Entertainment news the first half of March 2022

I’m finally up to date on entertainment news. This installment covers the first half of March.

The most notable thing we have to talk about is that I saw “The Batman”. In this particular incarnation we get a little closer to the roots of the original comic book character in that he actually does some detective work. This is almost like a buddy cop movie between Batman and Lieutenant (not yet Commissioner) Jim Gordon who in this installment is African-American played by Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright. Gordon invites him to survey crime scenes much to the dismay of the uniformed officers who don’t trust a masked vigilante.

For the early portion of the three hour film we don’t see much of Bruce Wayne which I found a bit disappointing. Let’s face it is Michael Keaton said when he took on the role, “I work the suit” when playing Batman but the real role is portraying Bruce Wayne.

Our main villain is The Riddler and is unlike any portrayal you have ever seen of that character. Throughout first 80% movie we only see him in a full leather mask and I was disappointed that he was totally unlike the character I knew. His real creepiness however comes out in the final scenes when he is finally unmasked. Although this is the Riddler you know, I think you will come to appreciate him eventually.

The chemistry between Catwoman and Batman is everything you hope to see.

There is a post-credit scene of about 10 seconds but it doesn’t really tell you anything. Mostly it gives a brief flash of the URL of a website that has been known to fans prior to the release of the film. If you are really curious, look for a YouTube video explaining postdated scenes from any of a variety of fan sources.

Overall I really liked it. It is long two hours 55 minutes and while some action films that are long don’t feel very long, this one did but not prohibitively so. I recommend it mostly to fans only. I’m not sure this one will please a wider audience but I could be wrong. If you miss it in theaters, it is expected on HBO Max in late April.

In other news, Star Trek: Discovery just wrapped up its fourth season today in a way that could have been a series finale. Unlike some previous season finales, there was no big cliffhanger. However it has been renewed for season 4. There is a surprise cameo at the end of this episode. Georgia politician Stacy Abrams appears as the president of United Earth.

Meanwhile, Star Trek: Picard has released three episodes of season 2. The first one sets up where all of our characters are now. The second one is absolutely amazing and action packed as Picard and friends end up in an alternate timeline thanks to Picard’s old nemesis Q. We then go back in time the year 2024 and episode 3 and it feels like a bad reboot of Star Trek IV. We will have to see what happens next.

Renewals, Coming Soon, and Casting News

  • AMC announced a “The Walking Dead” spinoff series starring Maggie and Negan to be set in New York City titled “Isle of the Dead”.
  • CBS has renewed soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful” through 2024.
  • Jennifer Hudson will host a syndicated daytime talk show starting in the fall of 2022
  • Nigel Lythgoe will not be returning as a judge for season 17 of “So You Think You Can Dance”.
  • NBC is canceling “Ordinary Joe” after just one season. We are greatly disappointed not only because it featured a disabled character but because it was a quality show.
  • Freeform has renewed “grown-ish” for season 5
  • Netflix has renewed “Vikings: Valhalla” for seasons 2 and 3.
  • HBO Max has ordered “The Penguin” spinoff series from the latest movie “The Batman” but will not be going forward with prequel series. See link below.
  • Starz has renewed “Power Book IV” for season 2.
  • CBS has renewed “Survivor”, “The Amazing Race” and “Tough As Nails” for additional seasons.
  • Nick Cannon syndicated talk show has been canceled after one season.
  • Adele will headline an NBC concert special film that the London Palladium March 20
  • NBC announced medical drama “New Amsterdam” will end with season 5.
  • Costumed dating show “The Courtship” is moving from NBC to USA network after just two episodes because of dismal ratings.

Miscellaneous News

  • Disney+ will introduce a cheaper ad supported version of its service sometime late this year.
  • CNN+ streaming service will debut March 29 a cost of $5.99 per month
  • Dolly Parton has requested the name be withdrawn as a nominee for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. She feels she is unworthy and plans to release a rock album sometime in the near future and will consider accepting a nomination at a later date. However the ruling body behind the award says it’s too late and voting has already begun.

In Memoriam

  • William Hurt Oscar-winning actor of “Broadcast News”, “Children of a Lesser God”, “Body Heat”, “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and the MCU. Age 71. Prostate cancer
  • Tim Considine who played the eldest of “My Three Sons” in the 1950s. Age 81
  • Conrad Janis character actor who played in “Mork and Mindy” and other roles. Age 94
  • Emilio Delgado played “Sesame Street” fix-it shop owner Luis. Age 81
  • Scott Hall WBE Hall of Fame pro wrestler a.k.a. Razor Ramon. Age 63 complications of hip surgery.

Links of Interest

Matt’s Inside Line: Scoop on This Is Us, Abbott Elementary, Magnum P.I., NCIS, Walking Dead, Reacher, Bull and More
‘The Batman’ Filmmaker Matt Reeves On New Dark Knight, Pic’s Sequel & Colin Farrell Penguin HBO Max Series – Hero Nation Podcast
The Batman Prequel Series Not Moving Forward at HBO Max, Matt Reeves Says
Warner Bros Release Dates: ‘The Flash’ & ‘Aquaman’ Moved To 2023; ‘Wonka’, ‘Shazam’ Sequel & Others Shift
Inside Line: Scoop on NCIS Crossover, 9-1-1, NCIS: LA, Legacies, The Flash, Wheel of Time, Riverdale and More!
Resident Alien Boss Answers Our Burning Finale Questions, Breaks Down Those Life-Changing Last Moments

Entertainment news for February 2022

I’m still trying to get caught up on entertainment news. This installment covers everything during February 2022.

Much news including entertainment news is focusing on the war in Ukraine. A number of US companies have suspended operations in Russian including Disney and Netflix as well as many social media platforms. Several movie premieres have been suspended in Russia. A number of TV shows including SNL have had special Attributes to Ukraine. I haven’t bothered to keep track of everything in this regard.

  • We want to highlight the new Apple TV+ series “Severance”. The premise is that when working for a top-secret technology company, you can have a chip implanted in your brain that causes you to forget your real life upon entering the building go to work. Similarly when you leave work, you regain awareness of your real life they have no knowledge of what went on at work. It’s a bit surreal but quite compelling. A bit part by Christopher Walken only adds the creepiness. At this point it’s hard to see where this series is going but it sure is compelling TV. HIGHLY recommended if you have Apple TV+.

  • Renewals, Coming Soon, and Casting News

    • Paramount+ has renewed “SEAL Team”, “The Game” and “Mayor of Kingstown” for additional seasons.
    • “Yellowstone” has been renewed for season 5 at Paramount network.
    • HBO has renewed “Euphoria” for season 3
    • The Orville” premier has been pushed to June 2 from its previous March 10 scheduled return.
    • “Vice” has been renewed at Showtime for season 3 and 4
    • Amazon has renewed “Reacher” for season 2
    • FX announced “Mayans M.C.” season 4 will premier April 19
    • Marge Helgenberger will be joining CSI: Vegas for season 2
    • HBO has renewed “The Gilded Age” for season 2.
    • Hulu has renewed “How I Met Your Father” for season 2.
    • Paramount+ has renewed “Halo” for season 2
    • Showtime has renewed “Billions” for season 7.
    • HBO Max has renewed “Peacemaker” for season 2. James Gunn will write and direct all season 2 episodes.
    • Upcoming season 5 of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will be its last.
    • Netflix announced “Stranger Things” will end with season 5 but there may be spinoffs.
    • FX has renewed “Fargo” for season 5. It will be set in 2019.
    • FX announced “Atlanta” will end with season 4
    • Netflix has canceled sci-fi series “Another Life” after 2 seasons.
    • PBS has canceled animated children’s show “Arthur” after 25 years.
    • Wendy Williams syndicated talk show is ending after 12 seasons and will be replaced by Sherri Shepherd
    • NBC sci-fi thriller “La Brea” season 2 will be expanded 10 to 14 episodes however they may be split into 2 half seasons because of the extensive special-effects needed.
    • NBC has renewed “The Blacklist” for season 10.
    • The future of the reboot of sci-fi series “Babylon 5” was in doubt with the pending sale of CW network. However it is still under consideration for start in 2023 instead of this year.
    • Starz is developing a prequel series to “Outlander”.
    • Yellowstone season 4 will premier on Paramount+ March 28.
    • Marvel series Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and Agents of SHIELD which previously were shown on Netflix are now moving to Disney+ marking the first programs on that service to be rated TV-MA. They will begin March 16.

    Politics and Showbiz

    • When one of the contestants on The Masked Singer was revealed to be Rudy Giuliani, two of the judges walked off the set.

    Miscellaneous News

    • The NFL Washington franchise has decided on its new name the “Washington Commanders”. I wonder if the focus group that recommended that title never watched “Handmaid’s Tale”. The bad guys are called “commanders”.
    • Amazon has tripled the number of original films and series since 2018. It spent $13 billion in 2021.
    • The Oscars will be host by Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, and Regina Hall. Also 8 of the awards traditionally given during the primetime broadcast will be awarded prior to going to air and highlights will be shown during broadcast in an attempt to speed things up and keep it interesting. See the link below for details.
    • Broadcaster Tegna which operates WTHR Channel 13 here in Indianapolis has been sold to Standard General and Apollo Global. I have no idea how that might impact local TV.
    • The family of actor Bill Paxton has reached a $1 million settlement with an anesthesia firm over the actors death.
    • SNL cast member Pete Davidson will fly aboard a Blue Origin rocket March 23.
    • Discovery will combine HBO Max and Discovery Plus after the merger with Time Warner.
    • Timothy Hutton has sued producers of “Leverage” after being left out of the reboot.

    In Memoriam

    • Ivan Reitman director and Ghostbusters and other films. Age 75.
    • Douglas Trumbull legendary FX artists on 2001, Blade Runner, and Close Encounters age 79
    • Robert Blalock Oscar-winning special-effects artists and cofounder of Industrial Light and Magic. Age 73
    • Kerry Chater bass player for Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. Age 77
    • PJ O’Rourke satirist and author potential fear. Age 74
    • Jane “Nightbirde” Marcznewski contestant on America’s Got Talent who had cancer. Age 31.
    • Gary Brooker front man for Procol Harum Singer – songwriter on “Whiter Shade of Pale” age 76
    • Sally Kellerman known for playing “hot lips”Houlihan in the movie version of MASH. Age 84

    Links of Interest

    Entertainment news through January 2022

    I’m seriously behind on entertainment news. This blog will cover roughly December 2021. I will then start another blog covering January and February. Or maybe 2 blogs one for each month.

    I went to see the Steven Spielberg remake of “West Side Story” which was excellent. They added deeper back stories for several of the characters. They also plugged the biggest plot hole in America musical theater history. The most unbelievable moment in Broadway occurs when Tony goes running down the street in Spanish Harlem shouting “Maria” and only one girl sticks her head out the window. In the new version, several other Maria’s respond but they are all the wrong one. Eventually gets the right one. All joking aside… It’s an amazing production and I highly recommend it. It is now streaming on Disney+ along with a 40 minute documentary about the film.

    I also saw “Dune” and there are not enough words to say how spectacular it was. I can’t wait for the second part. Although it’s best if you have read the classic sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert I think you can probably follow the story okay if you haven’t. In preparation for watching movie, I re-watched the old David Lynch version of the film and I reread the novel. I was surprised how much the Lynch version influenced by memory of the story. Things that I thought were in the book were actually added by Lynch. Anyway highly recommended.

    I also have to recommend the Marvel series “Hawkeye” about one of the least famous members of the Avengers. Great story of a young woman who is a fan of the hero and follows in his footsteps.

    Amazon fantasy series “Wheel of Time” was worth my time to watch. Fans of the books are upset about changes but having never read the books I thought it was okay. Not on the level of Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings but still not bad.

    I also have to HIGHLY recommend “Station Eleven” on HBO Max. A 10 part miniseries about a viral pandemic that leaves only one out of 1000 to survive. I can’t remember the TV series where I got more invested in the characters than this one. I binged the fi press Windows right rst seven episodes over about three days and then realized I didn’t want it to end. I slowly watched 8, 9 and 10 taking a couple of days break in between. The final episode left me in tears with a very satisfying ending. I found myself able to let go of the characters there was such a deep sense of closure. Maybe everyone will not respond as strongly as I did but I still encourage you to check it out.

    That’s all of the miscellaneous commentary. Now onto the usual tidbits and links.

    Pandemic News

    • The Grammy awards which were originally scheduled for January have now been moved to April 3.

    Renewals, Coming Soon, and Casting News

    • Outlander season 6 will premier March 6.
    • AMC announced “Kevin Can F**k Himself” will end with the upcoming season 2
    • “Fear the Walking Dead” is returning for season 8 with Kim Dickens returning as Madison. Producers confirm she’s really back and it’s not a flashback or dream sequence.
    • Peacock has canceled “AP Bio”.
    • Power Book II has been renewed for season 3
    • IMDb TV has renewed “Leverage: Redemption” for season 2.
    • Netflix has canceled Cowboy Bebop after just one season.
    • Controversy of syndicated “The Dr. Oz Show” will end in early 2022.
    • Apple TV+ has renewed “Servant” for a fourth and final season.
    • Paramount+ has renewed “Why Women Kill” for season 3
    • CSI: Vegas has been renewed for season 2.
    • Chris Noth has been dropped from CBS drama “The Equalizer” following allegations of sexual assault.
    • Michael Keaton is returning as Batman in the upcoming HBO Max Movie “Batgirl”.
    • David Tennant will star in an eight episode adaptation of “Around the World and Eighty Days”. I have to think the TARDIS would’ve been faster 🙂
    • Apple TV+ has renewed “The Morning Show” for season 3 with a new showrunner.
    • ABC has renewed “Station 19” for season 6.
    • FX has ordered a sequel to “Justified” starring Timothy Oliphant.
    • Chris Wallace is leaving Fox news after 18 years to join CNN’s upcoming streaming service.
    • Paramount+ has announced “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” starring Anson Mount as Capt. Christopher Pike will premier May 5 and has already been renewed for season 2. Also Star Trek: Discovery has been renewed for season 5. And Star Trek: Lower Decks has been renewed for season 3. All of them 10 episodes each.
    • NBC has canceled Ellen’s Game of Games after 4 seasons.
    • CBS is ending “Bull “ after 6 seasons which is a no-brainer considering Michael Weatherly decided to quit.
    • CBS has renewed “Ghosts”, “The Neighborhood”, and “Bob Hearts Abishola”
    • Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol has been canceled by Peacock after one season
    • “American Rust” by Showtime for after 1 season
    • Disney+ has approved “Peter Jackson & The Olympians” to series.
    • HBO has renewed “The Righteous Gemstones” for season 3.
    • Both NBC and Fox will simulcast the season opener of USFL on April 16.

    Politics and Showbiz

    • CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was fired for supporting his brother Andrew Cuomo who was accused of sexual misconduct with her workers.
    • DirecTV is dropping far right channel “One America News Network”.

    Miscellaneous News

    • Kevin Spacey has been ordered to pay nearly $31 million to the production company of “House of Cards” after he was let go for allegations of sexual misconduct.
    • Nicolas Cage says he’s not an actor. Okay so what’s new? Oh he wants to be known as a “thespian”. Okay sigh.
    • “Baby Shark” has become the first YouTube video to hit 10 billion views.
    • Jon Stewart will receive the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. April 24.
    • CW has renewed “Penn & Teller : Fool Us”, “Masters of Illusion” and “World’s Funniest Animals”
    • Peter Robbins child actor who voiced Charlie Brown age 65

    In Memoriam

    • Betty White actress, comedian, pop-culture icon age 99.
    • Sydney Poitner , first black man to win an Oscar for best actor. Age 94.
    • Stephen Sondheim musical theater icon age 91.
    • Eddie Mekka who played Carmine on “Laverne & Shirley” age 69
    • Bob Dole former US Sen. and presidential nominee age 98
    • Michael Nesmith singer, guitarist for 60s group “The Monkeys” age 78.
    • Author Anne Rice known for “Interview with the Vampire” and sequels. Age 80… Or did she really die?
    • John Madden legendary NFL coach and sports broadcaster. Age 85
    • Marvin Lee Aday a.k.a. “Meat Loaf” rockstar and actor. Age 74.
    • Louie Anderson comedian, game show. Age 68.
    • Robert Bruce cast member of Kevin Smith’s AMC reality TV series “Comic Book Men” age 62.
    • Peter Bogdanovich director of “Paper Moon” and “The Last Picture Show” age 82.
    • Ronnie Spector of the 60s girl group “The Ronettes” age 78
    • Ralph Emery country music radio and TV broadcaster age 88
    • Yvette Mimieux actress who starred in “The Time Machine” opposite Rod Taylor. Age 80
    • Gaspard Ulliel French actor who will appear in upcoming “Moon Knight “ on Disney+. Age 37 skiing accident.
    • Don Wilson cofounder of the rock group “The Ventures” age 88
    • Howard Hesseman , actor who appeared in WKRP in Cincinnati. Age 81
    • Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019 and correspondence for “Extra”. Age 30. Suicide.

    Links of Interest