Long-overdue entertainment news

It’s been over 2 months since my last entertainment news blog so some of this might be “old news”.

Along the way I went back to the IMAX 3D to see the rerelease of the original “Avatar” in anticipation of the upcoming release of the long-awaited sequel. It featured about five minutes worth of preview of the new film. Avatar still holds up as an amazing piece of filmmaking apart from its groundbreaking technological features it’s just damned beautiful. Even though I’d seen it perhaps three or four times before in IMAX 3D, it still found ways to move me and amaze me 13 years after its original release. The new film premieres in December.

I also went to the theater to see the rerelease of “Star Wars: Rogue One”. It was the only Star Wars film I had not seen in the theater. When originally released in 2016 I was in the hospital for a month. It also included a sneak preview of the new Disney+ series “Star Wars:Andor”. I can see why many people think Rogue One is the best Star Wars since “Empire…”. I’ve seen the first three episodes of Andor and I can say is nothing like any Star Wars you’ve ever seen but that’s okay. It is a much more adult film (that doesn’t mean bloody gory or sex and nudity) it just means it’s more mature. I’ve never seen a Star Wars film or TV series that I didn’t like. The fact that this one is so different doesn’t take anything away from it. It moves a bit slow and I can see why they released the first three episodes together because the big action doesn’t happen until the third episode. So far I’m really enjoying it.

Season 3 of “The Orville” far exceeded anything they’ve done before. I also read an e-book novella of an episode that they were not able to shoot that was really amazing. HIGHLY recommended. Available on Hulu and Disney+

I watched the reboot of “Quantum Leap” and in short if you liked the original, you will like this one. I also took the opportunity to rewatch the first 2 and the last episode of the original series. People say that Star Trek: Enterprise had the worst TV theme song of any genre series. They forgot Quantum Leap. It was fun to go back and revisit the old show. I like the fact that the new show spends more time with the people in the present day who are monitoring the leaper and trying to get him back home. I may post a longer review in a separate blog soon.

The final 8 episodes of “The Walking Dead” has premiered. It started off with one of their best episodes ever.

The first few episodes of season 5 “The Handmaid’s Tale” have been absolutely stunning. The show has been renewed for a sixth and final season.

Season 3 of Apple TV+ post-apocalyptic “See” has been awesome as well. It will be the final season. Also on Apple TV+ the reason season of “For All Mankind” was spectacular start to finish. Highly recommended and I can’t wait for the next season.

Look for more reviews of new TV series coming soon.

Renewals, Coming Soon, and Casting News

  • CW has announced that “The Flash” season 9 will be its last and will have only 13 episodes. Barbara AMC has renewed “Moonhaven” for season 2. I’ve only seen one episode of the first season and I wasn’t initially impressed but I’m going to give it a few additional episodes before I decide to continue.
  • Amazon prime has canceled YA survival drama “The Wilds” after 2 seasons
  • Peyton Manning will join Luke Bryan to host the CMA awards. November 9
  • NBC has renewed “Weakest Link” for season 3 of 20 episodes. Season 2 had only 13.
  • HBO/HBO Max has canceled the release of “Batgirl” and will not release it either theatrically or streaming. They spent $90 million to make the movie. Apparently it’s so bad they are embarrassed to release it anywhere.
  • Netflix has canceled teen vampire series “First Kill” after 1 season. Apparently the first was the last 🙂
  • “Joker: Folie A Deux” is scheduled to be released in 2024 with Lady Gaga starring as Harley Quinn along with Joaquin Phoenix as Joker pain
  • Long-running soap opera “Days of Our Lives” is moving to Peacock from NBC after 57 years.
  • SNL veteran Kenan Thompson will host the 2022 Emmy awards on NBC and Peacock September 12
  • Grantchester has been renewed by PBS for season 8.
  • Jon Batiste is leaving as bandleader for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” after 7 years. He has been on hiatus for several months. Lewis Cato who has been filling in will be the new bandleader.
  • Netflix announced animated anthology sci-fi series “Love, Death and Robots” has been renewed for season 4. Although I liked seasons 2 and 3 okay, they did not live up to the excellent first season.
  • Netflix is going to reboot while my favorite reality competition shows “The Mole”.
  • Showtime has renewed “The Chi” for season 6
  • HBO has renewed “Curb Your Enthusiasm” for season 12
  • Netflix has renewed “The Umbrella Academy” for its fourth and final season.
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan joins the cast of “The Boys” in a recurring role for season 4.
  • No surprise HBO has renewed “House of the Dragon” for season 2.
  • Netflix has canceled “Resident Evil” after 1 season
  • HBO Max has renewed animated series “Harley Quinn” for season 4.
  • Tig Notaro is joining season 3 of “The Morning Show” the comedienne continues to appear in “Star Trek: Discovery” as well as various other projects.
  • Hulu has renewed “The Handmaid’s Tale” for season 6 which will be its last.
  • Fox has renewed MasterChef for season 13
  • “Phantom of the Opera” currently the longest-running show on Broadway will close in 2023 after 35 years.
  • Jimmy Kimmel has renewed his contract with ABC for 3 more years.
  • FX has renewed “Reservation Dogs” for season 3 on Hulu
  • Peacock has canceled the reboot of “Queer as Folk” after 1 season
  • CBS has renewed “Big Brother” for season 25
  • James Earl Jones will no longer be the voice of Darth Vader. A specialized AI was used to create his voice for the recent Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
  • Hugh Jackman will return to the role of Wolverine in “Deadpool 3”
  • AMC network has renewed “Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire” for season 2 before the first episode aired.
  • Trevor Noah will be leaving “The Daily Show” in 2023 after 7 years.

Politics and Showbiz

  • Beyoncé and Lizzo have both modified lyrics to recent songs to remove the word “spaz“ after disability groups complained that it was a derogatory term for people with cerebral palsy and other spastic disabilities. See the link below for more details.
  • Author Salman Rushdie was stabbed 20 times on stage at an event in upstate New York. He is expected to lose an eye, has severed nerves in his arm and other injuries however he has been removed from a ventilator and is expected to recover. The officer had a $3 million bounty placed on him by the Iranian government in the 1990s over his novel “The Satanic Verses” which many Muslims thought was offensive to the Prophet. The assailant is in custody charged with attempted murder.

Miscellaneous News

  • HBO Max and Discovery+ will be merged into a single streaming service in the summer of 2023. No word on what it will be called or how much it will cost.
  • When Dancing with the Stars appears on Disney+ it will be completely commercial free.
  • Spectrum Originals which produced series such as LA’s Finest and the reboot of Mad about You is shutting down. It produced original programming for Spectrum Cable customers
  • Lin Manuel Miranda is speaking out against the unauthorized production Hamilton put on by a Texas church. Not only was the performance itself unauthorized, they also modified many of the lyrics to add a religious message. He says “now the lawyers do their work” in a copyright infringement case. Late update: the church has apologized and agreed to a settlement.
  • Jane Fonda has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Katie Couric has breast cancer
  • Demi Lovato says that her current tour will be her last.
  • R. Kelly has been convicted of multiple child pornography and enticement charges.
  • Roger Federer is retiring from tennis.
  • The NFL announced that the annual Pro Bowl will be a flag football game and will feature a weeklong skills competition.
  • Starz cable network will be renamed Lionsgate+ everywhere except the US and Canada.
  • Epix cable network (also available streaming) is changing its name to MGM+
  • Sportscaster and former Pittsburgh quarterback Terry Bradshaw revealed he has been battling bladder and skin cancer.

In Memoriam

  • Nichelle Nichols who played Uhura on the original Star Trek and subsequent films. Age 89
  • Anne Heche actress and former partner of Ellen DeGeneres was pronounced brain dead after a car accident in which she crashed into a house. Prior to the crash see was seen driving erratically and an influence. Age 53
  • Olivia Newton John Grammy-winning singer and star of Greece. Age 73
  • Wolfgang Petersen director of “Das Bot”, “Air Force One” and others. Age 81
  • Vin Scull legendary sportscaster and The Voice of the Dodgers. Age 94
  • Pat Carroll Emmy-winning comedic actors who voiced Ursula in The Little Mermaid. Age 95
  • Clu Gulager veteran horror movie actor from “Return of the Living Dead” but I remember him most as his son John Gulager directed him in “Feast” which was part of season 2 of “Project Greenlight”.
  • Mary Alice who played “The Oracle” in the original Matrix. Age variously reported as 80, 84, or 86.
  • Ron Zimmerman Marvel comics writer and film/TV producer. Age 64
  • Roger E Mosley known for playing helicopter pirates TC Calvin in the original “Magnum PI” age 83 car accident
  • David McCullough Pulitzer Prize winning historian. Age 89
  • Tom Weiskopf 16 time PGA champion and golf broadcaster. Age 79
  • Jerry Allison drummer and songwriter who wrote “Peggy Sue” and “That’ll Be the Day” age 82
  • Len Dawson Hall of Fame quarterback for the Kansas City chiefs and host of HBO’s “Inside the NFL” age 87.
  • Gerald Potterton director of animated sci-fi classic “Heavy Metal” and animator of “Yellow Submarine”. Age 91
  • Charlbi Dean who played Syonide on CW’s Black Lightning. Age 32 undisclosed illness
  • Luke Bell country singer who went missing for 10 days found dead at age 32. Suffered from bipolar disorder.
  • Bernard Shaw original anchor for CNN. Age 82
  • Jean-Luc Godard famous French film director. Age 91
  • Rakim Allen a.k.a. rapper PnB Rock fatally shot and a robbery at a restaurant
  • Ken Starr prosecutor and Clinton Whitewater case, Fox news commentator. Age 76
  • Ramsey Lewis jazz pianist age 87
  • Henry Silva actor who appeared in “Manchurian Candidate” and the original “Ocean’s 11” (Frank Sinatra not George Clooney version) age 95
  • Louise Fletcher Oscar-winning actress from “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” and remembered for “Star Trek: DS 9” I remember most from 1983 film “Brainstorm” age 88.
  • John Hartman drummer and cofounder of Doobie Brothers. Age 72
  • Dale McRaven creator of “Mork and Mindy” and writer for “Dick Van Dyke Show” age 83
  • Zack Estrin writer/producer of “Prison Break” and Netflix reboot of “Lost in Space” age 51
  • Billa Plante long time CBS News White House correspondent. Age 84
  • Artis Leon Ivey,Jr. a.k.a. Grammy-winning rapper Coolio known for “Gangsta’s Paradise” age 59.
  • Sacheen Littlefeather Native American actress who took the Oscar stage on behalf of Marlon Brando in 1973 to turn down his best actor Oscar for “The Godfather” in protest of the way Native American’s have been portrayed in film. Age 75

Links of Interest