with his keyboard strapped on, there was sheer joy. He’s amazing. Bravo!
SHORT TAKES — Robert DeNiro shilling for Uber? That’s what a divorce does to you. Actually, it should be great commercial, although it was filmed in London as opposed to NYC, which is odd. Taxi Driver writer Paul Schrader was quoted in Deadline as saying: “Ouch,” he wrote. “Why Bob would do this is beyond my reckoning. But I haven’t seen it. If I’m lucky I never will” I’m sure he asked Driver-director Marty Scorsese …
Micky Dolenz’s SRO show Friday night in LA (at the ACE Theatre)
was sensational and he debuted the live version of his new single, R.E.M.’s “Shiny Happy People.” Seen at the show were Randy Lewis; Roy Trakin; Tyrone Biljan; Ken Sharp and Nederlander’s Lisa White …
On Friday’s Today Show, Savannah Guthrie interviewed someone who told you how to pack during a move, quickly. They said to put all personal items in a lock box with a label saying to be moved by owner only. Savannah quipped that all the personal items in your nightstand belong there begging the question, what does she have in hers? … A report on NY1 about the ongoing migrant crisis in NYC called The Roosevelt Hotel – where the migrants have been housed – the new Ellis Island … Say what you will about NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen, but it’s been a key area in NYC for decades.
For me, when the Film Center Cafe disappeared, it was a tragedy. And, remember the fabulous restaurant Memphis? Here’s a great look into images from there: https://w42st.com/post/hells-kitchen-photographers-karla-james-murray-book-vanishing-mom-and-pop-stores/?utm_medium=email … George Clooney selling his Lake Como retreat he’s had for 21 years? Could go for 100 million … SIGHTING: PR-pasha David Salidor at Shalom Japan in Williamsburg Sunday night … Usher headlining Super Bowl 2024? Wonder where that choice came from as he hasn’t had a hit in 20 years …
Watched Jean Psaki on MSNBC Sunday. She didn’t bowl me over, but was good. She had stories on Rupert Murdoch and FOX and an interview with Hillary Clinton, who bashed Trump and Putin again … and HAPPY BDAY Mark Bego and Cory Robbins!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Sara Gore; Andrew Sandoval; Pat Prince; Mark Bego; Jim Clash; Cynthia Rowley; Barry Zelman; Christopher Gilman; Barry Manilow; Joel Diamond; Nancy Ruth; Teresa Knox; Gary Gershoff; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Tony King; Donnie Kehr; Kimberly Cornell; Lush Ice; Barry Fisch; Eppy; and BELLA!
STRIKE END LOOMS — (Via Showbiz 411/Roger Friedman) All the studio chiefs met Wedneday with the Writers Guild and will continue negotiating tomorrow, according to a WGA post.
The sudden seriousness of the studios is welcomed as the deadline looms for the 2023-24 TV season. If the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes aren’t resolved by early October, my sources say it will be impossible to put on a season.
Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Disney’s Bob Iger, Universal’s Donna Langley and Warner Bros Discovery’s David Zaslav were present today for the negotiations, a sure sign that the studios are finally in panic mode.
There are no daytime or nighttime talk shows, no new material on TV, and actors can’t promote the fall and winter movies. The actors have already missed the Telluride, Venice, and Toronto Film Festivals. Now the New York Film Festival looms, as does the premiere of Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
The so-called Fall TV Season has been decimated; the Emmy’s pushed back and just general chaos everywhere. The severity of the strike -142 days in- has hurt almost-every-single below-the-line sector, from caterers to limo drivers to costume houses. It’s reported that it will take up to 10-12 weeks to fully resume everything. That means early-November and let’s not forget come Thanksgiving, the holiday season officially starts. Stay tuned.
LOVE, BURT AT THE CUTTING ROOM — Monday night at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room was the presentation of Love, Burt – celebrating the majesty and memory of Burt Bacharach’s music.
The show really moved me and reminded me of the reason I do what … the music!
The show was just sumptuous – with the assembled group -led by Mike Visceglia- honoring and doing proper justice to a host of Bacharach songs – everything from “Baby, It’s You” to “One Less Bell To Answer,” The Look Of Love” and “Alfie” were all dutifully done. Especially poignant was their rendition of “A House Is Not A Home.”
The fact of the matter is that when these songs were recorded, they were embedded into everyone’s consciousness. These versions were good, but the originals remain standout. You hear a lot about the Great American Songbook, but these songs are the “new” Great American Songbook. Just luscious.
They ended the show was one of my favorite-Bacharach songs, from the 1988 album Burt recorded with Elvis Costello, Painted From Memory. One of the album’s strongest cuts is “God Give Me Strength.” It was simply sensational. Spotted there were Benny Harrison and Maria Milito from Q1043.
The room was packed like never before; what a night!
SHORT TAKES — Micky Dolenz headlines the ACE Theatre Friday night in LA, and was a guest on KTLA Wednesday. Here’s a shot of him on-set with Sam Rubin who interviewed him with the KTLA-gang. Sam’s the second from left. Industry stalwarts at the ACE Theatre show include legendary-LA Times writer Randy Lewis; LA Magazine’sRoy Trakin and Goldmine’s Ken Sharp … Roger Friedman reported Wednesday that the pre-sales of Jann Wenner’s upcoming book Masters have been severely impacted by his New York Times interview. Take a read here: https://www.showbiz411.com/2023/09/20/jann-wenners-new-book-the-masters-drops-in-pre-sales-run-on-amazon-almost-off-the-top-2000-after-scandal-erupts And just last night his big presentation at NYC’s 92nd Y with Cameron Crowe was shuttered as well … SIGHTING: Alison Martino at NYC’s Algonquin Hotel …
When Apple TV’s The Morning Show debuted years ago (November 2019), created and run by Kerry Ehrin, it was a first-rate series certainly of The Sopranos-like and Mad Men-like caliber. Billy Crudup was astonishingly good as were Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. The second season was basically trash. Three episodes in on a third season -with a 4th already guaranteed- it’s kind of a mixed-bag. I did not care for the first two EPs, but the third was bordering on the edge of greatness – and Witherspoon wasn’t even in this one and there was no explanation why. Jon Hamm has joined the cast as sort of an Elon Musk-figure. To me, he’s still Don Draper, just with an updated wardrobe. Most of the production staff has been replaced and it seemed to me, they’re still finding their way. The trouble is, that with these 8 or so episode-runs, it gets really good at episode 6. Go figure …
Rupert Murdoch to retire per CNBC? More on this next column … Meg Ryan and David Duchovny in What Happens Later – looks cute and Ryan directed it – check out the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqTZqSglhZo … RIP Roger Whitaker
and Happy Bday David McCallum; Curtis Urbina; and Bill Murray!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Glenn Gretlund; Jodi Ritzen; Leonard Nimoy; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Scott Shannon; Zach Martin; Michelle Grant; Art Rutter; Maria Milito; Joe Lynch; Melinda Newman; Mandy Naylor; Kimberly Cornell; Sam Rudin; Jim Clash; Terry Jastrow; Randy Alexander; Bob Merlis; Andrew Sandoval; Art Rutter; and CHIP!
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