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EXCLUSIVE: Grace and Frankie may have suspended production on its seventh and final season because of the coronavirus crisis, but the Emmy nominated Netflix comedy is back this week with a special live treat for fans and a spotlight on seniors in need during these troubled times.
The Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin-led series will be having an online table read this Thursday to help Meals On Wheels COVID-19 relief program, I've learned – though you can make donations right now via the link here.
While other shows have taken a similar digital approach in recent weeks, the long running Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris showrun series is adding some originality. The April 9 presentation will feature an episode from the yet unaired seventh season, as well as a live Q&A afterwards moderated by Kauffman.
Along with Oscar winner Fonda and Oscar nominee Tomlin, fellow G&F cast members Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, June Diane Raphael, Brooklyn Decker, Baron Vaughn and Ethan Embry will be participating in the reading of the Kauffman and Morris-penned “The Fallout” episode on Thursday.
Starting at 5 PM PT/8 PM ET, the whole shindig can be seen live and direct on the Netflix is a Joke YouTube page LINK HERE on April 9.
“While we’re sitting here afraid, unsure and isolated, we wanted to come together and do some good,” Kauffman told me of the decision to take the show online in a new form and with a peek into the future.”
“All we’ve got is time on our hands and technology at our fingertips,” the Friends co-creator added as production on Season 7 was temporarily suspended late on March 12 as restrictions on large gatherings tighten in the City of Angels. “So we decided to use both of those assets to raise money for Meals on Wheels, which brings food to food-insecure and isolated seniors. They are among our most vulnerable right now and need our help.”
“Our cast is all in and super excited,” Okay Goodnight founder Kauffman also says of her superstar packed team. “And Netflix and Skydance have been particularly supportive. As far as giving the fans a peek into Season 7, we figured more people would tune in to new content and it would, hopefully, be a draw for fans of Grace and Frankie. The hope is: more eyes, more money raised for Meals on Wheels.”
Produced by Skydance Television, which launched in 2013, Grace And Frankie was one of the first original series for Netflix. Though in a pause period right now, like everyone else in Tinseltown the seventh and final season is still set to premiere next year, which will make the series the longest running comedy in the streamer's history.
As of last night, there are 6360 confirmed case of the coronavirus in L.A. County and 147 deaths....
Sky has handed renewals to a slew of scripted series including David Schwimmer's Intelligence, Robert Carlyle political drama Cobra and Joseph Gilgun's comedy drama Brassic.
Intelligence, which launches on Sky One, has been handed a second season ahead of its first season airs on February 21. Friends star Schwimmer plays a power-hungry, maverick NSA agent who joins an inept and tactless computer analyst, played by Nick Mohammed, within the UK's GCHQ. Created and written by Mohammed, Intelligence is produced by Tim Hincks and Peter Fincham's Expectation. The second, six-part season was renewed by Jon Mountague, Sky Studios' Director of Comedy and Zai Bennett, Sky's Managing Director of Content.
Schwimmer said, “I am thrilled to continue to pretend to be important to National Security.” Mohammed added, “I couldn't be more delighted about setting off alarm bells inside GCHQ all over again.”Sky
Robert Carlyle's political drama Cobra has also been handed a second season. The show, which became one of Sky One's most successful drama launches in recent years since it launched last month, will follow the aftermath of both solar and political storms, which sees Prime Minister Robert Sutherland Carlyle attempt to steer the country on a more even course. He is assisted, as ever, by his loyal Chief-of-Staff Anna Marshall Victoria Hamilton, alongside a team of dedicated advisers. An assassination on British soil, however, unleashes a chain of events that threatens to develop into a crisis even more serious than the one from which the country has recently emerged. An apparently invisible global enemy, not playing by the rules and operating outside national boundaries, appears to be bent on our destruction and nobody really knows who is friend and who is foe.
Written by Ben Richards, Cobra was recommissioned by Sky Studios' Director of Drama, Cameron Roach and Zai Bennett, Sky's Managing Director of Content and will be executive produced by Gabriel Silver for Sky Studios. The series will be produced by New Pictures and the executive producers include Charlie Pattinson, and Ben Richards. Joe Donaldson is the producer.
Carlyle said, “I'm absolutely delighted by the audience reaction and success of Cobra. I look forward to season two and welcome the chance to play the PM Robert Sutherland once again.”Sky
Brassic returns to Sky One for a third season. The show, which was co-created by Joseph Gilgun and Safe writer Danny Brocklehurst, stars Gilgun, Michelle Keegan and Damien Molony. The show, which also features Dominic West in a guest role, stars Gilgun as Vinnie, a man from the north of England with bipolar disorder and his best mate Dylan, played by...
There’s a symmetry to the final season of “Homeland” that speaks louder than any of its international rabble-rousing and high-octane action scenes. Carrie Mathison, the CIA officer with bipolar disorder who Claire Danes has squinted, screamed, sweated, and shaken her way into becoming over seven intense seasons, is now a former P.O.W. suspected of turning on her country. To Carrie, such an accusation is as ludicrous as it is insulting. She’s a patriot. She’s put her life, sanity, and family on the line, time and time again, for America. To see it any other way is impossible.
And yet, over the course of the first four episodes, Carrie is forced to reexamine her perspective; to consider the unthinkable in order to, once again, protect her country — this time, possibly, from herself. Not only is this a clever means to put Carrie in the shoes of her one-time enemy, long-time lover Nicholas Brody Damian Lewis, but it encompasses the parallel stories “Homeland” has told since he left the show. Carrie has worried her mind will betray her when it matters most; that she won’t be able to serve her country to the best of her abilities because of her disorder, her drinking, or even her child. The series, meanwhile, has tried to force viewers to reexamine who’s the real enemy in the war on terror; to empathize and rationalize with people whose opinion of America is less than “Great!”
Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon are bringing these questions full circle, and the early episodes are a strong start to a complicated goodbye. When Nicholas Brody turned out to be a terrorist, it opened up a deeper, richer conversation about what that word meant. When we find out what happened to Carrie Mathison during her seven months in a Russian jail, we’re going to know a lot more about what it means to be a patriot — a definition “Homeland” has been exploring for nearly a decade.
Season 8 opens with Carrie still in isolation post-imprisonment. She’s been debriefed, interviewed, and analyzed, but her time behind enemy lines is still a mystery. Her memory is missing big chunks of time, which is taxing on Carrie but suspicious to her colleagues. Does she really not remember, or is she choosing to exclude key details? Before anyone is comfortable with an answer, Saul Mandy Patinkin, still in fine, blustery form after all these years steps in to pull Carrie out of friendly captivity and into enemy territory.
As the National Security Advisor to President Warner Beau Bridges, Saul’s top priority is negotiating an end to the war in Afghanistan by brokering peace talks with Taliban leaders. This, as one might assume, is no easy task, and Saul needs his protégé to help push the deal through. To say much more would enter into spoiler territory, and given “Homeland” builds...
John Oliver made his return to HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” on March 29 after a brief hiatus due to the coronavirus, and the late night host wasted no time ripping Donald Trump for his “failed” and “irresponsible” response to the global pandemic. As Oliver said, “Again and again, Trump has failed to give this crisis the seriousness it deserves…It didn't need to be this hard. That is why it is so profoundly disheartening that we are being led through this crisis by a man who may be less equipped to deal with this historical moment than anyone in recorded history.”
“It's critically important for America to be getting a clear, consistent message about the severity of the threat we're currently facing,” Oliver added. “That is the only way we will be able to manage this virus, contain casualties, and get back to something resembling normalcy.”
Oliver expressed criticism over Trump’s delay in responding to the coronavirus threat, noting that Trump could have helped solve the nationwide shortage in hospital masks and ventilators by enacting the Defense Production Act as early as late January or February. Had Trump made the move, he would have pushed companies like General Motors to produce supplies sooner. Oliver argued Trump waited too long, only to tell the country that his administration is ahead of the outbreak.
“It’s worth taking a moment to appreciate just how irresponsible that attitude is,” Oliver said. “Because we wasted so much time that we could have spent preparing, the virus is now widespread. And thanks to how we have massively botched the rollout of testing the virus, we still don’t know how exactly how bad things are.”
Oliver added, “For once, something has come along that is more toxic and more threatening that this president.” The television host concluded by saying he is “rooting for [Trump] to do this better,” pointing to how Ohio governor Mike DeWine and New York governor Andrew Cuomo have responded.
The March 29 episode of “Last Week Tonight” was Oliver’s first since signing off for a hiatus on March 16. During that episode, Oliver blasted Trump’s coronavirus response as “catastrophic” and urged Americans to listen to the Center of Disease Control over the President when it comes to facts about the pandemic. Oliver said the White House’s response was a “complete mess” because of all the lies Trump has told the American people.
New episodes of “Last Week Tonight” air Sunday nights at 11 p.m. ET on HBO.