Wednesday, July 10, 2019

WarnerMedia Announces HBO Max for 2020 with Friends, Fresh Prince & More; IMDb Gets First Scripted Series

HBO Max

WarnerMedia unveiled HBO Max as the name of its new streaming service, which will offer an impressive direct-to-consumer experience for everyone ranging from families with young children to adults of all ages. Anchored with and inspired by the legacy of HBO's excellence and award-winning storytelling, the new service will be "Maximized" with an extensive collection of exclusive original programming (Max Originals) and the best-of-the-best from WarnerMedia's enormous portfolio of beloved brands and libraries. New deals with Warner Bros. Television and others for HBO Max announced today include:

· The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all 236 episodes of Friends - one of the biggest hits on television and in streaming
· The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all episodes of fan favorites The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Pretty Little Liars
· The exclusive streaming home to a string of new Warner Bros.' produced dramas for The CW beginning with the fall 2019 season, including the highly-anticipated new DC Entertainment series Batwoman, and Katy Keene (spinoff of Riverdale)
· New exclusive movie production deals with Greg Berlanti, one of Hollywood's most prolific and successful producers, and Reese Witherspoon, Academy Award(R) and Emmy Award(R)-winning actress and producer; Berlanti will produce an initial four movies focused in the young adult space, while Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine will produce at least two films

HBO Max, scheduled to launch commercially in spring of 2020, is anticipated to premiere with 10,000 hours of premium content. Max Original series previously announced include: Dune: The Sisterhood, an adaptation of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson's book based in the world created by Frank Herbert's book Dune, from director Denis Villeneuve; Tokyo Vice, based on Jake Adelstein's non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat starring Ansel Elgort; The Flight Attendant, a one-hour thriller series based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian, which will star Kaley Cuoco, who is also executive producing alongside Greg Berlanti; Love Life, a 10-episode half-hour romantic comedy anthology series starring Anna Kendrick, who will also executive produce alongside Paul Feig; Station Eleven, a postapocalyptic limited series based on Emily St. John Mandel's international bestseller, adapted by Patrick Somerville and directed by Hiro Murai; Made for Love, a 10-episode, half-hour, straight-to-series adaptation based on the tragicomic novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting, also from Somerville and directed by S.J. Clarkson; Gremlins, an animated series from Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment based on the original movie.

Highlights of HBO programming previously announced for 2020 and 2021 include Stephen King's The Outsider, a dark mystery starring Ben Mendelsohn, produced and directed by Jason Bateman; Lovecraft Country, a unique horror series based on a novel by Matt Ruff, written and executive produced by Misha Green, and executive produced by Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams; The Nevers, Joss Whedon's new science fiction series starring Laura Donnelly; The Gilded Age," the opulent world of 1885 New York from Julian Fellowes; Avenue 5, high satire aboard a space-bound cruise ship from Armando Iannucci, starring Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad; The Undoing, a psychological thriller from David E. Kelley, directed by Susanne Bier starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant; The Plot Against America, reimagined history based on Phillip Roth's novel written and executive produced by David Simon and Ed Burns, starring Winona Ryder and John Turturro; Perry Mason, the classic legal drama for a new generation, executive produced by Robert Downey, Jr. and Susan Downey, with Matthew Rhys in the title role; I Know This Much Is True, a complex family drama starring Mark Ruffalo playing twin brothers, one of whom has schizophrenia, based on the best-selling novel by Wally Lamb, written and directed by Derek Cianfrance.


You're Not a Monster

IMDb (www.imdb.com), the world's most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content, announced its first-ever animated comedy series: You're Not a Monster (www.imdb.com/monster). Fans will get a sneak peek of the 10-episode, short-form series when its trailer premieres on the IMDboat at Comic-Con International: San Diego later this month, and full episodes will premiere this fall. The show joins other IMDb original series now airing including The IMDb Show, IMDbrief and Casting Calls.

You're Not a Monster demonstrates that even classic movie monsters have emotional issues - because the only thing worse than being undead is being unloved. Returning to the "therapist's chair" for the first time since Frasier, Kelsey Grammer voices a former psychiatrist-turned-vampire in the series, who mentors his great-great grandson "Max" (Eric Stonestreet), a therapist who has inherited his practice. In each 4 to 5 minute episode, Max treats classic monsters including Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and Medusa as they seek desperately needed therapeutic help. Rounding out the series cast is Aparna Nancherla as a demon receptionist, Ellie Kemper as a therapist who thinks Max is imagining everything, and Peter Grosz, Langston Kerman, Joel Kim Booster, Patton Oswalt, Adam Pally, Amber Ruffin, Amy Sedaris and Milana Vayntrub as hideous monsters. Show creators and cast members including Grammer and Nancherla will participate in an exclusive interview with host Kevin Smith on the IMDboat at San Diego Comic-Con on July 20.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, July 3

The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now in Living Color! - (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
CBS will honor the memory of legendary actor, producer, director, writer, comedian and Emmy Award winner Carl Reiner with THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW – NOW IN LIVING COLOR! A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO CARL REINER, featuring two colorized back-to-back classic episodes of the beloved 1960s series, Friday, July 3 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. As series creator and co-star, Carl Reiner personally supervised the original colorization of the episodes.

The special features “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” which ranked #8 on TV Guide’s list of the “100 Greatest TV Episodes of All-Time,” and “October Eve,” which Mr. Reiner considered to be one of the series’ funniest episodes. Both were written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff.

In “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” Laura Petrie blurts out a top secret on a national television quiz show, revealing that comedian Alan Brady wears a toupee. The episode, which was the show’s fifth and final season premiere, was originally broadcast on Sept. 15, 1965. “Coast to Coast Big Mouth” won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 1966.

In “October Eve,” a painting of Laura returns to haunt her when, despite her having posed fully clothed, the artist (played by Carl Reiner) takes the liberty of “undraping” her. The episode was first presented on April 8, 1964, during season three.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 29)

Friday, July 3

  • Kevin Hart (The Big House/Undeclared) - Watch Kevin on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 12:35am on ABC.
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock) - Tina appears on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Laura Dern (Enlightened) - Laura is a guest on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Mark Duplass (Togetherness/The Mindy Project/The League) - Mark appears on a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly/Samantha Who?) - Melissa guest hosts a repeat of The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Brett Gelman (Camping/Fleabag/Love/Married/Go On) - Brett appears on a repeat of A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Tika Sumpter (mixed-ish/The Game) - Tika talks about the season finale of mixed-ish and her latest project helping new moms on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.
  • Peter Gallagher (Grace and Frankie/The Secret Lives of Men) - Peter talks about Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist and Grace and Frankie on a repeat of Tamron Hall, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (February/March/April/May/June)

Martin - The Complete Series Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season The Good Place - The Final (Fourth) Season Head of the Class - The Complete First Season Modern Family - The Eleventh and Final Season

02/04 - Martin - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
02/11 - Step by Step - The Complete Sixth Season (WBShop.com)
02/18 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/25 - Better Things - The Complete Third Season
03/17 - Crashing - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/07 - Cheers - The Complete Series (2020 Release)
04/14 - Police Squad! - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
04/14 - The Righteous Gemstones - The Complete First Season
04/21 - Step by Step - The Complete Seventh and Final Season (WBShop.com)
05/05 - Kidding - Season 2
05/19 - The Good Place - The Final (Fourth) Season
05/19 - The Good Place - The Complete Series - Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)
05/26 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Sixth and Final Season
05/26 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Series
06/02 - Work in Progress - Season 1
06/09 - Head of the Class - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
06/09 - Letterkenny - Seasons 3 & 4
06/09 - Modern Family - The Eleventh and Final Season
06/23 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-Third Season (Blu-ray)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


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