|LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHEREMRS. AMERICASPINNING OUTBILLIONSAMERICADMZ|
Adaptations, by necessity, are about respecting what the book laid out while making whatever adjustments are needed to satisfy a new medium. In the case of Celeste Ng’s novel, “Little Fires Everywhere,” her prose were so lyrical in their deconstruction of individual identity, American history, and social commentary, that for Liz Tigelaar, screenwriter of Hulu’s limited series adaptation, it was mainly a process of deciding what to keep. “I can think of more moments I hated losing [but] every other moment felt so vital to put in,” Tigelaar said in an interview with IndieWire.
Ng drew inspiration from her own life to write “Little Fires Everywhere,” after growing up in the planned community of Shaker Heights, Ohio. “It really shaped me into the person that I am,” Ng said in a separate interview with IndieWire. “And I wanted to write a book that would unpack that.”
Her work is often based on things that puzzle her and, with this story in particular, Ng didn’t just want to look at what Shaker Heights meant to her own personal development, but where it fits in America and its ideals.
When you’re dealing with a story that packs in candid discussions about race, gender, class, and society, balance becomes essential, and it can be difficult to touch on all those elements without overloading two powerhouse actresses like Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.
The series utilizes this principle with its story of the wealthy journalist and housewife Elena Richardson Witherspoon and the nomadic artist Mia Washington. The original novel doesn’t cite Mia’s race specifically and, as Ng will tell you, she wrote Mia as a working-class white woman. Still, she knew she always wanted to look at the nature of privilege.
“I was writing about these issues of power — power coming from different kinds of privilege [including] race and class,” Ng said.
For the author, the limited series is able to put those topics front and center in a way different than she had been able to articulate on the page. It’s a facet Tigelaar and the rest of the writers were excited to dive into. “We’re telling the story now through the lens of a black woman, [and] her parents are immigrants,” Tigelaar says. By being able to see Witherspoon and Washington square off, Ng said the audience can then see the “power see-saw” the two shift back and forth throughout the show’s eight episodes.
The close bond between Tigelaar and Ng is evident from their conversation. The two build on each other’s points and are equally effusive in their praise of the series and the source material. “It’s...
Rose Byrne and Cate Blanchett get ready to do battle in the latest Mrs. America teaser — over the issue of women’s empowerment, and over potential awards buzz for their performances as opposing activists Gloria Steinem and Phyllis Schlafly, respectively, in the Dahvi Waller‘s limited FX series set to debut on Hulu. Fittingly, the new teaser is set to the famous “Battle Hymn Of The Republic,” which declares that “women’s time has come.” But not if Blanchett’s conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly has anything to say about it. Watch the new Mrs. America teaser below.Mrs. America Teaser
Based on the true story of the fight to pass the Equal Rights Amendment ERA, Dahvi Waller’s limited series follows the Women’s Liberation Movement, led by Byrne’s passionate activist Gloria Steinem as they face off against notorious anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly Blanchett, who also executive produces the series and her advocacy for the traditional roles of women.
But nothing is black and white in the series, and both women are taken to task by their enemies and their allies, which include Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug, Tracey Ullmann as Betty Friedan, and Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm. The one original character is Sarah Paulson as Alice, a composite character who will act as the audience surrogate to the events unfolding around the battle to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed. Additional cast includes James Marsden as Republican congressman Philip Crane, John Slattery plays Fred Schlafly, and Elizabeth Banks is Jill Ruckelshaus, a White House assistant, women’s rights activist, and wife of the former head of the EPA, William Ruckelshaus.
Here is the synopsis for Mrs. America:
Mrs. America recounts the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment ERA and the unexpected backlash led by Phyllis Schlafly, aka “the sweetheart of the silent majority.” Through the eyes of the women of the era, the FX series explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the 70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted the political landscape.
Mrs. America premieres exclusively on FX on Hulu on April 15, 2020.Source: Slashfilm.com
Just in time for the bingeing boom, Showtime’s “Billions” will return with more of the greed, cunning, and first-rate performances that helped make it one of the network’s biggest hits. The series began with hedge fund billionaire Bobby Axelrod Damian Lewis mocking the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Chuck Rhoades Paul Giamatti, in the first of many verbal smackdowns between sworn enemies. By Season 4, the former rivals had teamed up to become best pals, completely upending the entertaining conflict that made the series tick.
According to Showtime’s synopsis for Season 5, however, the rivalry is back in full force as the two schemers must navigate who else in their ambitious world may be a snake in the grass.
The official synopsis reads: “In season five of ‘Billions’, Bobby Axelrod Lewis and Chuck Rhoades Giamatti see their vicious rivalry reignited, while new enemies rise and take aim. Social impact pioneer Mike Prince Stoll poses a true threat to Axe's dominance, and Chuck feuds with a formidable district attorney Roma Maffia. Taylor Mason Asia Kate Dillon is forced back to Axe Capital, where Taylor must fight to protect their employees and their assets. Wendy Rhoades Maggie Siff reevaluates her loyalties and forges surprising new alliances that put her at odds with both Chuck and Axe.”
Showtime is pumping new talent in for for Season 5. Julianna Margulies will play Catherine Brant, an Ivy League sociology professor and bestselling author. The star of “The Good Wife” certainly knows how to hold her own, and it will be fun to see her go head to head with the cast of heavy hitters. “House of Cards” star Corey Stoll is also joining the fun, as well as regular cast members David Costabile, Condola Rashad, Kelly AuCoin and Jeffrey DeMunn.
“Billions” was created and executive produced by showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien. The series was also created by Andrew Ross Sorkin. The series is loosely based on the activities of Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and his legal battles with hedge fund manager Steve Cohen of S.A.C. Capital Advisors.
Check out the new trailer for “Billions” Season 5 below:
Editors' Note: The television business is in a state of flux as the global Coronavirus pandemic continues to claim thousands of lives and hit the economy. This is one of several stories that will look at how the non-scripted industry is coping with the crisis.
ABC's American Idol is supposed to start airing live performance shows in just a couple of days. But last week, prep work, including rehearsals with the finalists, was suspended, and the contestants were sent home to be with their families amid escalating coronavirus pandemic.
Imagine a world where talent show contestants have to perform in front of their mirrors rather than live audiences or where a Bachelorette can only speak to potential suitors via teleconferencing — these are some of the potential fallouts of the COVID-19 crisis on non-scripted television.
In much the same way as their scripted siblings, non-scripted buyers and producers are fighting to adapt to a new normal to ensure that holes in the schedule are kept to a minimum and that the reality show can go on.
Almost all of the big tentpole formats, from American Idol to Survivor and America's Got Talent to The Bachelorette have been hit by the production shutdown as has Fox's Masterchef, which was forced to shut down in the middle of its season 11 shoot.
The reality pipeline is, however, not running completely dry. Shows such as NBC's World of Dance and Songland, Fox's Hell's Kitchen and Ultimate Tag and ABC's The Bachelor: Listen To Your Heart are shot and in the can and ready to be slotted into schedules, while there's the potential for major formats such as Big Brother and Love Island to get up and running once the worst of the crisis dissipates.
ITV America, which had to shut down filming on shows such as Netflix's Queer Eye, is confident that CBS' version of British dating reality hit Love Island will still go ahead this summer. CEO David George said that the show, which was moved up from July to May this year, can be turned around in less than 48 hours. “Once the switch is turned on, we can get it to air very quickly. As of right now, we're not particularly worried, because it's quick turn, it makes sense. We're trying to get it as ready as possible so when [CBS] says 'go', we're ready, location-wise, build outs, casting
Meanwhile, while Fox has had to suspend work on shows such as So You Think You Can Dance right, its forthcoming Korean mystery music gameshow I Can Be Your Voice and the second season of Rob Lowe-fronted Mental Samurai, it can take solace in the fact that it has seen ratings bumps for the likes of The Masked Singer and Lego Masters, while it also has episodes of Beat Shazam and its new competition format Ultimate Tag completed....