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Disney/Fox Deal: How The Battle to Beat Netflix Starts Today, What Happens to the Fox Network, And Other Burning Questions

53 minutes ago

Rupert Murdoch is cashing out. The idea of 21st Century Fox being consumed by Disney in a $52.4 billion all-stock deal has shocked Hollywood, where industry players never thought they’d see the powerful Fox behemoth be largely consumed, rather than do the consuming. But as one insider noted, Murdoch is looking toward his final legacy — and cashing out while the getting’s good.

“Rupert is 86. He’s looking toward setting up [his family],” one observer said. The industry is rapidly changing, and as the Disney deal currently values the 21st Century Fox assets at more than $66 billion, it’s probably never going to get better than that. Fox shareholders, including the Murdochs, could hold around 25 percent of a new mega-Disney, which will now be supremely positioned to face off with Netflix and other giants in the new media landscape.

The Murdochs got their start in the newspaper business, so it’s only »


- Michael Schneider

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‘The Simpsons’ Producers on How They Predicted Disney Would Buy Fox 19 Years Ago

1 hour ago

The Disney-Fox merger is one of the biggest industry stories of the year, and it turns out “The Simpsons” saw it coming 19 years ago. The show has always managed to predict the future, be it Trump’s presidency or the FIFA corruption scandal, and it appears Matt Groening and company somehow knew their series would one day be opened by Disney.

Read More:Disney is Buying A Majority of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 Billion Deal

In the 1998 episode “When You Dish Upon a Star,” Homer becomes the personal assistant to Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger after they leave Hollywood behind and move to Springfield. When Ron Howard comes to visit the actors, Homer pitches a time-tralveing robot movie. Later in the episode, Howard is seen pitching Homer’s script to 20th Century Fox, and the sign in front of the studio lot reads “a division of Walter Disney Co.” You can »


- Zack Sharf and Michael Schneider

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‘Westworld’ Season 2 and ‘Sharp Objects’ First Footage Revealed in HBO 2018 Preview — Watch

3 hours ago

With “Game of Thrones” likely off the air until 2019, HBO wants to make sure you’ll stick with the network next year. Fortunately, HBO’s new 2018 preview video will surely do the trick, as it teases a promising slate of returning favorites like “Westworld” and new offerings like the Gillian Flynn adaptation “Sharp Objects.”

Read More:The 20 Best HBO Series of All Time, Ranked

Sharp Objects” brings director Jean-Marc Vallée back to HBO just a year after the success of “Big Little Lies,” for which he won the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special. The eight-episode limited series stars Amy Adams as a former reporter who checks out of a psychiatric hospital and returns home to try and solve the murder of two young girls.

“Westworld” is perhaps the most anticipated series returning to HBO in 2018. The first season’s cliffhanger ending has made fans »


- Zack Sharf

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The Best TV Performances of 2017

4 hours ago

It’s virtually impossible to limit year-end lists to 10 or 20 shows, so it’s literally impossible to include all the great performances from 2017 on one list. But IndieWire has done our best, wading through the hundreds of award-worthy turns from veteran actors and TV newbies to find the best performances this year.

These actors accomplished something special: They elevated their shows even when it seemed like the series couldn’t go any higher. They found surprising depths within the writers’ words and surprised directors with keen insights into their characters. They made us laugh, cry, jump for joy, and scream in frustration. Their precision in understanding who they played helped evoke passion in the audience watching.

We will not soon forget, and if you haven’t yet seen some of these fine thespians go to work, make sure to make the time. There may be a lot of television out there, »


- Hanh Nguyen, Liz Shannon Miller, Ben Travers and Steve Greene

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‘Fresh Off the Boat’ to ‘One Day at a Time’ Are the Family-Friendly Shows Leading the Charge for Youth Coming-Out Stories

18 hours ago

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from “Fresh Off the Boat” Season 4, Episode 10, “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” the first season of Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” and Season 2 of Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack.”]

“What up, girl. You gay?

You play any instruments?

Holla back at me.”

That eloquent haiku, scrawled on a coffee cup, is one of the first, albeit clumsy, attempts by “Fresh Off the Boat” character Nicole (Luna Blaise) to figure out what it means to live as a gay individual. Coming out has been an incremental process for her this season, and in Tuesday’s episode, she’s taking the next step. After developing a crush on a local barista at HotJava, Nicole considers communicating in poetry via paper cup to determine if the feeling is mutual.

Mainstream TV has come a long way since Ellen DeGeneres’ character came out on her self-titled sitcom 20 years ago. And these days, shows like ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” Netflix’s “One Day at a Time,” and Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack” have put youth coming-out stories at the front and center. »


- Hanh Nguyen

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‘Tavis Smiley’ Suspended by PBS Following Sexual Misconduct Investigation

18 hours ago

Following an investigation into claims of sexual misconduct leveled against Tavis Smiley, PBS has suspended the late-night talk show that bears his name. Smiley has been hosting the show since 2004.

Read More:Salma Hayek Says Harvey Weinstein Attempted to Assault Her: ‘I Don’t Think He Hated Anything More Than the Word No’

“Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley,’ produced by Ts Media, an independent production company,” PBS said in a statement to Variety, which first broke the news. “PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.”

Read More:Jessica Chastain on Speaking Up »


- Michael Nordine

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Doug Jones: ‘Twin Peaks’ Fans Celebrate the Democrat’s Upset Win in Alabama With Dougie Jones Gifs

21 hours ago

Helloooo-oooo! Doug Jones pulled off an upset win last night, becoming Alabama’s first Democratic senator in more than 20 years in the process. “Twin Peaks” fans, well aware that the newest member of Congress (almost) shares a name with one of Kyle MacLachlan’s many incarnations on “The Return,” celebrated with an appropriate smattering of gifs, memes, and other jokes.

Read More:‘Twin Peaks’: Kyle MacLachlan Thinks ‘The Return’ Is a Film, Even Though the Golden Globes Nominated Him for TV

pic.twitter.com/cMBszBHxD7

— Metrograph (@MetrographNYC) December 13, 2017

me: stop using fictional characters to explain politics! trump is not lord dumbledore!

also me: dougie jones..mr jackpots…Thank You for blessing your brother doug jones & helping him win this election

— Gabby Noone (@twelveoclocke) December 13, 2017

There can be no doubt: Dougie Jones is Mr. Jackpots. pic.twitter.com/jEUO1Z8FaW

Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) December 13, 2017

In retrospect it was »


- Michael Nordine

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‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’ Review: An Ode to Jean-Claude Van Damme, His Movies, and Not Much Else

13 December 2017 5:45 AM, PST

In 2017, there’s a show for everyone, and typically that’s a good thing. There’s so much demand for fresh content and so many content providers looking to stand out, fresh stories from distinct voices populate an ever-diversifying television landscape. In other words, this is a world that could easily have room for a show where Jean-Claude Van Damme plays Jean-Claude Van Damme, a movie star who’s also a highly trained international spy.

But for as nutty as “Jean-Claude Van Johnson” sounds, its execution feels too familiar to earn its spot. Though the story-building in the pilot is clever enough to provide ample opportunity for good old-fashioned fun, too many easy jokes and half-baked movie homages keep the six-episode first season from fulfilling its potential as the sharp meta successor to “Episodes,” “The Comedians,” or even Van Damme’s 2008 film, “Jcvd.”

For starters, “Jean-Claude Van Johnson” has nothing to say about the industry, »


- Ben Travers

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Netflix Fires Executive Accused of Discounting Rape Accusations Against ‘The Ranch’ Star Danny Masterson

13 December 2017 5:20 AM, PST

The Netflix executive who allegedly told a sexual assault victim that the company did not believe multiple claims made against recently ousted “The Ranch” star Danny Masterson has been fired, Vulture reports. The long-simmering allegations against Masterson, which now include four different women who have accused him of rape, recently came to a head after Andy Yeatman, the now-former director of global kids content, denied an alleged victim to her face.

The story was reported by The Huffington Post earlier this month, when one of Masterson’s alleged victims approached Yeatman at a kids soccer game to ask why the streaming giant had not yet cut ties with Masterson. Yeatman then allegedly told the woman, “[W]e don’t believe them,” not realizing she was one of the alleged victims.

Read More:Danny Masterson Fired From Netflix’s ‘The Ranch’ Amid Rape and Assault Allegations

When the original story broke, Netflix »


- Kate Erbland

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‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’: The Personal Touches That Went Into Writing Rosa’s Coming-Out Story

12 December 2017 6:30 PM, PST

[Editor’s Note: Spoilers for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” Season 5, Episode 10, “Game Night” follow.]

The Fox comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” for reasons made obvious by its title, chose to celebrate its 99th episode last week, putting the spotlight on each character during a crazy road trip from Los Angeles to New York. But it also included a big reveal that became a central part of the show’s 100th episode, “Game Night” — Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz), the show’s resident badass, coming out as bisexual.

Rosa’s coming-out, showrunner Dan Goor told IndieWire, was a story choice made in close discussion with Beatriz this season. “In a way, after Stephanie came out, and has really in so many ways become such an Lgbt advocate, we felt like it was really a meaningful opportunity for the character, and it definitely felt in-world for the character. It didn’t feel like, you know, we didn’t feel like people would be like, ‘What?!’ You know, and 100 episodes in it feels like a good, »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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‘Ozark’: Golden Globe-Nominated Netflix Drama Will Teach You How to be a Criminal — Watch

12 December 2017 4:25 PM, PST

If you have ever wondered how Ruth Langmore (played by Julia Garner) from Netflix’s “Ozark” gets by in the Missouri criminal underworld, you can stop looking. Netflix released a new video on Tuesday afternoon with Garner in character explaining the knots and bolts on how to be a true criminal like Ruth.

Edited with infomercial-type graphics, Ruth instructs people that in order to be a successful criminal, for instance, you need to “learn some goddamn self defense.” Watch the video below to find out the other “trade secrets” that Ruth has so generously disclosed:

Related:Netflix’s ‘Ozark’ Was Most Popular Streaming Show This Summer, According to New Audience Metric

After a deal with a drug cartel goes south, “Ozark” follows financial planner Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) and his family as they are forced to relocate from Chicago to a summer resort community in the Missouri Ozarks. Laura Linney stars »


- Alberto Achar

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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2 Will Tackle Race Issues As It Tells New Stories Beyond The Book

12 December 2017 4:10 PM, PST

“The Handmaid’s Tale” showrunner Bruce Miller knows the show triggered “thousands of discussions” in its inaugural run — and as production continues on Season 2, Miller said he and his team have been paying attention to those conversations.

One major issue for the Emmy-winning Hulu series — nominated Monday for three Golden Globes — was that how to approach racial issues. While Margaret Atwood’s original novel took place in an all-white world (due to the ethnic purging orchestrated by the nightmare nation of Gilead), Miller and Atwood ended up making the decision to incorporate a diverse cast and focus on the treatment of women within this society.

“There was discussion and praise and criticism for how we integrated or dealt with race in Gilead,” he said. “It brought up a lot of questions that just didn’t come up in the stories in Season 1, that we were able to put it in »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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‘The Detour’ Season 3 Trailer: Jason Jones Goes Off-Road Boating, Sinks, Remains the World’s Best Dad — Watch

12 December 2017 12:00 PM, PST

The Detour” began as two parents recounting a disastrous road trip, but what happens when the road runs out? That’s what Season 3 of the hilarious TBS comedy is all about, as the Parker family finally stops running and settles down.

In the first trailer for Season 3, Nate (Jones), Robin (Natalie Zea), and their two kids (played by Ashley Gerasimovich and Liam Carroll) try to make a home for themselves in small-town Alaska. Spurred on by a mishap involving a snowmobile and a lake — more of a “final straw” kind of deal — the Parkers still can’t slow down while trying to settle down, and the 10 new episodes look just as wild as the first 20.

Read More:‘The Detour’ Review: Season 2 Switches Drivers, Keeps Pushing the Boundaries of Family Comedy

The Detour” debuted on TBS in 2016 to solid reviews and has steadily proven itself to be one of the most surprising, »


- Ben Travers

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Critics Reveal Their Favorite Holiday TV Traditions — IndieWire Survey

12 December 2017 10:20 AM, PST

Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Tuesday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best show currently on TV?” can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: What are your winter holiday season viewing habits (that are not for work)? Do you have traditional go-to shows or movies? Are you looking forward to anything in particular?

Eric Deggans (@deggans), NPR

As I have written in the past, I’m not the kind of critic who loves holiday specials. Too often, they’re too hokey, too commercial, too weird (yes, Bill Murray, I still don’t get “A Very Murray Christmas”) or, in the case of countless Hallmark Channel movies, way too white. But I do have a few holiday media traditions, starting with my Spotify Holiday Tunes playlist, which gets fired up as »


- Hanh Nguyen

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‘Homeland’ Season 7 Premiere Date and Trailer: If Claire Danes Can’t Save America, Who Can? — Watch

12 December 2017 10:00 AM, PST

Homeland” season seven now has a premiere date and trailer, because America needs to know what Claire Danes will do next, damnit. The political thriller will return on Sunday, February 11. Avail yourself of the trailer below.

Read More:‘Homeland’: An Ode to Rupert Friend’s Quinn After a Divisive Finale

Here’s what’s in store this time around: “At the end of last season, following an assassination attempt on her life, President Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) broke her promise to Carrie (Danes) by arresting 200 members of the intelligence community without bringing charges against them, including Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin). As season seven begins, Carrie has left her job in the White House and moved back to D.C. and is living with her sister Maggie (Amy Hargreaves) to take on the Keane administration and secure the release of the 200.”

Read More:‘Homeland’ Finale Review: Season 6 Ended With a Complicated »


- Michael Nordine

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The Most Disappointing TV Shows of 2017

12 December 2017 9:01 AM, PST

In the age of peak TV, there’s a lot of bad television out there. But rather than take the time to highlight what everyone should already be forgetting, IndieWire is examining the heartbreaking misses of 2017; the shows that felt like they had something special — either in concept, talent, or early episodes — but failed to fulfill that promise.

For the shows that weren’t cancelled, hope rings eternal. TV is a medium that allows for development, improvement, and the virtual erasure of bad first impressions. The shows below might be a long way from getting good, but their break bad hurt enough that even for the most disappointing, we still hope for the best.

And if you like any shows on the list, then good luck and godspeed. You found something there that we only wish we could have seen. Maybe next year.

Read More:The 25 Best TV Episodes of 2017, Ranked »


- Ben Travers, Hanh Nguyen, Liz Shannon Miller and Steve Greene

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Jimmy Kimmel Returns to Late Night With Baby Billy to Rally Around Threatened Kids’ Program

12 December 2017 5:26 AM, PST

After taking a week off for his baby Billy’s latest heart surgery, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host Jimmy Kimmel returned to the late night show — baby Billy in tow — to provide an update to his fans and to call for help in safeguarding another key government program that helps sick kids, just like Billy.

“Daddy cries on TV, but Billy doesn’t, it’s unbelievable,” a teary Kimmel said as he updated the audience on Billy’s latest — successful! — surgery. Guest hosts, including Tracee Ellis Ross, Neil Patrick Harris, and Melissa McCarthy, all filled in for Kimmel last week.

Read More:Jimmy Kimmel: Here’s What Fueled His Reluctant Transformation into the Nation’s Moral Conscience

Kimmel also used his introductory monologue to discuss the threatened Chip program, a health insurance program for about nine million American children that, as he notes, “almost certainly covers children that you know. »


- Kate Erbland

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Larry King ‘Unequivocally Denies’ Groping Allegations Waged By Eddie Fisher’s Ex-Wife

12 December 2017 5:02 AM, PST

Larry King has hit back at claims that he groped singer and actor Eddie Fisher’s ex-wife, Terry Richard, on two separate occasions in the early aughts. Earlier this week, Richard told Daily Mail TV that King groped her on two different occasions, both at baseball awards dinners held at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

Daily Mail TV reports that Richard “said in the first incident, while posing together for a photo, King slid his hand down her backless dress and rested his fingers in between her butt cheeks…Richard claims the second time was also while they were taking a photo together, and King, now 84, squeezed her butt so hard that it left a large bruise.”

Read More:Jeffrey Tambor May Not Quit ‘Transparent’ Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations After All

The first incident took place in 2005, the second just one year later in 2006. Richard told Daily Mail TV, “Larry King is a groper. »


- Kate Erbland

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Tig Notaro: Louis C.K.’s Forced Departure from ‘One Mississippi’ Was ‘A Huge Relief’

11 December 2017 4:49 PM, PST

While promoting “One Mississippi” during an appearance on “The View,” star and co-creator Tig Notaro reflected on losing Louis C.K. as a series executive producer last month, a consequence for the sexually harassing behavior he admitted to following a New York Times investigation quoting five accusers.

“It’s a huge relief,” Notaro told the hosts on December 11, explaining that she learned of C.K.’s alleged behavior soon after she sold the series with him attached. “I started publicly trying to distance myself from him almost two years [ago].”

Read More:Tig Notaro Says the Only Positive of Louis C.K.’s Harassment is the ‘Victims Were Not Told They’re Lying’

On November 10, one day after the Times published their story — giving Notaro the last word — FX Networks and FX Productions cancelled its overall deal with C.K.’s production company, Pig Newton, Inc., meaning he would no longer oversee “Better Things, »


- Jenna Marotta

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‘Portlandia’ Season 8: Kath and Dave Highlight the Dos and Don’ts of Escape Rooms — Watch

11 December 2017 8:43 AM, PST

Kath and Dave are two of Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen’s most intense creations. Whether they’re trying to save the human race (after a local power outage) or going out for tapas (and dancing on the table), this couple doesn’t do anything half-assed.

Add escape rooms to the list.

In IndieWire’s exclusive video below, Kath and Dave team up with two strangers to work an escape room. Needless to say, they’re not the best team players, though one could argue their intensity only helps in the end.

Read More:‘Portlandia’: Carrie Brownstein Tackles Sexism at the Workplace in First Look at the Final Season — Watch

The video below is not only a new look at the final season, but the second in a series of videos premiering before the Season 8 debut. IFC and IndieWire are partnering to bring you exclusive sketches from “Portlandia” Season 8. Over the next six weeks, »


- Ben Travers

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