Primetime TV: We Are Family

TV Review!

“We Are Family” Review by Eva 1/6/2024

Anthony Anderson and his mama Doris host this game show.

The premise of the show is simple. People who have famous relatives come on the show to sing while they sing clues about their famous relative and are placed on the screen behind them. The entire studio audience are the contestants in the show and make their guesses about the celebrity relative using keypads. The singers also sing with their celebrity relative, who is hidden inside a dome. Once the celebrity comes out of the dome the audience members who guess the celebrity correctly split money. In the final round of the game, the audience member who has guessed correctly throughout the game gets the chance to guess one more time for a chance to win up to $ 150,000.

I really enjoyed this show, it is fun to watch in order to find out who the famous people are behind the dome. Mama Doris is always funny.

I give this show 5 out of 5_stars because it’s also interesting to find out a little bit about the family life of celebrities.

The show airs on Fox on Wednesdays at 9 Eastern 8 Central time.

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The opinions in these articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of TVMEG.COM or its other volunteers.

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Primetime TV: The Floor

TV Review!

“The Floor” Review by Eva 1/6/2024

I enjoy watching game shows so when I saw a commercial for The Floor I had to watch it. Rob Lowe is the host and he does a good job.

The premise of this show is a little complicated so it might take you a few episodes to understand how the game works. I will give you the basic idea of how the game works so you can watch it. Two contestants participate in trivia duels in which the contestants have to answer questions about a subject such as pop music singers. The contestants see pictures of singers on a TV screen and the contestant who identifies the most singers wins the round and the losing contestant goes home. The duels continue and after four rounds the winning contestant wins 20,000 and returns to play again the following week to try and win more money.

I liked this game, but it is a little complicated and I like games where the audience watching at home roots for the contestants to win and I really wasn’t rooting for any of the contestants to win. The game gets a little boring after a while because all the rounds are the same. The only thing that changes each round is the trivia subject.

The show airs on Fox on Tuesdays at 9 pm Eastern/8 pm Central time.

I give this show 3 out of 5 stars. The Floor needs work. I will only watch it if I get bored.

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Interview with Jamie Berard

TV Interview!

 

Jamie Berard of "LEGO Masters" on FOX

Interview with Jamie Berard of “LEGO Masters” on FOX by Suzanne 9/27/23

This was a fun interview. I didn’t know what to expect when I agreed to this because I don’t normally watch any reality or game shows, and I’ve never played with LEGOs before. I watched the season 4 premiere and found that it really drew me in. It was entertaining. I hope you enjoy the new season and this chat with judge Jamie.

 

MORE INFO: Interview

LEGO Masters key art

Hosted by actor and producer Will Arnett, LEGO® MASTERS brings imagination, design and creativity to life when teams of LEGO enthusiasts go head-to-head, with infinite possibilities and an unlimited supply of LEGO bricks. Once again, teams of two will compete against each other in even more ambitious brick-building challenges – including an earthquake tower challenge, a demolition derby, a LEGO fashion show and more – to be crowned the country’s most talented amateur LEGO builders. In each episode, Arnett, alongside expert Brickmasters and LEGO employees Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard, will encourage the builders, introduce incredible challenges and put their creativity and skills to the test. The competing pairs who impress the judges the most will progress to the next round, until the finale, during which the top teams will face off for a $100,000 cash prize, the ultimate LEGO trophy and the grand title of LEGO MASTERS.

Endemol Shine North America, Tuesday’s Child and Plan B Entertainment produce LEGO Masters, under license from The LEGO Group. Showrunner Anthony Dominici executive-produces with Arnett; Sharon Levy, DJ Nurre and Michael Heyerman from Endemol Shine North America; Karen Smith and Steph Harris from Tuesday’s Child; Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Christina Oh from Plan B; and Jill Wilfert and Robert May from The LEGO Group.

Meet the contestants!  LEGO Masters Renewed!

Jamie Berard is Senior Design Manager and Creative Lead at The LEGO Company, where he is responsible for working on the LEGO Architecture and LEGO Ideas lines, as well as a variety of products for adults, teens and super fans. He is a life-long LEGO fan and has been an employee of The LEGO Company for more than 14 years.

Before joining LEGO, Berard was part of the local group New England LEGO Users Group (NELUG), where he worked on several larger-than-life projects, including a 100,000-piece LEGO mosaic of the Boston skyline. He served as a foreman on the Millyard Project, which, at its completion, was the largest permanent minifigure scale display in the world.

In 2004, Berard was a finalist to become the next Master Model Builder for LEGOLAND California and served as a Technical Judge for the FIRST LEGO League World Finals in Atlanta, GA. He was hired to work for the company in 2005, after displaying functional amusement park rides at a LEGO fan event in Washington, D.C.

Since joining LEGO, he has been responsible for designing dozens of complex LEGO models, including the 4,000+ piece Big Ben and the 4,000+ piece Assembly Square Modular Building sets, which are available for purchase to fans worldwide.

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LEGO MASTERS: L-R: Judges Amy Corbett and Jamie Berard with Host Will Arnett on Season Three of LEGO MASTERS, premiering Wednesday, Sept. 21 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2021 Fox Media LLC Cr: Tom Griscom/FOX

 

Interview with Michael Chiklis, Marlee Matlin and Billy Porter

TV Interview!

"Accused" on FOX key art

Interview with Michael Chiklis, Marlee Matlin and Billy Porter and others of “Accused” on FOX by Suzanne 12/14/22

This is a new anthology drama on FOX, and I think it’s pretty good. We saw a few episodes. The first one stars Michael Chiklis as a father who’s worried about his violent son; Jill Hennessy plays his mother. Another one has a deaf woman who’s surrogate for a couple with issues; Marlee Martlin directed that one. One has Billy Porter as a drag performer who gets involved with a married man.  Another has Malcolm Jamal Warner as a father whose young daughter is molested. They’re powerful stories about people accused of a crime, and we see them waiting before their trial. It’s an interesting concept.

FOX ENTERTAINMENT WINTER PRESS DAY “ACCUSED”

 Howard Gordon (Executive Producer/Showrunner)

 Michael Chiklis (Actor “Scott’s Story” and Director “Jack’s Story”)

 Marlee Matlin (Director, “Ava’s Story,” with Interpreter Jack Jason)

 Tazbah Chavez (Director and Co-Writer, “Nataani’s Story”)

 Billy Porter (Director, “Robyn’s Story”)

 Michael Thorn (President, Scripted Programming, FOX Entertainment)

Virtual via Zoom December 14, 2022

© 2022 FOX Media LLC.  All rights reserved.

JEAN GUERIN:  Good morning.  Happy Holidays and welcome to FOX Entertainment’s 2022 Winter Press Day.  Now, before we begin today’s panels, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on the past as we look to the future.

At FOX Entertainment, we’ve spent the last three years building a strong portfolio of businesses and content engines, including Bento Box, TMZ, MarVista, Studio Ramsey Global, Blockchain Creative Labs, FOX Alternative Entertainment, FOX Entertainment Studios, and most recently our international sales and distribution unit FOX Entertainment Global.

And now with that foundation in place, we’re maximizing those assets, creating world‑class content to fill each studio’s production pipeline development slate, and growing library of content.

Recently, we’ve welcomed some of the industry’s great storytellers into the fold, signing broadcast direct deals with talents such as: McG, Marc Cherry, Carol Mendelsohn, and just this morning we added to the impressive roster Academy Award‑winner Rodney Rothman, whose film “Spider‑Man: Into the Spider‑Verse” won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

And this on top of an incredible bench of creators and storytellers already set to debut their work on FOX, including Howard Gordon, Alex Gansa and David Shore, Jamie Foxx and John Eisendrath, Dan Harmon and Jon Hamm, just to name a few.

As you know, we are also busy preparing for and promoting our midseason lineup, featuring our first FOX-owned comedy Animal Control starring Joel McHale.  Season 2 of Gordon Ramsay’s hit competition series Next Level Chef debuting in the post‑Super Bowl time slot.  And Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, which is getting a lot buzz as audiences get a sense of the courage of our cast and their stories of survival, guts and glory.

And, of course, there’s our two thrilling dramas coming in January:  Accused and Alert, which we’re excited to focus on for today’s panels moderated by our own SVP of Corporate Communications, Les Eisner.

HOWARD GORDON:  Hi everyone.  Thank you for being here.  I’m Howard Gordon.  I’m the Executive Producer and the Showrunner of the new FOX drama Accused.

It’s a collection of 15 intense stories of crime and punishment.  Every week viewers will meet a new character in a new setting, someone who is just like any of us until that person’s life is suddenly upended by a choice they make that changes their life forever.  And rather than being passive bystanders, our viewers will be actively engaged as invisible jurors challenged to lean in and find out moment‑to‑moment what really happened.

Every episode is an unpredictable entertaining ride, but also one that challenges viewers to think a little differently and ask themselves a question more profound than innocence or guilt.  What would I have done?

Every episode of Accused explores the moral complexity of what it means to live in the world today.  But to tell these stories as authentically as possible, we actively looked for creative partners who could bring their own unique experiences to the process, both in front of and behind the camera.  And we were lucky enough to attract some real heavyweights and trailblazers.

Among our outstanding roster of directors are: Oscar winner, Marlee Matlin; Emmy and Tony Winner, Billy Porter; Emmy Winner, Michael Chiklis; and acclaimed writer and director, Tazbah Chavez.

We’re all so excited to be here today, but before we get started let’s take a look at Accused.

JEAN GUERIN:  Hello, everyone, and happy holidays.  I hope you all are well.  Let’s jump right in and get started.  I think it’s safe to assume you know the routine, but for good measure, please click the hand on the bottom of the screen to ask a question. Transcripts of our two panels today will be emailed to you by end of business today. And, lastly, recording of our sessions are not allowed.

Let’s start off with our first session, Accused.  Joining us today are directors Marlee Matlin, Tazbah Chavez, Billy Porter and Michael Chiklis, who also stars in our premiere episode on Sunday, January 22nd.  Executive Producer/Showrunner Howard Gordon, and Michael Thorn, President, Scripted Programming of FOX Entertainment.

QUESTION:  Hi, everyone.  Thanks for doing this.  Michael Chiklis, my first question ‑‑ my question is for you.  As the director of the first episode of this, normally with a series one might ask about establishing the whole format of the show, the tone of the show. In this case, though, it’s an anthology, so you don’t have linking things that go between the episodes.

MICHAEL CHIKLIS:  I’m going to have to stop you right there.  I starred in the first episode. I did not direct it.  So that would be another ‑‑

HOWARD GORDON:  Mike, I can probably answer that a little bit, and it’s a great question. And it really was, at the beginning of the series, acknowledging that it’s an anthology that has a format uniformity.  We wanted, at the same time, to give all the filmmakers and all the storytellers and the diversities of, like, locations and tones its own kind of vocabulary.  So it really was a line and finding that line between what’s kind of an esthetic rule book and set of parameters and at the same time just kind of giving the filmmakers and the storytellers the latitude to tell the story in the best way possible.

And that was Michael Cuesta, by the way, who was an old friend who directed, among other things, the pilot for Homeland.  So I hope that answers the question.

QUESTION:  Am I able to follow with a quick question for Michael Chiklis, then?

LES EISNER:  Sure.

QUESTION:  Michael, as the director of your ‑‑ as the director of your episode, what was your thought process in terms of doing your own thing stylistically but also having to hold to what the entire series was meant to be?

MICHAEL CHIKLIS:  Well, I thought one of the things that was really refreshing as a director is I didn’t feel constrained.  You know, when I’ve directed episodes of, say, THE SHIELD, that was a very specific template and you had to really adhere to it.  It really ‑‑ because this is an anthology series, they’re sort of standalone featurette’s and the ‑‑ there was a huge difference in terms of tone and tenor between the pilot episode that I starred in as an actor and the episode that I directed, very, very different, tonally completely different.

So I didn’t feel constrained at all, which was wonderful and I was able to collaborate with Howard and all departments and the cast and crew to achieve a totally different feel for the show.  And that’s ‑‑ I think that’s wonderful because it says to the audience there’s going to be ‑‑ there’s this template that’s set in terms of the storytelling rules, but in terms of what you are going to see, just from what I’ve already seen, the episodes that I’ve watched that I wasn’t involved with and even some of, like — for instance, you were just talking about Billy Porter’s episode, and some of the shots that he does in that episode are phenomenal, and it’s just a completely different tone and tenor.  So I think each episode is like a standalone featurette.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

QUESTION:  Thank you very much.  Howard, sorry about the nuts-and-bolts question, but I’m just curious.  Did you have in mind people to direct and then hand them a script that you wanted them to direct, or did you ‑‑ did you say, “Hey, I want you to direct.  Here are my scripts. Pick one”?

And, secondly, does the anthology format make it easier ‑‑ I know you want everybody to watch every episode, but do you think the anthology format makes it easier for people to pop in and out?

HOWARD GORDON:  Well, I’ll start with that one because that’s a really ‑‑ that’s a really easy one, and the short answer is yeah.  I mean, it is ‑‑ I think it is ‑‑ an anthology episode, to me, is a perfect antidote to ‑‑ you know, I’ll quote John Landgraf ‑‑ well, although, I can’t remember what his exact quote was, but to the complete overwhelming, you know, nature of this sort of ‑‑ even the idea of – “bingeing” to me is a disgusting word, the way we consume series, and I think that this is ‑‑ we have ‑‑ there’s no meat ‑‑ there’s no fat on the bone of these stores.  It is really lean, I think, compelling storytelling that you watch kind of in any order.  And so I think as a viewing experience I think it’s going to be a promising one.

In terms of like, you know, the episodes that we assigned or developed, I mean, look, we had written ‑‑ Daniel Pearl, brilliant writer, wrote ”Robyn’s Story” — and, again, we just said who’s the fantasy director?  Billy Porter.

We said to him ‑‑ didn’t think he would say yes. He said yes.  We wrote “Ava’s Story,” Marlee ‑‑ you know, Maile Malloy.  And, of course, there’s a lot of M’s, Maile Malloy and Marlee Matlin.  Marlee has never directed, and we sent it to her. And, well, we didn’t know she had been exploring that, and lo and behold, she said yes too.  So these are like ‑‑ and so these are stories that we just sort of picked this fantasy team and we just got a lot of great RSVPs.

In the case of Tazbah, for instance, you know, I think Taz and I had met through like a Writer’s Guild speed-dating introduction thing, and at the end of it I said, “Taz, it sounds like I’ve got to send my resume to you.”

Because she was just like ‑‑ you know, it was on the ‑‑ you know, during Reservation Dogs, which if you haven’t seen, was wonderful.  And anyway, we began to talk about — when I got the series ‑‑ when Michael agreed to the series, she was among the first calls.  So she was more ground up and wrote the series ‑‑ the episode that she wound up directing, but a lot of these were very specific, you know, wishes and we got a lot of our wishes.

QUESTION:  Hi.  Quick question for Billy.  I just wanted to follow up on what Howard was saying. When you came into it, was the script locked, or did you have some input on the script? And if so, what were those contributions?  And then I have a follow-up.

BILLY PORTER:  You know, first of it all, it was such a gift for Howard to call me and sort of came out of the blue.  I directed my first feature a couple of summers ago that debuted on Amazon this year, and I’ve been directing in the theater for about 20 years, and I have wanted this expansion to happen.  So I sort of came in and the script ‑‑ and I read the script, and what I loved about the script so much is that it fit right in line with my intention as an artist and where we are as a culture.

It’s time for the people whose stories are being told to tell their own stories.  And so when I read this, it was like this a queer ‑‑ a queer sort of story, and they’re actually calling a queer person ‑‑ it’s about a black drag performer, and they’re actually calling a black queer person to direct it.  Yay.

So it was an immediate yes to me ‑‑ yes for me because what I love in this space for my life is I get to shape these narratives and control these narratives in the most authentic way possible, and that is a gift.

QUESTION:   And my quick follow-up was, as you mentioned, you’ve directed a movie, you’ve done episodes of Pose, you’ve done theatre.  Is there a particular challenge that comes with directing an episode in an anthology that is different than those other directing duties that you’ve done?

BILLY PORTER:  Well, know because, just like Michael Chiklis said, you know, my experience in directing for film and television in particular, which is – this is only my second one — is that, you know, when you’re directing a movie, it’s your own vision.  So to sort of fall in line with this anthology series, it was also ‑‑ I was also allowed to employ my own vision.  And that was nice and that was ‑‑ that was good for me.

With Pose, I was supposed to direct — and just so we’re clear, I ultimately did not get a chance to direct because COVID happened.

QUESTION:  Thank you very much for doing this.  This question is for Billy and Marlee.  I’m wondering ‑‑ you know, you’re both ‑‑ you both have an extensive resume of acting credits. You’re doing directing now.  I’m wondering, of the two, which do you find more challenging or perhaps more difficult to do?  Is it acting or it is directing?

BILLY PORTER:  Marlee?

MARLEE MATLIN:  Thank you.  Thank you, Billy.  I adore you, by the way, Billy.  I adore you.

BILLY PORTER:  Right back at you.

MARLEE MATLIN:  Anyway, muah.  As an actor, you know, clearly, for 35 years I’ve always thought, you know, when I’m developing a character, I focus on that and I do my thing.

I show up on set.  I go to makeup. I go to hair. I go into my trailer. I wait for my call.  They call me to set and that kind of thing.  It’s the long hours you spend waiting, mostly.  Now, as a director, my time passes so quickly.  I mean 12 hours has already happened?  I’m so focused on every aspect of production, you know, that takes on a set.  I have to be involved with a crew.  I have to work with the creative team.  I have to work with the cinematographers.  It’s a completely different experience, and it accesses a different and creative side of my personality at the same time.

The pleasure of mine was to be able to learn about how each and every person on the set works and how my fellow actors work.  I get a chance to watch them work as actors, as actors to actors, and I became enthralled.  It was a treat for me to be able to direct.

BILLY PORTER:  I personally, as an actor, I realized early on ‑‑ well, I knew early that I would want to direct, and I thought oh, you know, I will direct when the acting sort of becomes boring. Maybe in the twilight of my career, you know, I will begin to act ‑‑ I mean, began to direct. You know, like a Clint Eastwood kind of thing.  I thought, oh, I’ll do it then.

It never occurred to me ‑‑ you know, as a minority African American performer, when I came out in the business, there wasn’t a whole lot for me to do. So I got bored really quick.  And all a sudden, I found myself in this space of directing that sort of activated my mind, my creative mind that never stops.  So similar to Marlee, as an actor, you know, I find ‑‑ I found myself sitting around and my brain being inactive.

What I love about directing and which is also the most challenging part, is all cylinders are firing at the same time.  I have never in my life done anything harder than directing film and television.  It is so hard.  I am so exhausted at the end of every day, because just like Marlee it’s like it never stops.  And, like, you know, for me it’s like as an actor you get to focus on the one moment.

MARLEE MATLIN:  You’re on the move.  You’re constantly on the move.  You’re never stopping.

BILLY PORTER:   Right.  And it’s only you.  But when you’re directing, it’s like ‑‑ you know, I’ve had to learn ‑‑ you know, I’ll be sitting there directing a scene and somebody is asking me a question about three weeks later.  And I’m like, I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know the answer that to that. Ask me in a ‑‑ ask me on a break in three hours, you know.  I love it.  I love every single solitary second of it.

It really does bring me joy creatively in a way that instinctively I knew it would, and in the process ‑‑ and in the process of being able to do it, it really does.

MARLEE MATLIN:  You know, for me, people would warn me:  You’re going to be a director. You’re going to be asked questions all day.  All day.

I said, okay. So I’ll have to deal with that.  How am I going to prepare for that?  Okay.  You know what, this is what I’m going to do:  Yes, no, maybe, and I don’t know.  Those are the four answers I’m going to give everybody.

And that’s how I worked every day.

BILLY PORTER:  Yes.  You actually have to make a choice.  You have to actually make a choice, because when you make a choice, then you can pivot from a choice.  If people know what they’re doing, then the pivot from the choice is so much easier if it changes.

HOWARD GORDON:  I was going to say the energy you’re hearing from Marlee and from Billy and also Taz, I hope I’m not speaking out of turn, but I’m sharing the story that you mentioned, maybe you should tell it, about the opportunity for me to have this show and for it to sort of be the Trojan horse for these voices and these stories has been one of the most incredible, you know, pleasures of my ‑‑ you know, of my career.

Just to sort of ‑‑ for one thing is to just sort of shut up and listen but and also to bring to bear my knowledge of this ‑‑ of the mechanics and the dramatics of this particular series but also to just get out of the way and let other voices, you know, speak and have a chance.

And Taz mentioned to me ‑‑ there was an anecdote you mention when we were working, you said, “You know, I’ve always been the only woman in the room, or the only Indigenous woman in the room.”

But on Res Dogs, and I think on ours as well, you said that energy and freedom that comes when the people in front of the camera and behind the camera are all the same, I was so struck by that.  You were just like ‑‑ I think you said you can breathe in a way that’s very different.

TAZBAH CHAVEZ:  Yeah, absolutely.  I think that when you have ‑‑ and I think I see it come across mostly in performance when you have Indigenous actors who are being directed by a Native person. And in the case of Accused, it was incredible because we were able to cast ‑‑ three of our four leads were actually Navajo actors playing Navajo characters. And for so long, we’ve been told, you know, there aren’t Native actors. And then if you want to get Tribal-specific actors, that’s even harder. And we pulled it off.  And I thank you for — and all the team for going to the lengths to find folks.  But what that ultimately did was that created a certain comfort and energy on the set and a trust that’s, I think, hard to replicate.

It’s like we know where each other came from. We know the story we’re trying to tell.  And also, what I think I had shared with you previously, what I experienced on Reservation Dogs and also in the Accused with that is it’s also a different culture in the way a set can be run.  And I think that’s really incredible to be able to create for the Accused set, which is there’s ‑‑ that you bring your way of working and your way of community with you, and I think it creates a really fun experience that I think reads across in performance in the final product.

MARLEE MATLIN:  You know, she’s absolutely right.  The same with me in the deaf community.  The fact that we were able to cast the actors — I applauded Howard and the entire production team’s encouragement of that, knowing we were telling authentic stories and representing our community appropriately, showing our culture, showing our community.  In my particular episode, it’s just exactly as she just said.  It’s the exact same feeling for me.

MICHAEL CHIKLIS:  Can I just weigh in on the actor/director aspect of the question if I might?

LES EISNER:  Go ahead.

MICHAEL CHIKLIS:  There’s just countless examples of actors who have become directors over the course of their careers, and I honestly think it’s a natural progression.

For anybody like myself or Marlee or Billy who’ve spent many years in front of the camera, there’s ‑‑ some actors are sort of trailer actors.  They go and they sit in their trailer and they wait, or, you know, they’re sort of off set.  But I’ve never been that kind of an actor, and most actors are very curious people naturally.  So I’ve spent a tremendous amount of time on set and asking questions and making directors and photographers’ eyes roll because I was simply bothering them with questions — Why are you doing that?  What’s that do? — you know, from when I was ‑‑ when I first started as an actor.  So constantly asking questions, constantly, you know, talking to different people in different departments.

And I think one of wonderful things about being an actor and becoming a director is you become the filter where all departments filter through you and you really have a love and a respect for all departments and what they do. So ‑‑ oh, you lost me on camera but ‑‑ oh, there I am again.  But I just think that it’s a natural progression for an actor, and that’s why there’s so many examples of actors who do it well and successfully because we’re storytellers at our core.  We’re natural storytellers, and if you give me motion pictures, music, and sound and say, “Go tell a story with all of those tools” — so there you go.

QUESTION:  Tazbah, because you’re the one who’s got the ‑‑ kind of takes the story from the start, tell us about that.  What made you think of this particular story?  Is there any particular protest when you first had it in your mind?  And you ended up directing an action adventure that people didn’t have there.  So tell us how the whole thing evolved in your mind.

TAZBAH CHAVEZ:  Yeah, absolutely.  Howard and the co‑writer of the episode that I directed, I met with them and they had an idea.  You know, they had a story area written out of the story they wanted to tell, and there was environmental justice issue at the core of it, and I was so excited they wanted to tell this kind of story on the show.  And I had pitched to them an alternative environmental issue, and I chose uranium.  And the reason I chose uranium is because I saw ‑‑ my mother’s side were Navajo and my father’s side was Apache.

 

And there was a uranium spill in 1979 on the Navajo Nation that was the U.S.’s largest radioactive spill that went largely overlooked all of these years.  And when I started talking about uranium, we also started to talk about how there are still 500 ‑‑ over 500 abandoned mines on the Navajo Nation that are very far from being cleaned up.  There is still uranium mining happening that’s potentially going to happen near the Grand Canyon.  There’s an operating mill near White Mesa in Utah.  And so we looked at the Southwest.  I thought that this was a really cool opportunity to shed a light on an environmental issue that I think has gone largely overlooked.

And I think the episode serves as a cautionary tale not to repeat the past, and we made a conscious choice to put something in 2022 to make it very present, to create a sense of care and humanity at the core of these issues.  And, you know, there are environmental justice issues in Indigenous communities all over the country, and this was the one that felt closest to home for me and one of the ones that I thought was most emblematic of sort of the unfortunate environmental racism that Indigenous communities face in the Country.  And also to say this is all of our issue because we all share this land and the water resources together.  But that’s sort of the genesis of sort of where it came from.  It was something that they had, and then I threw in the uranium topic at the core of it.

QUESTION:  This is question is for Michael.  First of all, hi, Michael.  What is it that every time you attack a character you bring a little bit of yourself into that character?  You share a part of yourself in that, whether that be a good part or a part you’d like to bury.  As a director what parts of yourself do you bring to that role?  To that aspect?

MICHAEL CHIKLIS:  That’s a great question.  My camera keeps going out on you guys.  I’m so sorry.

LES EISNER:  Your audio’s fine Michael. So you’re good

MICHAEL CHIKLIS:  Okay.  Very good.  As a director, when you’re looking at ‑‑ there’s a remarkable freedom actually with regard to directing that isn’t there when you’re acting.  As an actor, you’re sort of constrained to the particular role that you’re working on, that you’re cast in.

I think one of the wonderful things about directing is your creative mind really, really is firing, as my fellow directors mentioned earlier, on all cylinders.  Because, again, there’s someone coming to you with the nail polish color of a particular actress or, you know, whatever it is.

So also, you’re creating the narrative.  You’re able to put your sort of vision of a particular story that’s being told.  You’re controlling the way it’s told.  And I think it has to do with opening your imagination.  You’re constantly asking yourself the question “How would I respond to this?  What would I do if this were me?”  And I think when you bring that sort of openheartedness to storytelling – see, it’s not enough for me ‑‑ and I’ve always said this as an actor and now especially as a director. It’s not enough for me for you to watch something that I’ve made in some sort of passive none‑involved way.

Ideally, I want to entertain you, but I want you to think and particularly to feel.  I want you to be moved, and in two dimensions, that’s not always the easiest thing, but it’s the goal.  And it’s very, very important to me as a director and as an actor to move you.  So I want to find whatever is authentic and human about the story and the characters that I’m telling and bring that to the fore so that you as an audience member can be moved.   Does that answer your question?

MICHAEL THORN:  I think it’s one of the powerful things about this series is that, on one hand, it’s an entertaining, provocative, thrilling courtroom drama at its most simplistic.  But on the other hand, it has this emotional contrast in every episode with the audience where we’re going to move and surprise, you know, the audience.

And our goal, really, is to pierce culture and the best way to do it, we believe, is to reflect culture.  And you look at this panel, this incredible panel under Howard’s, you know, writing and showrunning.  But you look at this panel and can’t really talk about the stories we’re talking about when it’s not borne out of authentic voices and authentic storytellers.

And it’s so exciting to start with this group right here and bring that show out to America to really talk about these both entertaining and weekly provocative stories. So — but I hope every one of these episodes moves people in a different way and connects people to these kind of universal stories.

LES EISNER:  We have time just for two more questions.

HOWARD GORDON:   I was just going to say thank you, Michael.  Michael was very good.  So crucial in literally saying go for it.  Don’t pull ‑‑ I mean, and we did.  And it was like he gave us like the green light but, you know, insisted that every one of these has to be something that you’re dying to tell.  Every story has to be.  And I feel like that metric and really the north star stood for the whole duration of the whole show. So thank you.

LES EISNER:  So we’re going to close out with two questions.  We’re running out of time.

QUESTION:  Yeah, Michael.  You’re constantly met with challenges, whether it’s acting or directing.  Are you ever scared when you start a new challenge? And if you are, what do you do?

MICHAEL CHIKLIS:  I think everyone on this panel would agree.  Every single time — I don’t care what I’m doing — I’m always terrified before I do it, and it’s because I care.  I think experience helps a lot because you’ve been there before.  You know, my father used to say to me, “Kid, be afraid, but do it any way.”  Because you have to fight through your fear and realize that the payoff is so much greater than ‑‑ you know, the fear is just a natural ‑‑ it’s anticipation.  It’s anticipation of the unknown, what might happen, all that could go wrong.  You still have to marshal that, put it aside, walk through the fire, and go, “You know what? This is important.  This is something that I want to do.  It’s all going to be okay.”  And you take some deep breaths, and you move forward.  That’s what you do.

QUESTION:  This is for the actors/directors.  How do you treat actors, then?  Are you very reticent, then, to give them, you know, line reading directions?  How do you deal with that?  Because I’m sure you hated it if any director tried to give it to you.

BILLY PORTER:  Well, I know what I like and I know how I want people to talk to me and I know how I want people to communicate with me and I know how I want directors to respect me.  So I do that.  I live by that example, and I treat my actors with the utmost respect.

MICHAEL CHIKLIS:  Golden Rule.

BILLY PORTER:  Because they are smart people that make it work.

MARLEE MATLIN:  Exactly.  Exactly.  Yeah, I find, myself, that I am transparent.  I am extremely transparent.  I have to be transparent with my actors.  I always start the day when I shoot by saying, you know, let’s first focus on safety.  Let’s talk with our A.D.s.  Let’s talk with our set and crew.  And I take 30 seconds to say hello to each and every actor, and I give them a pep talk of sorts. And “Let’s kick ass” is basically what I say.  And then, as we began shooting, then I just make it my point, especially with my deaf actors, to communicate clearly and make us both, as actor and director, to communicate without any barriers. And that’s the fact.

It’s never happened for these actors before.  Many of them said we’ve never had a director talk to us this way because we’ve never worked with a director that’s deaf.  So if I feel like my hearing actors aren’t hearing me, then I work with my interpreters and I make sure that the communication is just as clear with the deaf actors.  I pay attention.  I let them be who they are and treat them, as Billy just said, with respect as how I would want to be treated.

MICHAEL CHIKLIS:  Also, you invite them into the collaboration.  A lot of times, my direction comes in the form of a question.  You know, I’ll say to an actor “What do you think is” – “do you think there’s any room for her to be angry here?”  You know, “do you think there’s” ‑‑ and just by virtue of coming to them and asking, you’re inviting them in to collaborate with you.

And actors really appreciate that.  They want for their voices to be heard.  They want to be respected, as Billy said.  And that’s the way ‑‑ you know, if you treat someone the way you ‑‑ it’s the Golden Rule.  Treat them the way you want to be treated, with respect and dignity.

LES EISNER:  Okay.  That’s all the time we have for Accused today.  There’s a number of questions still in the queue, and we apologize we couldn’t get to you, but we’re on a really tight schedule this afternoon.

As I mentioned earlier, Accused will premiere on Sunday, January 22nd and then make its time period premiere on Tuesday, January 24th, following the season 4 debut of 911: Lone Star.

Alison Daulerio and Aly Sands are running point on the Accused publicity campaign. So please reach out to them if you have any follow-ups or need more information.

Michael Chiklis in "Accused" on FOX

MORE INFO:

Accused is a collection of 15 intense, topical and exquisitely human stories of crime and punishment. Each episode is a fast-paced provocative thriller, exploring a different crime, in a different city, with an entirely original cast. Based on the BBC’s BAFTA-winning crime anthology, each episode opens in a courtroom on the defendant, with viewers knowing nothing about their crime or how they ended up on trial. Told from the defendant’s point of view through flashbacks, the show holds a mirror up to current times with evocative and emotional stories. In the end, audiences will discover how an ordinary person gets caught up in extraordinary circumstances, and how one impulsive decision can impact the course of that life – and the lives of others — forever. The show features cinematic auspices and production values anchored by Oscar, Tony and Emmy-winning talent, including Michael Chiklis, Abigail Breslin, Whitney Cummings, Margo Martindale, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Wendell Pierce, Rachel Bilson, Jack Davenport, Molly Parker, Rhea Perlman, Betsy Brandt, Keith Carradine, Aisha Dee, Jason Ritter and directors Billy Porter, Marlee Matlin, Tazbah Chavez and Michael Chiklis.

Accused is co-produced by Sony Pictures Television and FOX Entertainment, and executive-produced and developed for American television by Howard Gordon, and executive-produced by Alex Gansa, David Shore, Glenn Geller, Erin Gunn, All3Media America’s Jacob Cohen-Holmes, and Jimmy McGovern, Sita Williams, Roxy Spencer and Louise Pedersen for All3Media International. Frank Siracusa and John Weber also serve as executive producers. Created by Jimmy McGovern, the original series debuted in 2010 on BBC One.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Aaron Ashmore and Megan Boone in "Accused" on FOX

Interview with Scott Caan and Dania Ramirez

TV Interview!

Scott Caan and Dania Ramirez, stars of "Alert" on FOX.

Interview with Scott Caan and Dania Ramirez of “Alert” on FOX by Suzanne 12/14/22

This was a fun panel with the two stars of this new procedural show, the show’s EP, and FOX’s President of Scripted Programming. The show might remind you a little bit of “Without a Trace,” the show that ran from 2002 to 2009. It was about another missing person’s unit. However, in this one, the two lead characters are divorced, mainly because their own son was taken. Then there are many twists and turns involving the son, as well as new cases that they solve. Check it out! It premieres tonight, January 8, after football on FOX.

NOTE: They’re now calling this show “Alert: Missing Persons Unit.”

FOX ENTERTAINMENT WINTER PRESS DAY

ALERT

John Eisendrath (Executive Producer)

Scott Caan

Dania Ramirez

Michael Thorn (President, Scripted Programming, FOX Entertainment)

Virtual via Zoom December 14, 2022

© 2022 FOX Media LLC. All rights reserved.

JAMIE FOXX: Hi, everybody. It’s Jamie Foxx here to introduce to you our brand new action drama on FOX called Alert. Set within the Philly Police Department of Missing Persons Unit, each episode explores the dark side of the City of Brotherly Love. It’s an intense race against the clock where every second counts, as it’s impossible not to fear the worst when a loved one has gone, either kidnapped or gone missing.

Bringing the action of Alert into dramatic focus is our incredible cast, Scott Caan and Dania Ramirez. Scott Caan returns to police procedurals as Jason Grant, who has to team up with his ex wife, Nikki Batista, played by Dania. Together, they will help others by saving lives and bringing criminals to justice while also facing their own quest to find out the truth about their long lost son.

You know what’s hurting me the worst? The fact that I cannot be there with you guys because of production schedules, but you’re in great hands because the cast is there and my right hand man, my executive producing partner John Eisendrath is going to take you through the whole thing. And last but not least, head of scripted television at FOX, my man, Michael Thorn.

So ladies and gentlemen, enjoy. But before we get started, here is Alert.

(Clip played.)

LES EISNER: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the Alert panel. Joining us today are actors, Scott Caan and Dania Ramirez; creator, executive producer and showrunner John Eisendrath; and Michael Thorn of FOX Entertainment.

Let’s get right into it. Lots of questions coming in. So thank you.

QUESTION: Good morning. This is for Scott. After ten years on Hawaii 5 0, what was it about this series and this character that made you willing to recommit to the possibility of maybe another long, grueling schedule?

SCOTT CAAN: That’s a good question. I mean, there’s a lot of different reasons. I mean, I think this script was really special. I think that, you know, there’s a lot of a lot of procedurals kind of have a formula that I didn’t notice in this. This show has a real serialized piece of the show. It’s not just a procedural. But honestly, I don’t when I read things, I don’t think about what kind of a show it is. I just, you know, find if I can find something in myself that I can put into this character, then that’s what that’s what makes me decide I want to do something.

And also, you know, I I’m grateful to be given a job too. So I don’t I don’t do a lot of questioning when it comes to what kind of a show it is. I just like I said, I’m grateful to be hired, and, you know, I like to work. And I think that there’s a lot of there’s a lot of acting problems in this show that I enjoy, and there is a lot of things that make this show something that is different than anything out there. You know, the idea of finding your son after not knowing where he’s been for seven years, I don’t think that that’s an experience that anybody on the planet’s actually had. So to me, like I said, it’s an acting problem that I’ve never been faced with, it’s an acting problem that I’ve never read before. So to me, it’s something that I immediately felt uncomfortable and didn’t know exactly how I was going to approach it, and those are the kind of things that turn me on when it comes to digging into a part. If I get a little nervous and don’t quite know what I’m going to do yet, then that’s a good sign that I should probably move forward and do it. So I don’t know if that answered the question, but I could talk about that specifically for a very long time. But that’s my short answer.

DANIA RAMIREZ: I love watching him be uncomfortable, personally.

(Laughter.)

DANIA RAMIREZ: So it’s been really fun to act with him. One of those problems, I guess.

SCOTT CAAN: Yeah. Again, I don’t no, I was going to say, I don’t know if that answered the question enough, but that’s my short answer.

DANIA RAMIREZ: You were brilliant.

SCOTT CAAN: Thank you.

QUESTION: Hey, guys. Thanks for being here. John, first of all, welcome back to FOX.

Tell me about where these cases are coming from, because I’m guessing this is a world that you can really tap into. There’s so much going on, so many missing people. But can you talk about where you’re pulling your cases from for all the stories?

JOHN EISENDRATH: Well, there are a lot of cases that we can draw from if we chose to do just ripped from the headlines. We have yes, if you’ve seen episode 2, you know that there’s a story that has at its heart, is a story about fentanyl and the overuse of it and the scourge of fentanyl in America today, which I think is very topical. So some of the episodes are definitely ripped from the headlines, and some of them have that kind of connection to, I hope, what a lot of people are thinking about, talking about, and in some ways as a parent worried about for their kids. So some of it is that, and some of it is just based on what we think would make for just the most urgent, heart pounding case that we can think of and the ones that have the highest stakes. And, again, in that, one of the great things about a missing persons show is the range is, I think. larger than any other range of storytelling available in procedural TV. Some cases, people are taken and are desperate to be found; some cases, people are running away and are desperate not to be found. And that’s part of the mystery that our characters have to unpack each week. So some of it’s ripped from the headlines, and some of it is just what is just the coolest, most urgent, most desperate case we can think of.

MICHAEL THORN: One of the other things that John has done so successfully, we think, is in addition to that urgency, every single episode and the the cases are they’re deeply emotional because it involves a missing person. And I think, as Scott was saying in the beginning, one of the reasons it feels different than other procedurals is that emotional resonance, both in the cases and, of course, specifically in the family story between Scott and Dania’s family story. So it’s really compelling to have storytelling that hits both all of those buttons in an exciting way.

JOHN EISENDRATH: And I would just add that off of what Michael said, that it is true that a lot of the cases have are picked, in part, because of the way that they impact Scott and Dania’s characters as it relates to their own personal story. Again, episode 2, since you’ve watched it, as an example of a parent who’s facing the question of what would, in this case, she do if she came into a room with the person who’d killed her child. And that is a question that Scott’s character and Dania’s as well are both wrestling with. What would they do if they were ever put in a room with the person who took their child? And not only is that obviously an incredibly emotional story and question for the two of them who don’t agree on what they would do, but hopefully for the people who are watching the show too, they will ask themselves what would they do if they were ever in that situation.

QUESTION: Hi, everyone. Thanks so much for doing this. I will I have two questions, but I’ll start with Dania and Scott. Nikki and Jason, at least in the first episode, they talk a lot about kind of wanting to turn the page and move forward, but they’re really struggling with that gaping hole that their missing son has left in their lives. So how would you describe the state of the relationship at the start of the show after they’ve gone through kind of the six years of looking for Keith, and how does that dynamic kind of continue to evolve over the course of the season?

SCOTT CAAN: Do you want to go?

MICHAEL THORN: Good question.

DANIA RAMIREZ: I think that’s a great question, actually, because the dynamic absolutely changes and I think it evolves through the season. And where we were at at the beginning of you know, when you first meet us, I think we’re both having our son be missing for that having our son be missing for that long has connected us in ways that you can’t connect with anyone else. And I think the way that we we have a very authentic way of wanting to deal with the cases because of it; we have a very authentic way of how we relate to each other because of it. We also have a daughter that we coparent, and so we have to I think we found a very comfortable place in which we relate to one another throughout the entire season, and we grow and evolve our relationship because we also become partners, as you know from watching episodes 1 and 2.

So I think there’s also a lot of room for wit and humor when you really know someone for that long. And, you know, me knowing also Scott prior to doing the project and getting to know him even more doing it, as Nikki and Jason continues, we get to — to deal with the issues of being parents together, coparenting together, and then having to deal with the loss of their child, I think opens up a lot of connection moments for connection between both of us but also allows us to really feel like we’re there for one another. I love that part of the show as well, because we are really both we meet each other with love and understanding. And that’s something that I don’t think that you’ve ever I’ve ever seen portrayed in television as beautifully as we do on this show, where you have two people who have to deal with having to move forward and go through a divorce but still feel that there’s a lot of love there at home and at work.

SCOTT CAAN: Yeah. You know, also one of my favorite things about starting something new, I mean, when it works out, there’s nothing better than getting to know somebody and have that show up on screen. There’s stuff that we don’t plan, and there’s stuff that have nothing to do with the story that exists between us. And as we get you know, get to know each other more, that stuff, you it can’t help but show up on screen. And to me, that’s that’s the most fun, and we hit it off immediately, and our relationship — you know, the first two scenes we did, I was like, All right, we got this.

You know, and we have we have this bond and whatever it is, and I think that that’s when it comes to a show like this, I think that’s one of the most important things that two people you’re kind of watching what we do in the show, and you’re also kind of watching our relationship, you know, off camera. Because, like I said, you can’t you can’t hide from that stuff, you know? It’s I mean, it’s great.

DANIA RAMIREZ: We have a great relationship on and off camera, but I think we also have found different ways of dealing you know, nobody’s perfect, and I think the fact that these the two characters are flawed, but also us as people are flawed. There’s nothing better than to, like, have find a common ground where you look at the person that you’re with all the time and you’re like, “Okay. Well, today your day was to do this, and maybe today I was” “I made you laugh.” And to have that sort of, like, dual relationship on and off set and you know, when the cameras are on and when the cameras are off, really makes for an incredible experience and a journey to take the audience on, you know?

JOHN EISENDRATH: I would just add to that that I think a lot of TV is wish fulfillment. You know, you’re watching the characters, and you want to sort of imagine that you could live that type of life. And I had hoped that we could portray in Dania and Scott’s characters a couple who’d gone through the most agonizing thing that you could go through, losing your child. And while it cost them dearly and they weren’t able to sustain their marriage, they did still have love for each other. And then when we meet them, they’re Scott’s character is with one woman, and Dania’s character is getting engaged to another person, and yet so it’s the most complicated possible situation. But for them, I was hoping that they would be able to navigate that incredibly tumultuous space with love and friendship and humor, and they do an amazing job of making that feel real. And I think that is exactly what I’d hoped for. And I think people will watch them as an ex couple and as coworkers and as coparents and feel like they’re doing an amazing job navigating an incredibly difficult and dramatic set of circumstances.

QUESTION: And for John, if I can just add one last question, can you talk a little bit about the process of casting Dania and Scott to play the leads of those two coparents you were talking about and also kind of the inspiration behind creating the series with Jamie?

JOHN EISENDRATH: Well, let me take the second part first. Then I’ll come back. Jamie, I got a call one day from his producing partner, Datari Turner, and he said that he wanted to pitch me an idea for a show. And usually when someone does that, I brace for a polite way of saying, “Thank you, but it’s a terrible idea.”

And the first thing he said was, “How about something about Amber Alert and the people who go missing?”

And I was like, “Wow, that’s actually a great idea for a show.”

And he explained to me that Jamie had had an experience one afternoon where he thought his child had gone missing. And it was not the case, but he for about six or seven hours, he wasn’t sure what had happened. And once that had occurred had happened to him, he did some investigating about the people who find missing persons, and it fascinated him, and he always thought I don’t know how many years ago it was, but that it would be a good basis for a TV show. And that was basically what Datari told me.

And I did agree. I thought it would be a great idea. And then for me, I do think the cases and the stories are singular in a missing persons procedural. But for me, I did feel the need to have something more at its core, and when I imagined that it could be that Scott and Dania’s characters had themselves lost a child, that that to me was when I realized, Oh, there could be a mystery at the center of this procedural show that could both be bring people along who love the procedural pieces but have that emotional core. So that’s how the inception of the show began.

And then in casting, you know, obviously I was familiar with Scott, I had watched Hawaii 5 0, and I thought that when we when I imagined who Jason is, I had imagined someone who had to have the ability to be dramatic, to carry these incredibly intense stories, but have a little but be funny and be able to because I believe that people who work in this kind of environment have to be able to have dark humor, have to be able to deflect the pain and the intensity of the world they’re in. And when Scott’s name came up, I realized, Well, he meets all those requirements. And then we talked via Zoom, as is the case in the world today, and his discussion with me about what the I won’t take the fact that he just walked off screen, I’ll he just doesn’t want me to embarrass him.

(Laughter.)

That, you know, when I just sort of felt like he understood who the guy was, and he would he was excited about the exploration. And that, to me, is singular. You know, you really want someone who is ready to go on an adventure with you, and because that’s what series TV is.

And then with Dania whose work I was less familiar with, but I immediately looked at so much of what she had done and felt like, okay, Nikki is the heart and soul of the show, she is the one who is centered around empathy and emotional connection to people who are grieving, because in this show, the people who come into that space have lost a loved one, and they need a hug as much as they need a forensic analysis of where, you know, their loved one has gone. And the minute we talked, I realized and watched, but really more when we talked, I realized that Dania was someone who, as a person, was comfortable with that. And I really think you have to be comfortable as and be an empathetic person to portray the level of empathy and concern that she has to that Nikki has to on the show. And so I immediately knew that she, too, was someone who could personify the essential trait of who Nikki is as the heart and soul of the show.

DANIA RAMIREZ: I’m so grateful to you, John. I just have to take a moment and just say thank you for trusting me with the material, because I know, you know, every time you do a new show and it’s your baby and you’re writing it and, you know, you’re creating this world, you want to you know, it’s a gamble that you’re taking on someone sort of being like, okay, you’re going to be able to portray this.

And after our first meeting, our conversation the conversation that we had and we talked about not only, you know, the cases, what the show was really about, but really it was when we had you know, we took put all that to the side and really had an honest conversation about who we were as people and the messages that we wanted to kind of put out there and that we really ended up connecting with the kind of you know, how to humanize these that character, how to humanize Nikki. So this was a job that she was doing, and she was connected because it had happened to her, and it gave me the ability to feel empathy and compassion for these people that were coming in with these cases, but also allowed me to bring a lot of myself into it and to really feel for these people but also find the light in some of the situations. And I’m just really grateful that you gave me the opportunity.

JOHN EISENDRATH: I just knew that I just knew that when you ended your text with “Namaste,” I was like, Okay, well, that’s all right.

DANIA RAMIREZ: Namaste.

MICHAEL THORN: And I’ll add that we got really lucky where you know, you read these scripts, and you imagine that, you know, Jason and Nikki are they have this history, and you hope you just hope for in any show that your lead actors are going to have the kind of chemistry it’s that intangible that Dania and Scott had. So we’re so lucky to have them both, because individually they’re terrific, but when you put them together in their character dynamics, it absolutely you those who have seen the first two episodes, you see they shine together.

DANIA RAMIREZ: You bring you do, you bring the best out of me, for sure.

SCOTT CAAN: Oh, thank you. I think the same about you. But I yeah, just going off of what Michael just said, I think that that’s the key to any of these shows. And it’s like it’s such a coin toss. You cannot you can’t predict how that’s going to happen. But like I said, on day 1, I just I was like, alright. We got something to build on.

DANIA RAMIREZ: You know what’s funny is that we couldn’t be more different but also, like, more the same. Like, we’re both really passionate people and really can find humor in the darkest of situations but could not be more opposite at the same time.

SCOTT CAAN: Don’t touch me.

(Laughter.)

DANIA RAMIREZ: He actually really likes to be touched. That’s the thing about him. He says he doesn’t.

JOHN EISENDRATH: This isn’t analysis, it’s just a

(Laughter.)

QUESTION: Thank you so much for doing this. First question is for Scott.

Scott, you know, you’ve done roles, “Oceans 11,” “Gone in 60 Seconds,” you know, intense roles. What drew you to this role, and is this role as intense as other shows that you’ve done?

And the next question is, you know, knowing that you have a daughter, was it and the show being a missing persons, you know, did you give her that kind of extra hug after shooting the show?

SCOTT CAAN: Yeah. I’ll answer backwards. You know, it’s I with my home life and being away, I like to, as much as I possibly can, bring whatever’s going on in my life to what I’m doing. And so just being away from my daughter for the last four months, obviously, now my second daughter, they get much bigger hugs than they’ve ever gotten. So I don’t know if it’s because of this show or because I’m away, but I think a combination of both has made me really appreciate what I have, and you know, and it also makes me appreciate the fact that I have a job. You know, it’s like a you know, a question people say, like, “Why are you doing another procedural show?”

It’s like, man, I’m genuinely I’m not just like “aw shucksing” it up, but, like, I to say, like, no to somebody who wants to hire me to do something in this day and age is, like, insane to me. Like, I’m so lucky to have a job, so lucky to be able to come to work every day.

And going back to your original question, you know, I think what we do is a lot more difficult than showing up for a movie for three, four months and, you know, just doing one role. I think what turns me on about this I answered it a little bit in the beginning, but, you know, dealing with the idea of having your son go missing and then having him come back and you’re not sure if it’s actually your son, playing with those ideas week to week, month to month, episode to episode, like I said, it’s nothing it’s unprecedented. I don’t think you can find somebody and interview somebody who had that experience. So for me, this is, without question, the most complicated thing I’ve ever done. So to label it as a procedural or label it as this kind of show or that kind of show makes no sense to me. I’m learning more about myself. I’m learning a ton about acting. I’m learning there’s just so much going on, and I think that it is definitely more intense than anything I’ve ever done in a really beautiful good way.

And I don’t mean to sound too goofy or corny, but it’s if you like if you like being creative, if you like digging in as an actor, like, there’s there isn’t much out there that is more complicated problem solving as an actor than this show has been for me, and I think I knew that right away. And it’s challenging. It’s really challenging. And, you know, I think that the second we aren’t challenged anymore at what we do, we should just quit, you know? I think that

DANIA RAMIREZ: Which you’ll never do.

SCOTT CAAN: Well, but, again, you know, it’s like

DANIA RAMIREZ: You can’t. I wouldn’t let you.

SCOTT CAAN: No, I know. But I’m saying my point is that this is this isn’t something that I can just show up and, you know, not give a lot of thought to. And that’s what keeps me excited about it, and that’s I think why people will be excited to watch the show, because we’re literally trying to figure things out all the time, and it’s not it’s not like anything else out there, that I’ve seen anyway.

So to answer your question, yes, this is way more intense, way more complicated, and way more challenging, and that’s sort of why I’m really interested in it, you know? So…

DANIA RAMIREZ: Acting is very therapeutic as well. I think one of the things that I and you don’t know this, but the first meeting that I ever had with John and some of the other producers and I knew that you were doing the job, and I was like, you know, I’m excited just to dig in and even see how you know, how we change as people, because it is very therapeutic to go through these things. And you have you know, you just had a baby. Leaving having your family back in LA has played a big part of, like, you really being able to dive into those emotions and vulnerabilities within the role, and it’s been very great to feel like I am also like, I have my family here, but I don’t get to spend a lot of time with them and my kids. And so we’re able to really allow each other to be vulnerable in those moments and to share that with the masses and to feel like, okay, I’m going to unveil that part of me. And I think that’s what the world likes to connect to. To be able to transcend those emotions and to get people to connect with that is super, you know, inspiring, and, you know, this is a the show has just been a great opportunity to share those emotions with everyone.

QUESTION: Hi. This is for Scott and Dania. You’re basically the show is living out every parent’s worst nightmare in so many respects. So how emotional is it for each of you, and is it difficult to let it go after some of these highly emotional scenes?

SCOTT CAAN: Yeah, I think it is. I mean, you know, it’s one of those things where, you know, you it’s like our job definitely comes home with us, and I don’t realize how affected I am by it. But, yeah, I mean, every day, we’re dealing with really, really horrible stuff.

DANIA RAMIREZ: Yeah, it’s hard to leave it behind. And honestly, I think, you know, it’s human nature to and especially for actors, if you’re really into it, to just really live out those emotions. And that’s not something you can shut off right away. I mean, I think that’s why it’s great to be a part of a job in which it’s not just, you know, Scott on the job here, but it’s also our crew and the people that we’re working with every single day, the writers, the people that are here and our other cast mates, we become our own like a family outside of what we you know, what we film every day, and I think we have that support system to really get through that and be able to say, “Okay, that was that. Let’s put it to the side, and now let’s” you know, our lives will continue, and we have to figure out a way to pick ourselves back up. But, yeah, it’s very difficult.

And it’s interesting because, you know, the last show that we I mean, we were in “Entourage” together, and what a completely different vibe that was, because it’s like that’s fun, and we were completely different people back then. We didn’t have kids back then. We didn’t really know each other. We didn’t have any scenes together. So I could say maybe we played together. We, like, hung out. But we didn’t really you know, now, who we are who we were then and who we are now is a completely different ballgame, and being parents and dealing with a show that has to deal with, like, missing children is something that’s really close to the heart, and it’s hard to leave behind.

SCOTT CAAN: Yeah. So basically after we do five, six years of this show, I’m going to call Michael and say, “Michael, put me on a half hour comedy immediately, please.”

MICHAEL THORN: Done.

LES EISNER: And with that, we’ll wrap our session.

MORE INFO:

Alert key art

Co-created by John Eisendrath (the Executive Producer of The Blacklist) and superstar Jamie Foxx, Alert: Missing Persons Unit is a procedural drama set in the Philadelphia Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit (MPU). Each episode features a heart-pounding, life-or-death search for a missing person that runs alongside police officers JASON GRANT (Scott Caan, Hawaii Five-O) and NIKKI BATISTA’s (Dania Ramirez, Devious Maids) season-long quest to find out the truth about their long-lost son.

Six years ago, while working overseas, Jason received the call that every parent fears – he and Nikki’s son, KEITH (Graham Verchere, The Good Doctor), had gone missing. From that moment forward, the lives of Jason, Nikki and their daughter, SYDNEY (recurring guest star Fivel Stewart, Atypical), were turned upside down. The frantic search to find Keith began and the mystery about his disappearance continues to this day.

Throughout the search to find Keith, Jason and Nikki’s marriage deteriorated and they grew apart. Jason moved into private security, while Nikki was promoted within the Philly P.D. to Head of the MPU, where she has been able to do for others what she wasn’t able to do for herself, bring a loved one back home. At the MPU, she leads a team of highly skilled individuals including her current love interest MIKE (Ryan Broussard, Only Murders In The Building), whom Nikki met when he was assigned to oversee the search for Keith; KEMI (Adeola Role, The Blacklist), who is proficient in many languages, highly discerning of visual clues, and uses her know-how as a shaman to take a holistic approach to her job; and forensic anthropologist C (recurring guest star and newcomer Petey Gibson), who is a master at reconstructing the faces of those who have disappeared. Together, the team works to find the missing, abducted, or kidnapped, and help reunite them with their loved ones before it’s too late.

When Jason receives a possible proof-of-life photo that Keith is very much alive, he and Nikki will reunite personally and professionally to continue the fight for their son.

Alert: Missing Persons Unit is co-produced by Sony Pictures Television and FOX Entertainment. John Eisendrath serves as showrunner and executive producer. Jamie Foxx, Datari Turner, J.R. Orci, Adam Kane and Michael Offer (101 and 102) are also executive producers.

SCOTT CAAN

as Jason Grant

Scott Caan of "Alert" on FOX

Bio

Scott Caan is an actor, writer and director. He has starred in Steven Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s Eleven” remake, along with “Ocean’s Twelve” and “Ocean’s Thirteen.” He can also be seen in the thriller “Into The Blue” and in Nicole Holofcener’s indie comedy “Friends With Money.” Caan also wrote, directed and starred in the feature films “Dallas 362” and “The Dog Problem.” A published playwright, Caan’s “Two Wrongs,” “No Way Around But Through” and “The Trouble With Where We Come From” are successes available from Dramatists.

Caan’s television series credits include a Golden Globe-nominated ten season run as “Danno” on “Hawaii Five-O.” He also starred in the last two seasons of “Entourage.” He recently finished shooting “One Day As A Lion,” which he starred in and wrote.

DANIA RAMIREZ

as Nikki Batista

Dania Ramirez of "Alert" on FOX

Bio

A talented and versatile actress, Dania Ramirez has become a highly sought-after performer for both film and television. Currently, she is starring as “Aimee” on the streaming series “Sweet Tooth” for executive producer Robert Downey, Jr.

Recently, Ramirez starred as “Gretel” on the series “Tell Me A Story,” a modern take on popular fairy tale stories, and was also seen as “Cinderella” on the popular “Once Upon A Time…,” bringing a fresh and engaging presence to the program. Her other television credits include “Devious Maids,” “The Sopranos,” “Entourage” and “Heroes.”

In addition to her television work, Ramirez is a film producer and co-produced and starred in the feature film “Lycan.” She also produced and co-starred in the romantic comedy, “Off The Menu.” Ramirez’s other film credits include roles in “Mojave,” “Premium Rush,” “Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay,” “Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle,” “American Reunion,” “Quarantine,” “Fat Albert”  and “X-Men: The Last Stand.” She made her feature film debut in Spike Lee’s “The Subway Stories” and subsequently was seen in two additional Spike Lee projects, “25th Hour” and “She Hate Me.”

Born in the Dominican Republic, Ramirez was raised by her grandmother until she moved to New York City at the age of ten and reunited with her parents. She studied at Monclair State University, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and was a star volleyball player.

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The cast of "Alert" on FOX.

Interview with Mark Labella

TV Interview!

Mark Labella on the set of "The Cleaning Lady" - Instagram photo

Interview with Mark Labella of “S.W.A.T.” on CBS by Thane 10/13/22

This was quite an interesting interview as you can tell from the video below! I enjoyed speaking with Mark.

MORE INFO:

MARK LABELLA Emerges on Season Six of CBS Police Drama ‘S.W.A.T.’ Premiering October 4, 2022

LOS ANGELES – Actor Mark Labella gets entangled in an elaborate heroin operation in Thailand when he recurs as a guest star on the six season of the hit CBS police drama series, S.W.A.T., premiering on October 4th.

In the season opening episode “Thai Hard,” Hondo surfaces in Bangkok training alongside Thailand’s premiere S.W.A.T. team. When Hondo and his former military buddy stumble upon a wide-ranging heroin operation with ties to Los Angeles, they find themselves on the run from a powerful drug kingpin. Labella emerges as Lek, who proves vital when the danger heats up.

Labella was excited to be part of this special storyline, sharing “S.W.A.T. was the best set I’ve ever been on. I have never felt as safe with my choices, as appreciated for my work, and as welcomed on the first day.”

Born in the Philippines and raised in America, Labella is a U.S. Navy Veteran turned Medical Doctor, who has been building a solid reputation for his talents since setting his sights on the entertainment industry. His notable on-camera credits include a role in the upcoming Gerard Butler action thriller feature film for Lionsgate, previously titled The Plane, as well as appearances in the fan favorite TV shows Magnum P.I. and NCIS: Los Angeles.

Behind the camera, Labella has been discovering success as a screenwriter and producer. His background in medicine has become the basis for many of his original projects, including the television drama series, MisDiagnosed, which won the Boston Screenplay Awards and gained enough attention to land him further opportunities as a screenwriter and producer.

Labella has received awards and accolades for a several of his projects: Breathe – ISA Screenplay Contest Top 10, HollyShorts Semi-Finalist and currently on third round of Launchpad Writing Competition; Soul & Spice – PAGE Int’l Awards Competition Top 25 Comedy, Austin Film Festival 2nd Round, WeScreenPlay TV Pilot Competition Finalist; To The Last Girl I Ever Loved – Blastoff Screenplay Competition Winner, Queen Palm Int’l Film Festival Gold Winner, Best Script Award (London) Finalist, Independent shorts Awards Winner, and many others.

Currently, Labella is producing the U.S. leg of the Filipino feature film project, Labyu with an Accent, starring Filipino superstars Coco Martin and Jodi Sta. Maria. In addition, he is the writer for the upcoming comedy series, Soul & Spice, starring the Philippines’ ‘Comedy Queen’ Ai-Ai delas Alas, Tony Winters, and Johari Johnson; and his latest psychological thriller feature film script, Catholic School, has just been optioned and will head into production soon.

When he is not on-set, Labella spends much of his spare time participating in medical missions and supporting medical and veteran charities. He also volunteers his time writing PSA’s to spread the word to his fellow Filipino-Americans to vote. Labella believes, “My main goal as a creative artist is to tell the stories that I’ve witnessed during my experiences around the world.” Because of his commitment to telling these untold stories, Labella accepted the nomination as the incoming Executive Director of the 13-year-old non-profit organization, Fil-Am Creative. He is excited to honor his performance to coincide with October’s Filipino-American History month in the United States.

Mark Labella is represented by Walter Tabayoyong at Altamero Management and Rachel Tolliver at Firestarter Agency.

Follow MARK LABELLA on Instagram: @MarkJLabella

FB: /Mark.Labella.73

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Mark Labella in a scene from "S.W.A.T." - screencap from Instagram

Primetime TV Review: Monarch

TV Review!

 

“Monarch” Review on by Eva 9/13/2022

I decided to watch Monarch after I saw some video clips of the show which made me think that it was going to be a nighttime soap opera. While I really enjoy daytime soaps, I also enjoy nighttime soaps if they are good and Monarch is very good.

The show centers around the first family of country music the Roman family, which seems like a family who is living the American dream, but behind closed doors everyone in the family is hiding secrets.

The Matriarch of the family is Dottie Roman (Susan Sarandon) who is facing a battle with cancer and how she handles that battle with cancer will leave a lasting impact on her family especially her daughter Nicolette “Nicky” Roman. Dottie’s husband Albie Roman (Trace Atkins) loves his wife, children, and singing but he hates the business side of the music industry. Albie and Dottie will do whatever they have to do to protect their family image as the first family of country music.

The show premiered its first episode on Sunday, September 11, 2022, but will debut in its regular time slot on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, at 9 PM Eastern time 8 PM Central time on Fox.

If you missed the first episode it is worth going to ABC.com or Hulu to watch it. This show is full of twists and turns that keep viewers guessing what will happen next and gives you the classic soap staple the cliff hanger. The first episode is full of classic country song covers, but the show also plans to have original country songs in it.

I give this show 5 out of 5 stars and I will be watching it every week.

More Information:

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The opinions in these articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of TVMEG.COM or its other volunteers.

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Primetime TV Review: “Don’t Forget the Lyrics!”

TV Review!

“Don’t Forget the Lyrics ” on FOX Review by Eva 5/30/2022

I love listening to music and singing along with songs even though I can’t sing. I also love game shows and since Don’t Forget the Lyrics combine the two things I enjoy, I thought I would watch the latest version of the show.

I had never seen the previous version of the show, so I didn’t know how it worked. Actress and comedienne Nancy Nash does a wonderful job hosting the show, she really roots for the contestants and wants them to win the money. The show works like this: contestants sing songs they pick from different categories listed on the screen; they are given part of the lyrics to the song but then they get blanks on the screen where they have to sing the exact words that are missing in the song. If they get the song right, they win money. If they get the lyrics wrong, the game ends. If they get the lyrics to ten songs right, they win $ 1 million.

I think this game show is fun to watch and it comes right before another of my favorite game shows, Beat Shazam in what Fox calls Music Mondays.

I give this show 5 out of 5 stars because it is fun and beats watching summer reruns of your favorite scripted shows

MORE INFORMATION:

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The opinions in these articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of TVMEG.COM or its other volunteers.

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Interview with Martha Millan

TV Interview!

Martha Millan - photo by Yanina May

Interview with Martha Millan of “The Cleaning Lady” on FOX by Thane 12/30/21

It was awesome to interview Martha about diversity and world travel. Both subjects have a place in my heart.

Thane: How do you think people will respond to the cleaning lady?

Martha: Wow, that’s such a great question. Nobody’s asked me that yet. I think in terms of just the show’s content, there’s so many groundbreaking elements to it with representation, diversity, dealing with topical issues. Then, of course, there’s all the action and the drama and everything. So, I think in terms of just being – I think they’re definitely going to be surprised with the content of the show, but at the same time, drawn in by the relationships that they see throughout the series. The show deals with a lot of family issues, and I think that’s where the relatability comes in with the show. So, I’m hoping that they’re going to be excited.

Thane: How does your character fit into the show?

Martha: I play Fiona De La Rosa. The lead character of the show is played by Elodie Yung, who is incredible in this show. She is known for her action as Electra, but you see so many vulnerable parts of her throughout the series that I think a lot of people are going to be just so beautifully connected to her. And she’s married to my brother. So, we play best friends on the show, and we deal with a lot of challenging issues. I myself am undocumented, and Thony De La Rosa, through her plight of trying to save her son from an immunodeficiency disorder, she gets involved with the underworld and becomes the cleaning lady for the mob. So, there’re so many things that can happen and go wrong, but it’s wonderful to see both characters really rise up against the challenges that they face.

Thane: Do you think that there’s a shortage of roles for Asian actors?

Martha: I think, for me, I think things are changing. Definitely prior to – for me, I grew up in Australia. I moved to America in terms of really finding better opportunities for my career, mainly because representation wasn’t available here. Now, I’m happy to say that coming home. I’m here in Australia right now Zooming. I see all the ads, and I see the shows, and it’s changed incredibly. There’s so much diversity through commercials and on the TV shows in Australia that it’s so wonderful to see that a lot of opportunities are opening opening up for everyone. I still think, yes, there definitely could be more done for nontraditional casting and just casting people for their talent rather than their heritage. Obviously, with certain plots there’s that necessity, but when it comes to certain storylines, if someone can play a lawyer without any specificity of culture, I think anyone should be able to go for that. And I think that is something that’s happening and we see these days, which is wonderful.

Thane: You’ve been a guest on many TV shows. Do you have a particular favorite show you’ve acted on?

Martha: Let me see. I have to say The OA. I think that was such a creative show, and the thing was, I didn’t even know what the story was about. I only got my scene. I shot my scene, and that was it. So, I just thought that I was playing a very complicated mother, but I think, to actually play Filipino in that show in terms of her character and complexities was really challenging and was a great way to kind of showcase just my emotional depth and just to really be a part of such an immensely creative plot line.

Thane: How do you feel about the current state of diversity in Hollywood?

Martha: Wonderful question. I think it’s changing, clearly with the example [of] this show. It’s groundbreaking on all elements – the whole the cast itself. I’m Filipino Australian. Elodie is Cambodian French. Aidan is Mexican. We have the Armenian culture being explored in Aiden’s world, and then you have an Argentine. I mean, there’re so many cultures that are represented on all fronts, even from the writers, on the writer side, and that’s why I think there’s so many changes. It’s a testament to FOX’s, I guess, support in really kind of spearheading the challenge for people to open up diversity and allowing for changes to happen, because if you think about it, the generation today, they’re exposed to so many cultures through social media. All the kids, they know that there’s a world out there, and that it should be represented and that to have a narrow point of view is archaic. And that’s where the appetite for new content that represents the whole world globally comes from. So, I think it’s wonderful that we’re a part of that. And, yeah, it’s kind of exciting, because, for me, it’s about opening up new roles for marginalized voices and representing them in not such a linear way and two dimensional but in a way that encompasses all their complexities as humans, because life’s messy. So, despite whatever culture you’re from, we’re all kind of going through those emotional roller coasters.

Thane: As a person with a disability, I find that writers can kind of be clueless on handling our characters. Do you feel that way about the way characters of diverse ethnic backgrounds are written?

Martha: Absolutely. I think, in the past, absolutely. Like I know, for me, representation of a Southeast Asian woman was depicted in Crocodile Dundee in a scene that was definitely something that I was just so ashamed of that it affected me so much, and it affected the way I thought people saw me or viewed me. I think these days now, with the openness and, again, the exposure to the world, culturally, people are changing their perceptions of not just in, again, a very narrow point of view, [but] they’re opening up just the humanity of people’s characters. And I think it’s a testament to the writers on the show. Miranda Kwok, who’s the creator [and] Melissa Carter, who is the showrunner, they really wanted to nurture that creativity amongst the writers to give authenticity to our characters, because the writers were also, you know, Filipino, Mexican, and just it was completely diverse so that there was a true authenticity to it. So, I do understand your point of view in terms of misrepresentation, because if they’re not in your shoes, or if they don’t understand the experiences you’ve gone through, how can someone write about it, if they haven’t felt it? So, yeah, I think that lends to the authenticity of this show.

Thane:
Would more diversity behind the scenes help, such as executive producers and writers?

Martha: I think it does. I mean, again, Miranda Kwok is an example of that. She is Asian Canadian living in America now. I think, just in terms of the fact that she really wanted to create a show that centered on the Southeast Asian culture, and then to put a Southeast Asian female lead at the forefront was groundbreaking. And for Marissa Carter, the showrunner, to really embrace that and create an environment to enhance the diversity among the the actors and the writers who are on the show, employing that diversity really says a lot about the changes that’s happening in the world. It’s indicative of what is necessary to kind of evolve. Otherwise, if we’re holding on to such old values, then there’s consequences to that, I think, with what we’re all seeing right now. But I am an optimist. So, being a part of the show is part of that movement.

Thane:
Are there any other structural changes that you’d like to see that could increase diversity?

Martha: Structural is a very good, you know, a topic to put out there. That’s something that I think most people forget, and I think, because now, a lot of diverse backgrounds are being put in the forefront in terms of how they shape their stories from their point of views is important. It’s their voice, and you can’t find authenticity unless it’s through experiences from your own background and from your own life. So, I think in order to create that expression through the media, you have to allow that ceiling to break and allow the the diverse voices and marginalized voices to express themselves authentically. And to be honest with you, I think it’s to the benefit of all media, and you see that in terms of what people are watching and the content that’s out there. There’s more appetite for things that are expressed creatively through representation, because everybody sees this representation all over social media. You’re connected immediately to that, and yeah, it’s a disadvantage if you if you don’t move forward with that evolution.

Thane: I see you have traveled quite a bit. Do you feel that your traveling experience and being exposed to different cultures has enriched your acting career at all, and how so?

Martha: Yeah, traveling is so important. I mean, as an Australian, I think we travel a lot, because we’re so far away from everything, but this was something that is a passion of mine, because whenever I travel, I really want to immerse myself in the society, in the culture in the society. I don’t normally stay at resorts or anything like that. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but I also would love to see just the reality of people’s lives in each in each country I visit, because I want to understand and immerse myself in their food, the way they respond to certain situations, how their lives are lived. And with that knowledge coming from visiting different countries, you’re able to understand people more in such a – I guess you empathize with people more, because you understand where they’re coming from, from different perspectives, all different perspectives. If you have more perspectives, culturally, I think, you’ll just be more open to experiencing different things and allowing for more changes that don’t really hinder you as a person.

Thane: What were your favorite places to visit?

Martha: There was this one place in Panama where I flew in; I was traveling with my ex boyfriend at that time on a plane, and I was traveling with chickens. And I remember there was a grandma and a grandson strapped in one seat belt at the front of the plane, and we were just going to this island in Panama, and we had to land in the middle of the jungle, because he had to check the propeller. Luckily – I mean, I don’t know how lucky we were, but he said, “I think it’s good enough.” Then, we landed in the middle of the jungle to to be greeted by these children who took us to this island, and at that time, there was no one there. It was an island the size of a football field, and we would deep sea dive and just kind of catch her at breakfast by just finding the fish in the water and sleeping on the sand. We had huts, separate huts and everything. So, that, for me, was adventurous. It was it was [unintelligible] though too.

Thane: Tell us about your online drama education program for children.

Martha: For me, it’s all about confidence, building confidence. Yes, there are definitely – I’m not looking to make child actors or whatever in that sense, but I will definitely help them to achieve their aspirations and dreams of becoming an actor, but it’s all about kind of just getting them out of their shell, connecting, really building their confidence. I think these days in terms of with a lot of the social media and they’re connected to their phones, yes, they’re able to express themselves through Tik Tok and everything in that, but I think to really build a connection between people is a great way with the classes that I’ve developed. And just to see how unfiltered they are, and fearless, it’s a great reminder for adults just to kind of tap into that as well. So, I learn more from them, actually, whenever I teach them, because I see how there’s just magic that happens whenever they do respond without any filtering. And as adults, we’re so programmed and conditioned to act and behave and live a certain lifestyle, and we forget the magic that we have too, as people. So, it’s kind of cool. So, it’s very reciprocal in terms of the education for me and for them.

Thane: Is there anything else that you want to share with the TVMEG.com audience?

Martha: I think the one thing that I want to share with the show is, just be who you are. I think a lot of the characters in the show struggle with so many limitations of labels, and you’ll find that their struggles to break through those labels, whether you’re undocumented, whether you’re a mobster, whether you’re, you know, what the other characters – I’m sorry; I’m kind of blanking out on the other characters, but just I think the plight of the underdog of just really empowering yourself is also a very strong message that comes through the show of The Cleaning Lady. And you’ll see through Elodie Yung’s performances – yes, everybody knows her is Electra, but her emotional vulnerability comes through so much that I think a lot of people will connect in terms of just going for what they want in life and really doing what you can for your family and how far do you go. So, I think that’s a great kind of question and challenge for all of us to to embark in our own lives.

Thane:
This is the end of the interview. Thank you, Martha.

Martha:
It was such a pleasure meeting you, Thane. I really appreciate your time and I hope you have an awesome awesome new year. Okay, it’s gonna be a great one.

Here is the Video!

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

Martha MillanMulti-faceted and talented Australian-Filipino actress Martha Millan (“The OA”) stars in the main cast as ‘Fiona Da La Rosa’ in FOX’s upcoming drama series “The Cleaning Lady.” From executive producers Miranda Kwok (“The 100”), Melissa Carter (“Queen Sugar”), Michael Offer (“Homeland,” “How to Get Away with Murder”), and Shay Mitchell (“You,” “Pretty Little Liars”) and based on the 2017 Argentinian show “La Chica Que Limpia,” “The Cleaning Lady” is a thrilling and emotional driven character drama about a whip-smart Cambodian doctor (Elodie Yung) who comes to the U.S. for a medical treatment to save her ailing son. However, when the system fails and pushes her into hiding, she refuses to be beaten down and marginalized. Instead, she becomes a cleaning lady for organized crime using her cunning and intelligence to forge her own path in the criminal world. The new FOX drama series is the first ever American TV show focusing on Filipinos.  “The Cleaning Lady” premiere on Monday, January 3rd at 9/8c on FOX.

“The Cleaning Lady” Trailer

‘Fiona De La Rosa’ is the Filipina sister-in-law and fellow cleaning lady of ‘Thony’ (Yung) who is undocumented in the US while raising her children as a single parent. Fiona struggles dealing with the hardships of being undocumented while helping Thony in her journey to save her ailing son. Martha describes her character as “a fun, emotionally volatile and chaotic hot mess, but her journey throughout the series is one of empowerment and strength while helping Thony save her son’s life. Both women show true resilience as we follow them in their plight to give their children the best they can under extraordinary circumstances.”

Millan is best known for her work in “The OA,” “Succession,” “Entourage,” “Madam Secretary,” “Strong Medicine,” “The Third Watch,” all three primary shows of the “Law & Order” franchise, THE GREAT NEW WONDERFUL with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jim Parsons and Will Arnett and the recently released indie film THE DRUMMER in which she starred alongside Donald Glover. "The Cleaning Lady" poster

Born in the Philippines, Martha moved to Australia at 4 years old and grew up in Sydney, Australia. Martha discovered her love for acting when she decided to take acting as an elective and performed in her first play in high school as Gwendolen in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Martha attended the University of Sydney and studied English and History before she deferred a year and ended up in Los Angeles attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. While taking a trip to New York City, she auditioned on a whim and was accepted to the original Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York where she graduated. She has since been a true New Yorker at heart. While booking acting jobs, Martha had great success in modeling and have done endless national print and commercial work for Verizon, AT&T, Target, Clairol, Home Depot and more, in addition to editorial work.

In addition to acting, Martha is also an acting teacher for children. She previously taught acting for extracurricular and after school programs in Brooklyn public schools until COVID hit and she decided to create her own global online drama education program for children aged 10-16 years old based all over the world in Brazil, Portugal, Israel, US, and more. Martha is also a world traveler and have visited a plethora of countries like Spain, Greece, Aruba, Peru, Indonesia, Guatemala, Panama, Mexico, etc. As an active and athletic child, Martha continues to stay healthy and fit by running everyday and practicing high intensity training. Martha is an advocate for diversity and is proud to be starring on a series portraying Filipinos.

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Martha Millan - photo by Yanina May

Interview with FOX Entertainment Executives

TV Interview!

FOX Entertainment logo

Interview with FOX Entertainment Executives by Suzanne 5/17/21

This was FOX’s press conference/interview before their Upfronts announcement. I was happy to be there, but they only took a few questions.

FOX ENTERTAINMENT GROUP: FOX 2021 Executive Press Conference Call

May 17, 2021/1:30 p.m. CDT

SPEAKERS

Charlie Collier – CEO, FOX Entertainment

Marianne Gambelli – President, Advertising Sales, FOX

Michael Thorn – President, Entertainment, FOX Entertainment

Rob Wade – President, Alternative Entertainment & Specials, FOX Entertainment

Farhad Massoudi – CEO and Founder, Tubi

Dan Harrison – EVP, Program Planning and Content Strategy, FOX Entertainment

Jean Guerin – EVP, Corporate Communications & Publicity, FOX Entertainment

PRESENTATION

Moderator                   Welcome to the FOX 2021 Executive Press Conference Call.  At this time, your telephone lines are on a listen-only mode.  Later, there will be an opportunity for questions and answers, with instructions [background noise].  [Operator instructions].

I will now turn the conference call over to your host, Jean Guerin.  Please go ahead.

Jean                             Thanks so much.  And thank you, Alan.  Good morning, and good afternoon for some of you.  Thanks for joining us here today.  You should have all received our press release this morning.  There are a few photos attached to that.  But before we get started, just a few reminders.

Today’s press release and all comments made during today’s call are under embargo until after FOX’s upfront, after the presentation at five p.m. Eastern today.  So, please hold on all posts [background noise] until then, with the exception, of course, of live tweeting during the presentation.

Following the presentation, all program descriptions and photos will be available on our press site, which, as you know, is FOXflash.com.  Available trailers from our new series were sent to each of you to post immediately following our presentation today.

Joining us today to talk about the 2021 and ’22 season are Charlie Collier, CEO, FOX Entertainment; Marianne Gambelli, President of Advertising Sales, FOX; Michael Thorn, President, FOX Entertainment; Rob Wade, President, Alternative and Specials, FOX Entertainment.  We also have Farhad Massoudi, CEO and Founder of Tubi, and Dan Harrison, EVP of Program Planning and Content Strategy, FOX Entertainment.

With that, I’m going to hand it over to Charlie, who, prior to opening up to Q&A, he’ll walk through our FOX Entertainment strategy and fall schedule.

Charlie                        Thanks, Jean, and good morning, everyone.  I’ll go off the record to start.  I know you’re really busy, and we’re not going to just [indiscernible] up front with this, but off the record, we bought Discovery this morning, and we’re going to announce it after the upfront.

So, now back on the record, before I begin, I hope everyone’s doing really well.  It’s been, not even trite to say, an unbelievable year, and I’m really happy to be speaking with all of you in person again.  And I hope we’re in person sometime soon, in the truest sense of the word, back at the beacon.  It’s hard to believe it was more than a year ago when the world was shut down back in March of 2020.  FOX immediately went to work to produce TV’s first living room concert hosted by Sir Elton John.  And if you remember, it was Sir Elton John from his kitchen.  It featured Billy Eilish and Backstreet Boys, Demi Lovato and more.  And for us, that was a truly moving and confidence-inspiring moment, at a time when I think a lot of people really needed it.

And then over the summer and under the strictest of protocols, Rob’s team really just dove in and they produced a new series, I CAN SEE YOUR VOICE, as well as a new season of THE MASKED SINGER.  And all this is to say that when the pandemic hit last year, we pivoted quickly, and under extraordinary conditions we kept building.  Our FOX structure, as a nimble and more agile entertainment company, really enabled us to adapt and innovate under the circumstances.  The pandemic, in many ways, gave us the chance to build on our strategic strengths, fortifying our operations, and creating new business models.

So, for example, throughout our development process this season, we were able to pivot to work with creators in ways we hadn’t before, capitalizing on the extra time during the lockdown.  We opened things like virtual writer’s rooms to refine, polish, and shape multiple scripted series in numerous ways across numerous projects, and we did so with care and attention, and some terrific rooms that probably wouldn’t have been the case, if not for the pandemic.

At the same time, we were broadening our broadcast model with the acquisition of our AVoD streaming service, Tubi.  As you heard from Jean, Farhad’s on the call.  That was back in April.  And like FOX, we’re so pleased to say Tubi is free.  There are no paywalls, no subscriptions, and it’s an example of our commitment to, especially in the upfront context, commitment to our advertising partners.

And so, as FOX focuses on going broad in its programming, Tubi goes deep, and we announced, I think you heard, 140-plus hours of original programming next season to speak to viewers’ passions.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention Bento Box, which is our animation company.  They’ve also thrived growing our wholly-owned businesses for FOX, but also well beyond FOX, and they’re launching new businesses, like the NFT and Blockchain companies we’ll be announcing today.

In a much more traditional sense, FOX is on track to win the season again.  We have the number one new entertainment series, the number one new comedy, the number one new unscripted show, actually the number one entertainment series overall in THE MASKED SINGER.  We got there with a strategy that I really laid out two years ago at the Beacon Theatre, which was about putting the biggest night of American sports next to the best of entertainment night after night.

Another part of that strategy was taking our strongest shows and building new programming off the strength of those existing shows.  And no surprise, we’re deploying that strategy once again using the 9-1-1 franchise, both 9-1-1 and 9-1-1 LONE STAR; but, of course, THE MASKED SINGER, THE RESIDENT, and some of our biggest sporting events to help launch new dramas.  You’ve probably heard or read about most of them, but including THE BIG LEAP, OUR KIND OF PEOPLE, MONARCH, THE CLEANING LADY, and new comedies, PIVOTING, KRAPOPOLIS, and WELCOME TO FLATCH.

The Big Leap on FOX

There’s also new unscripted series, ALTER EGO and NEXT LEVEL CHEF, among quite a few others.

So, look, we believe in entertainment that reflects the culture.  For example, our new shows have themes that speak to hope and second chances and reinvention.  We believe people want to watch shows that give voice and value to those who have often been left out or gone unheard.  And FOX is known for putting shows on like that that you wouldn’t find anywhere else, and the lineup we’re announcing today continues to build upon that legacy.

At its best, broadcast can connect millions of people across the country doing the same thing at the same time, all tuned in to programming that pierces popular culture and brings us closer together.

Michael Thorn is to my right, FOX’s Head of Scripted Entertainment, and Rob Wade, fresh off his second vaccination shot, is FOX’s President of Alternative Programming.  They’re both here with us, and they can certainly talk about those themes and expand upon them.  I will take the opportunity to say they’ve done just an amazing job to take advantage of the unusual time that’s been presented to us, working largely virtually with our creators to refine and plan for the future of these shows, and so many more you’re about to hear about.

Jean mentioned that also with us is my partner in crime and FOX EVP of Program Planning and Content Strategy, Dan Harrison.  So, if you have any schedule questions or other, please fire away.  And Farhad Massoudi, as I said, our CEO and Founder, and just a great fast friend and partner from Tubi is here as well; as is the most important person in New York, Marianne Gambelli, who obviously runs all of our ad sales efforts.

So, look, we’re looking forward to great and continued success next season, as we build what we call the FOX Entertainment of the Future.  We’re working with some of the industry’s top talent and creators.  That’s what drives us.  And we’re continuing to build the company on a platform, a content-focused, and an audience-first basis.

And with that, please, why don’t we open the call for questions.

Moderator                   [Operator instructions].  We’ll first go to the line of Rick Porter with The Hollywood Reporter.  Go ahead, please.

Rick                            Good afternoon, everybody.  You guys ordered a lot more new series than you did at this point last year, which I know, in part, was due to the pandemic and everything.  I’m curious also, though, if you’re sort of building up the library in anticipation of not having football in a year’s time.

Charlie                        I’ll start, and then, Michael, I don’t know if you want to join.  This is Charlie, Rick.  Good to hear from you.  Thanks for the question.  We very much were focused on developing year-round, and doing some of the things I just mentioned in my opening remarks, which is really trying to build on the legacy of some of our stronger franchises, and then build complementary, both scripted and unscripted, on top of that.

But, no, of course we knew that Thursday Night Football would not be returning before we announced it, but we’ve been very much focused on this year, and then doing our traditional development for next year.  And as we’ve been focused on that Thursday night specifically, which you asked about in the second part of your question, there’s nothing to announce today, but we’ve very much been working on trying to bring urgency and spectacle to a night like that, just knowing in advance that we have so much time to plan.new show "Welcome to Flatch" on FOX

Michael                       Yes, and as part of all-year-round development strategy, I know you’ve heard us talk about this, but we don’t believe there’s a one-size-fits-all process for development.  So, just to give a recent pickup example, our new series ACCUSED is for ’22-’23, and the best way we believe—when I say we, I mean FOX and Sony and Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa—believe to set that show up for success is to really get ahead of it in the scripts, and really take our time to kind of cast this unique crime anthology series.

And so, we’re getting ahead of it for the next season, and we believe this kind of all-year-round strategy allows us to continue to be in business with people like Howard and Alex, or Lee Daniels and some of the other people that we’ve just announced pickups with.  It leads into our nimbleness, we believe.

[Technical difficulties caused a delay]

Moderator                   …and we’re going to go ahead and open the line of Brian Steinberg.  Go ahead, please.

Mr. Steinberg, if you’re still connected, please press one then zero again at this time.  One moment, please.  Brian, your line is open.  Go ahead, please.

Brian                           Can you hear me?

Charlie                        We got you.

Brian                           Wow.  Hi, everyone.  Thanks for taking my question.  I appreciate it.  I really just wanted to ask, given how the world’s changing, what percentage of your viewing do you think [indiscernible] Tubi of your new programming this year?  And maybe even from Marianne, what percentage of ad sales will you be aiming at Tubi, do you expect to have from Tubi this year?

Charlie                        Thanks so much for the question.  We are really focused on—and especially today with announcing the FOX schedule, and for anything that’s FOX owned, you will see it appear on Tubi the way you do THE MASKED SINGER and Gordon Ramsay shows, and that sort of stuff.  On the other hand, the original programming for Tubi, the 140-plus hours we talked about, obviously, that is solely for Tubi and directly to Tubi, based on the data and audience information we have there.

Marianne, I don’t know if you want to jump in on the ad sales side—

Marianne                     Sure.  I mean, we are looking at Tubi as the perfect broadcast extension to our FOX linear products.  It extends audience to younger, more diverse audiences, obviously like TV viewers.  So, while I don’t have exact percentages for you, Brian, it’s a big focus of ours to match the growth of the audience in this space, and I think the shift that we’re going to see of dollars to support AVoD, given the comfort [ph] that people have gotten and the great results they’re seeing on the platform.

We do expect it to be a big part of how we go to market.  It’s a perfect extension for what we sell.

Charlie                        I’d say similar to that, we see, so often, where we’re promoting something on the network for its network premieres, the like-minded shows and the similar series back seasons start to perform even better on Tubi.  So, it’s pretty remarkable how easily the viewers adapt to going broad with us, and then going deep with Tubi.

Moderator                   We will go next to the line of Tony Maglio from the TheWrap.   Go ahead, please.

Tony                            I wanted to ask about THE MASKED DANCERI didn’t see it anywhere.  Normally I would expect to see will wait until midseason, so this makes me wonder what we’re doing with it.  Is it summer?  Is it something that you just want to plug in where you need it?  What are your thoughts?  I don’t want to get ahead of myself and assume that you have a spot for it.

Rob                             Yes.  So, obviously, we’re really happy with THE MASKED DANCER Thought it was a great show.  Currently, we are just figuring out where it fits into our “Masked” strategy.  As you saw, we’ve announced the singer for the fall, and really we’re just looking to see where and when that will play best at the moment.  MASKED DANCER, as well, we filmed kind of right in the middle of the pandemic.  It was in October time, and we took a lot of lessons from it.

We have some really nice ideas should there be a Season Two, and we’re figuring out when and where that might be.

Jean                             We’re ready for the next question.  Alan, can you hear us?

Moderator                   My apologies.  That’ll be from the line of Eric Deggans with National Public Radio.  Go ahead.

Eric                             Thanks so much for doing this, even through all the technical difficulty.  Even now, as upfront week is beginning, it’s being overshadowed a little bit by this news about the AT&T and Discovery deal that seems to be centered on streaming.  And it just strikes me that you guys at FOX almost seem to be the antithesis of what the media industry is focused on, which is big streaming companies, like Netflix and Disney, and a turn away from broadcasting.

So, how do you guys make the argument to the industry and to the public that a network like FOX is still relevant, and the smaller scale stuff that you’re doing since the sale of assets to Disney is the future of television, from your perspective?  How do you make that case?

Charlie                        Well, first of all, thanks for the question.  Good to hear from you.  I should lead by saying we’re in this space deliberately, and it’s been a strategic choice, if you think about, you mentioned the big guys.  It’s been well-documented.  I think [indiscernible] said it recently on one of his conference calls, that it was seeing that Disney, the combination of the 20th assets with Disney would allow them to compete in this space, and would allow us to construct a more nimble and focused company.  And the choice was to focus on free and ad-supported.

So far, I’ll say it in the context, because today’s upfront day, in the context of broadcasting, we’re going to be the number one network on the key demo for the second year in a row.  It happened quickly, and I believe because we were focused on.  And then, obviously, Tubi, as ad-supported, free streaming service, puts (audio dropped here) space, but again, focused on what makes us special, which is free and ad-supported.

And so, you look at what we do best, I talk about the strategy a lot, which is the best of live sports, next to the best of entertainment, and we think we can have both cultural [indiscernible] live events, and pierce popular culture with our original programming in meaningful ways.

I also will point out that a phrase we’re fond of is that you can’t corner the market on creativity.  And if you look at the incredible creative minds that we’re working with on both sides of the camera, if you look at who’s attracted to our platforms as the place to bring their passion projects, obviously we’ve brought Lee Daniels back to the network.  We have Dan Harmon joining with his next animated series.  We feel like we are a place where everyone knows we’re focused on elevating their work, not in bulk, but doing fewer things better, and combining, is pretty great to have a startup mentality and the Super Bowl and World Series.  That’s been our strength, and it’s going to continue to be.

And now with Tubi, I think we’re powered for both breadth and network leadership.

Moderator                   We’ll go next to Mike Hughes with TV America.  Go ahead, please.

Mike                            Charlie, this is a much smaller scale question here.  So far, you’ve been going with 9-1-1 and 9-1-1 LONE STAR together on Mondays.  Now, you don’t say it specifically, but I’m kind of guessing that you’re going to have 9-1-1 on Mondays, and then after that you’re going to have 9-1-1 LONE STAR later on in the year in the same time slot, so you can springboard other shows after it.

But kind of talk a little bit about that.  First of all, would you plan on running 9-1-1 all the way through, and then go to LONE STAR, or would you stop for a while and go?  And second of all, why do you like this approach better, to make the 9:00 open for new shows?

Charlie                        Well, I’ll start, and then to my left on your radio dial is Dan Harrison, and he can add to it, because we obviously place a lot of emphasis on our schedule.

To start with, we think the Ryan Murphy, Tim Minear shows are two of the most exciting broadcast offerings out there, and they are powerful together and apart.  This year’s schedule, we get the best of both of those.  One of the things you mentioned, and it’s an insightful question, is that we are eliminating what we sometimes refer to as the bridge, but basically, you’re right.  We’re going to run right from 9-1-1 into 9-1-1: LONE STAR, and we’ll take advantage of, obviously, in the fall, the World Series, and in the, as we get into the football season, the NFL and then the NFL playoffs.

So, there are just amazing opportunities to keep the 9-1-1 franchise vibrant throughout the year with far fewer weeks without originals in them.

Dan, you want to go from there?

Dan                             Yes.  Thank you, Charlie.  We build nights, and having a night where we can launch new drama assets that will be with us for hopefully seasons to come was an important priority when we constructed the fall schedule.  Monday night is a night of drama; Tuesday, drama; Wednesday, reality.  We have our Sunday animation franchise, but creating room to hopefully produce a long-running asset for the network with a BIG LEAP in the fall, meant that we needed to find a place for LONE STARAnd we only have 18 episodes of both series.  So, we thought that we had constructed a clever way to both maximize the power of the 9-1-1 franchise, and create new assets that would be with us.

Moderator                   We’ll go next to the line of Adam Buckman with MediaPost.  Go ahead, please.

Adam                          I appreciate this very much.  I appreciate this very much, but my question was asked by a previous questioner, and it has been answered adequately.  So, thank you.

Charlie                        Well then, let me ask you a question.

Adam                          [Overlapping voices] you want to know.

Moderator                   [Operator instructions].  We’ll go next to the line of Jennifer Mass with TheWrap.  Go ahead, please.

Jennifer                       Actually, circle back to 9-1-1 and LONE STAR, I did want to ask if this will limit the potential to do another crossover episode, because having them back-to-back [indiscernible] this time around.  Do you have any ideas on that and what you might give Tim the ability to do since they won’t be airing back-to-back?

Charlie                        It’s a great question.  This is Charlie, and then I’ll turn it over to Michael.  But like I said, in this schedule, which, obviously, we don’t just look at the fall, but we look all the way through the season, we, as Dan said, are taking advantage of using the 8:00 slot to really lead 9-1-1 into 9-1-1: LONE STAR, and then after football season, they’ll be back-to-back again from 8:00 to 10:00 on Mondays.

Michael, you want to add to the question?

Michael                       You know our bag of tricks.  While we’re using those to launch new shows, as Charlie and Dan said, it will still be almost half of the schedule will be paired in a really powerful block in the second half, which, as Charlie said, it’s a win-win.  But somewhere as we’re bringing the show back, keep an eye out for—spoiler alert, keep an eye out for a crossover in the back half of the season.

Charlie                        It’ll be about disaster of a phone call, where it drops off in the middle of an upfront phone call.  You’ll love it.

Moderator                   We’ll go next to the line of Carissa Pavlica with TV Fanatic.  Go ahead, please.

Carissa                        Thank you so much for taking my call.  I really appreciate the renewals today.  Along those Morris Chestnutt of "The Resident" on FOXlines, I’m wondering with Morris Chestnut on both THE RESIDENT and the new show, is that going to continue, and was that a recent, like a determining factor for why those two shows are paired together?

Michael                       [Audio muffled].  It’s certainly a nice benefit.  We’re thrilled to have Morris on both shows.  We’re really excited about OUR KIND OF PEOPLE, and just announcing Morris is one of the leads in that, along with Yaya DaCosta.  We think it’s going to be an incredible cast from incredible creators with Karin [Gist] and Lee [Daniels].

And to your point about having Morris in both shows, schedules permitting, we do hope to keep Morris’ character in THE RESIDENT.  His storyline is terrific.  THE RESIDENT is a big broad show for us.  We’re really proud of it, and we think it’s a great pairing with OUR KIND OF PEOPLE in the fall, and our country music drama MONARCH in spring.

Jean                             We have time for one more question.  I know that we had that interruption, so we’re just going a little beyond the time right now just to make up for that.

One more question, Alan.

Charlie                        Alan, you still there?

Moderator                   Yes, my apologies.  I had actually closed out the Q&A session.  If you did want to take one more question, we can have participants press one then zero at this time.

Jean                             Well, if there are no more questions actually, then we can actually, this will be a good time for us to wrap our call.  So, we thank everybody so much for joining us today.  We really do appreciate everybody taking the time to join us today to talk about the 2021-2022 programming schedule and slate.

We look forward to having you guys enjoy our upfront presentation later this afternoon at one p.m. Pacific Time, four p.m. Eastern.  That’s in 55 minutes, so please tune in.  We’ll talk to you in a little while.  Thank you.

Moderator                   Ladies and gentlemen, this conference will be made available for replay beginning at 10:30 p.m. tonight, May 17th, and running until May 20, 2021 at four p.m.

That will conclude our conference call for today.

MORE INFO:

FOX ANNOUNCES NEW PRIMETIME SCHEDULE FOR 2021-2022 SEASON

FOUR NEW DRAMAS, TWO NEW COMEDIES, FOUR NEW UNSCRIPTED SERIES AND ONE NEW ANIMATED COMEDY JOIN LINEUP, TAPPING INTO THEMES OF HOPE, SECOND CHANCES AND REINVENTION

UPLIFTING DRAMEDY “THE BIG LEAP,” STARRING SCOTT FOLEY, TO PREMIERE THIS FALL

FAMILY DRAMA “OUR KIND OF PEOPLE,” FROM EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS LEE DANIELS AND KARIN GIST, AND STARRING YAYA DaCOSTA AND MORRIS CHESTNUT, ALSO TO DEBUT THIS FALL

ALL-NEW SINGING COMPETITION SERIES “ALTER EGO” LAUNCHES THIS FALL,

FOLLOWING THE #1 SHOW ON TELEVISION, “THE MASKED SINGER”

GORDON RAMSAY’S NEW COOKING COMPETITION SERIES, “NEXT LEVEL CHEF,” PREMIERES MIDSEASON

COUNTRY MUSIC FAMILY DRAMA “MONARCH” BEGINS ITS TWO-NIGHT PREMIERE EVENT, FOLLOWING THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 30, AND CONTINUES TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 1

THRILLING DRAMA “THE CLEANING LADY,” STARRING ELODIE YUNG, TO PREMIERE MIDSEASON

SMALL-TOWN DOCU-COM “WELCOME TO FLATCH,” FROM DIRECTOR AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

PAUL FEIG AND WRITER AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER JENNY BICKS, TO LAUNCH MIDSEASON

ELIZA COUPE, GINNIFER GOODWIN AND MAGGIE Q TO STAR IN

NEW COMEDY “PIVOTING,” PREMIERING MIDSEASON

Contemporary Version of Iconic Drama FANTASY ISLAND to Launch In August

THE GREAT NORTH Renewed for Third Season;

All-New ANIMATION DOMINATION Returns in Fall for Night of Great Comedy

Season Five of Top Drama 9-1-1 Anchors Monday Nights in the Fall; 

Season Five of THE RESIDENT Returns to Tuesdays this Fall; 9-1-1: LONE STAR Renewed for Season Three, Premieres Midseason; Season Two of CALL ME KAT Set for Midseason

Additional All-New Unscripted Series Premiering Midseason Include DOMINO MASTERS,

hosted by Eric Stonestreet, and DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS!, hosted by Niecy Nash;

Hit Unscripted Series I CAN SEE YOUR VOICE, hosted by Ken Jeong, Also Returns at Midseason

Additional New Programming Includes Crime Anthology Series ACCUSED, from “Homeland” and “24” Executive Producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa and “House” Creator David Shore;

and All-New Animated Series KRAPOPOLIS, from “Rick and Morty” Creator Dan Harmon

KRAPOPOLIS to Serve as First-Ever Animated Series Curated Entirely on the Blockchain,

as FOX Enters NFT Business to Create, Sell and Manage NFTs, Tokens and Digital Goods

Los Angeles, CA – Charlie Collier, CEO, FOX Entertainment, today will unveil the FOX primetime slate for the 2021-2022 television season to the national advertising community during its virtual Upfront Presentation. FOX, television’s #1 network for the second year in a row, is adding four new dramas, two new comedies, four new unscripted series and one new animated comedy to its lineup, tapping into themes such as renewal, second chances and reinvention. As FOX goes broad, its free, AVOD streaming service, Tubi, is going deep with 140+ hours of original programming next season that speaks to viewers’ passions. Tubi’s original programming will include original documentaries from FOX Alternative Entertainment; animated titles from Bento Box Entertainment; and premium independent-minded titles across Black Cinema, thriller, horror, sci-fi, romance and western genres.

“We are presenting a fall lineup that builds upon FOX’s legacy of bold stories and truth-telling-characters; stories that meet and reflect the cultural moment. FOX believes it’s a time for series that offer hope and to speak to American audiences with themes of reinvention and second chances,” Collier said. “Alongside our programming focus, we are forging ahead with a clear, 100% ad-supported vision. FOX’s acquisition of free-ad-focused Tubi has allowed us to expand our broadcast offering, bringing scale across both linear and streaming, all without any paywalls or subscriptions.  This is a strategy that deepens FOX’s relationship with our audience and advertising partners, and it will continue to set FOX apart.”

The all-new dramas joining the already strong lineup of dramas, animated comedies and unscripted on FOX are THE BIG LEAP and OUR KIND OF PEOPLE.

THE BIG LEAP is a modern tale about second chances, chasing your dreams and taking back what’s yours. From creator/executive producer Liz Heldens (“The Passage,” “Friday Night Lights”), director/executive producer Jason Winer (“Modern Family”) and executive producer Sue Naegle (“The Plot Against America”), the show revolves around a group of diverse, down-on-their-luck characters attempting to change their lives by participating in a potentially life-ruining reality dance show that builds to a live production of “Swan Lake.” Inspired by a U.K. reality format, THE BIG LEAP is an innovative show-within-a-show that takes viewers on a journey of self-acceptance and empowerment at any age. The series stars Scott Foley (“Scandal”), Teri Polo (“Meet the Parents” franchise), Piper Perabo (“Covert Affairs,” “Coyote Ugly”), newcomer Simone Recasner, Ser’Darius Blain (“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”), Jon Rudnitsky (“Catch-22”), Raymond Cham Jr. (“Five Points”), Mallory Jansen (“Galavant”), Kevin Daniels (“Modern Family”) and Anna Grace Barlow (“The Goldbergs”).

TRAILER FOR “THE BIG LEAP”

Inspired by Lawrence Otis Graham’s provocative, critically acclaimed book, “Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class,” the series takes place in the aspirational world of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, a historical stronghold where the rich and powerful black elite have come to play for over 50 years. From executive producer Lee Daniels (“Empire,” “The United States Vs. Billie Holiday”) and writer and executive producer Karin Gist (“Star,” “Grey’s Anatomy”), OUR KIND OF PEOPLE follows a strong-willed, single mom as she sets out to reclaim her family’s name and make an impact with her revolutionary haircare line that highlights the innate, natural beauty of black women. But she soon discovers a dark secret about her own mother’s past that will turn her world upside-down and shake up this community forever. The show is a soapy, thrilling exploration of race and class in America and an unapologetic celebration of black resilience and achievement.  The series stars Yaya DaCosta (“Chicago Med,” “Whitney”) as Angela Vaughn and Morris Chestnut (THE RESIDENT) as Raymond DuPont.

The new unscripted series premiering this fall is ALTER EGO.

From FOX Alternative Entertainment and executive-produced by Matilda Zoltowski (“Dancing with the Stars,” “World of Dance”), ALTER EGO is an all-new original singing competition where lost dreams and second chances are reignited when singers from all walks of life become the stars they’ve always wanted to be. However, these contestants won’t perform as themselves. Rather, they’ll be given the chance to show how they’ve always wanted to be seen, creating their dream avatar ALTER EGO to reinvent themselves and perform like never before.

The new midseason dramas are THE CLEANING LADY and MONARCH.

From executive producer/writer Miranda Kwok (“The 100”), executive producer/showrunner Melissa Carter (“Queen Sugar”), executive producer/director Michael Offer (“Homeland,” “How to Get Away with Murder”) and executive producers Shay Mitchell (“You,” “Pretty Little Liars”), Rose Marie Vega and Paola Suarez, THE CLEANING LADY is a thrilling and emotionally driven character drama about a whip-smart Cambodian doctor who comes to the U.S. for a medical treatment to save her ailing son. However, when the system fails and pushes her into hiding, she refuses to be beaten down and marginalized. Instead, she becomes a cleaning lady for organized crime, using her cunning and intelligence to forge her own path in the criminal underworld. The series stars Elodie Yung (“The Hitman’s Bodyguard”), Adan Canto (“Designated Survivor,”), Martha Millan (“The OA”) and newcomers Valentino and Sebastien LaSalle.

TRAILER FOR “THE CLEANING LADY”

MONARCH is an epic, multi-generational musical drama about America’s first family of country music. The series debuts with a special two-night event beginning Sunday, Jan. 30, immediately following the NFC CHAMPIONSHIP, and continuing on Tuesday, Feb. 1. In MONARCH, from FOX Entertainment, the Romans are passionate and fiercely talented, but while their name is synonymous with honesty, the very foundation of this family’s success is a lie. When dangerous truths bubble to the surface, the Romans’ reign as country royalty is put in jeopardy. Nicky Roman, the brilliant and fierce heir to the crown, already battling an industry and world stacked against her, will stop at nothing to protect her family’s legacy. It’s finally her turn. But is it too late? MONARCH is produced by FOX Entertainment. Melissa London Hilfers (“Instinct”) serves as creator, writer and executive producer. Michael Rauch (“Royal Pains”) is an executive producer and showrunner. Gail Berman and Hend Baghdady (The Jackal Group) and Jason Owen (Sandbox Entertainment) also serve as executive producers.

The new midseason comedies are WELCOME TO FLATCH and PIVOTING.

Inspired by BBC Studios’ BAFTA-winning BBC format, “This Country,” WELCOME TO FLATCH (fka “This Country”) is a half-hour comedy written and executive-produced by Emmy Award winner Jenny Bicks (“Sex and the City,” “The Greatest Showman”) and directed and executive-produced by Emmy Award nominee Paul Feig (“The Office,” “Bridesmaids”). When a documentary crew sets out to explore the lives of residents in a small American town – their dreams, their concerns – they stumble upon the midwestern town of Flatch, which is made up of many eccentric personalities. It’s a place you want to visit and maybe even stay. If there was a decent motel. Which there is not. The series stars newcomers Chelsea Holmes and Sam Straley, Seann William Scott (“Lethal Weapon,” “American Pie” franchise), Aya Cash (“The Boys,” “You’re The Worst”), Taylor Ortega (“Succession”) and newcomers Krystal Smith and Justin Linville.

TRAILER FOR “WELCOME TO FLATCH”

PIVOTING is a single-camera comedy about how we deal with life, death and all the crazy things that happen in between. Set in a small, middle-class town in Long Island, NY, the series follows three women – and close-knit childhood friends – as they cope with the death of the fourth member of their group. When faced with the reality that life is short, these women pivot, and alter their current paths, by way of a series of impulsive, ill-advised and self-indulgent decisions. These pivots will strengthen their bond and prove it’s never too late to screw up your life in the pursuit of happiness. Written and executive-produced by Liz Astrof (“The Conners,” “2 Broke Girls”), the series stars Eliza Coupe (“Happy Endings”), Ginnifer Goodwin (“Once Upon a Time”), Maggie Q (“Designated Survivor”), Tommy Dewey (“Casual”), JT Neal (“Bless This Mess”) and Marcello Reyes (“Modern Family”).

TRAILER FOR “PIVOTING”

The new midseason unscripted series are NEXT LEVEL CHEF, DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS! and DOMINO MASTERS.

Gordon Ramsay is back with NEXT LEVEL CHEF, the next evolution in cooking competitions. Produced by FOX Alternative Entertainment and Studio Ramsay, the series features a one-of-a-kind culinary gauntlet – which Chef Ramsay designed — set on an iconic stage like you’ve never seen. Over three stories high, each floor contains a stunningly different kitchen. From the glistening top floor to the challenging bottom of the basement, the ingredients will match the environment, because Ramsay believes the true test of a great chef is not only what they can do in the best of circumstances, but what kind of magic they can create in the worst!  With a level playing field, Chef Ramsay has opened up the competition and scoured the country for the very best line cooks, home chefs, social media stars, food truck owners and everything in between, all competing against one and other with the goal of finding the food world’s newest superstar. Joined by two elite names in the food world, chefs Nyesha Arrington and Gino D’Acampo, Ramsay and his co-mentors will leave no stone unturned, as they each recruit a group of the talented young chefs and take them under their wings. Ramsay and his friends will attempt to bring out the very best in their cooks, as they all try to find “the one.”

Emmy Award nominee Niecy Nash hosts the all-new version of the popular game show DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS!, challenging contestants’ musical memory, as they get one song closer to winning $1 million if they DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS! Contestants will choose songs from different genres, decades and musical artists, then they’ll take center stage to sing alongside the studio band as the lyrics are projected on screen – but suddenly the music will stop, and the words will disappear. Will the contestants belt out the correct missing lyrics, or freeze under pressure?  If they sing nine songs correctly, they are presented with a No. 1 hit and sing the final missing lyrics for the top prize of $1 million. It’s that simple: 10 songs, some missing lyrics, $1 million.

Hosted by multi-Emmy-Award-winning actor and comedian Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”), DOMINO MASTERS brings imagination and creative ingenuity to life when teams of domino enthusiasts go head-to-head in a toppling tournament to create mind-blowing masterpieces, with infinite possibilities and thousands of tiles and unique kinetic devices. Stonestreet is joined by a panel of judges, including best-selling author and actress Danica McKellar (“Matchmaker Mysteries”), NFL Pro-Bowler and Super Bowl Champion Vernon Davis (“The Challenge”) and professional domino artist Steve Price, as 16 skilled teams compete against each other in ambitious building challenges to be crowned the country’s most talented amateur domino topplers. In each episode, the teams will be given a bold theme and exciting custom.

elements to incorporate into their topple. The competing pairs who most impress the judges will progress to the next round, until the finale, during which the top teams will face off for a cash prize, the ultimate trophy and the grand title of DOMINO MASTERS.

Additional recently announced series include:

From executive producers Howard Gordon (“24,” “Homeland”), Alex Gansa (“24,” “Homeland”) and David Shore (“The Good Doctor,” “House”), ACCUSED is based on the BBC’s BAFTA-winning crime anthology, in which each episode opens in a courtroom on the accused without knowing their crime or how they ended up on trial, the drama is told from the defendant’s point of view. In ACCUSED, viewers discover how an ordinary person got caught up in an extraordinary situation, ultimately revealing how one wrong turn leads to another, until it’s too late to turn back.

KRAPOPOLIS is an animated comedy set in mythical ancient Greece from Emmy Award-winning creator Dan Harmon (“Rick and Morty,” “Community”). Centered on a flawed family of humans, gods and monsters that tries to run one of the world’s first cities without killing each other. Fully owned and financed by FOX Entertainment, the comedy will be produced by its Emmy Award-winning animation studio, Bento Box Entertainment. Additionally, KRAPOPOLIS will serve as the first-ever animated series curated entirely on the Blockchain, as FOX and Bento Box enter the NFT business. The company will launch a dedicated marketplace for KRAPOPOLIS that will curate and sell digital goods, ranging from NFTs of one-of-a-kind character and background art and GIFs, as well as tokens that provide exclusive social experiences to engage and reward super fans.

This August, FOX travels to FANTASY ISLAND, with an all-new version of the classic show. A modern drama series, FANTASY ISLAND takes place at a luxury resort, where literally any fantasy requested by guests is fulfilled, although they rarely turn out as expected. Delving into the “what if” questions — both big and small — that keep us awake at night, each episode will tell emotional, provocative stories about people who arrive with dreams and desires, and depart enlightened and transformed through the magical realism of Fantasy Island. Serving as steward of this mysterious island is ELENA ROARKE (Roselyn Sanchez, “Devious Maids,” “Grand Hotel”), a descendant of the iconic Mr. Roarke. Elena set aside her own ambitions, and even the love of her life, to uphold her family’s legacy. Sophisticated, insightful and always charming, her calm exterior masks the challenges of the responsibilities she has assumed. Assisting Elena is RUBY OKORO (Kiara Barnes, “The Bold and the Beautiful”), a young woman with an old soul who arrives on Fantasy Island with a terminal illness, and is given a new lease on life there; and pilot JAVIER (John Gabriel Rodriquez, “Miranda’s Rights,” “Rosewood”), who also is the head of island transportation and a jack of all trades.

FOX’s full 2021-2022 programming slate is – Dramas: 9-1-1, 9-1-1: LONE STAR, THE BIG LEAP, THE CLEANING LADY, FANTASY ISLAND, MONARCH, OUR KIND OF PEOPLE, THE RESIDENT; Comedies: BOB’S BURGERS, CALL ME KAT, DUNCANVILLE, FAMILY GUY, THE GREAT NORTH, HOUSEBROKEN, PIVOTING, THE SIMPSONS, WELCOME TO FLATCH; Unscripted: ALTER EGO, BEAT SHAZAM, CRIME SCENE KITCHEN, DOMINO MASTERS, DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS!, HELL’S KITCHEN, I CAN SEE YOUR VOICE, LEGO MASTERS, THE MASKED SINGER, MASTERCHEF, MENTAL SAMURAI, NEXT LEVEL CHEF.

Additional schedule information and specials to be announced.

FOX FALL 2021 SCHEDULE

(All Times ET/PT)

MONDAY

8:00-9:00 PM                          9-1-1

9:00-10:00 PM                        THE BIG LEAP (new series)

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM                          THE RESIDENT

9:00-10:00 PM                        OUR KIND OF PEOPLE (new series)

WEDNESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM                          THE MASKED SINGER

9:00-10:00 PM                        ALTER EGO (new series)

THURSDAY, Beginning Oct. 7

8:00 PM-CC ET/                      THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL ON FOX

5:00 PM-CC PT

FRIDAY

8:00-10:00 PM                        WWE’S FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN

SATURDAY

7:00-10:30 PM                        FOX SPORTS SATURDAY

SUNDAY

7:00-7:30 PM                          NFL ON FOX

7:30-8:00 PM                          THE OT / FOX ENCORES

8:00-8:30 PM                          THE SIMPSONS

8:30-9:00 PM                          THE GREAT NORTH

9:00-9:30 PM                          BOB’S BURGERS

9:30-10:00 PM                        FAMILY GUY

FOX 2021-2022 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

SOCIAL MEDIA INFORMATION

ALTER EGO @AlterEgoFOX @AlterEgoonFOX @AlteregoonFox
THE BIG LEAP @TheBigLeapFOX @BigLeapFOX @bigleapfox
THE CLEANING LADY @TheCleaningLadyFOX @CleaningLadyFOX @cleaningladyfox
DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS! @LyricsonFOX @LyricsonFOX @lyricsonfox
DOMINO MASTERS @DominoMastersFOX @DominoMastersFOX @dominomastersfox
MONARCH @MonarchonFOX @MonarchonFOX @monarchonfox
NEXT LEVEL CHEF @NextLevelChefFOX @NextLevelFOX @nextlevelcheffox
OUR KIND OF PEOPLE @OurKindofPeopleFOX @OurKindFOX @ourkindofpeoplefox
PIVOTING @PivotingFOX @PivotingFOX @pivotingfox
WELCOME TO FLATCH @WelcomeToFlatch @WelcomeToFlatch @kellyandshrub

FOX 2021-2022 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

NEW SERIES SYNOPSES

The following dramas will debut this fall on FOX:

THE BIG LEAP

THE BIG LEAP is a modern tale about second chances, chasing your dreams and taking back what’s yours. From creator/executive producer Liz Heldens (“The Passage,” “Friday Night Lights”), director/executive producer Jason Winer (“Modern Family”) and executive producer Sue Naegle (“The Plot Against America”), the show revolves around a group of diverse, down-on-their-luck characters attempting to change their lives by participating in a potentially life-ruining reality dance show that builds to a live production of “Swan Lake.” On the heels of his latest show failure and a stressful divorce, producer NICK BLACKBURN (Scott Foley, “Scandal”) reluctantly signs on to produce “The Big Leap,” a brand-new contest series filming in Motor City. The show, which brings together dancers from every age, background and body type, is the brainchild of aging dancer WAYNE FONTAINE (Kevin Daniels, “Modern Family”).  With choreographer MONICA SULLIVAN (Mallory Jansen, “Galavant”) on board to help Nick mount the production, he begins his search for not only the best dancers, but also the ones that could stir up the most drama. GABBY LEWIS (newcomer Simone Recasner), once dreamt of becoming a professional dancer, but her dreams were sidelined when she got pregnant right out of high school. In the midst of the monotony that is her 9-to-5 office job, she stumbles upon “The Big Leap,” reigniting her passion for dance. Auditioning alongside Gabby is JUSTIN REYES (Raymond Cham Jr., “Five Points”), Gabby’s former dance partner and high school boyfriend…that is, until he came out of the closet (to the surprise of no one, except Gabby). Their fellow contestants include REGGIE SADLER (Ser’Darius Blain, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”), a famous pro football champ whom Nick believes could give the show the star power and controversy it needs to break through; BRITTNEY LOVEWELL (Anna Grace Barlow, “The Goldbergs”), a born-and-bred hyper-competitive ballroom dancer paired with her twin brother; unemployed autoworker MIKE DEVRIES (Jon Rudnitsky, “Catch-22”), whose gradual unraveling recently led his wife, to leave him; PAULA CLARK (Piper Perabo, “Covert Affairs,” “Coyote Ugly”), a high-powered corporate executive; and former ballerina JULIA PERKINS (Teri Polo, “Meet the Parents” franchise), now a social-media-obsessed mom who focuses more on her Instagram than on her teenage girls or husband; Inspired by a U.K. reality format, THE BIG LEAP is an innovative show-within-a-show that takes viewers on a journey of self-acceptance, body-positivity and empowerment at any age.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Television, FOX Entertainment

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Liz Heldens

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Jason Winer

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Sue Naegle

CAST: Scott Foley as Nick Blackburn, Simone Recasner as Gabby Lewis, Ser’Darius Blain as Reggie Sadler, Jon Rudnitsky as Mike Devries, Raymond Cham Jr. as Justin Reyes, Mallory Jansen as Monica Sullivan, Kevin Daniels as Wayne Fontaine, Anna Grace Barlow as Brittney Lovewell, with Piper Perabo as Paula Clark, and Teri Polo as Julia Perkins

OUR KIND OF PEOPLE

Inspired by Lawrence Otis Graham’s provocative, critically acclaimed book, “Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class,” the series takes place in the aspirational world of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, a historical stronghold where the rich and powerful black elite have come to play for over 50 years. OUR KIND OF PEOPLE follows strong-willed, single mom ANGELA VAUGHN (Yaya DaCosta, “Chicago Med,” “Whitney”) as she sets out to reclaim her family’s name and make an impact with her revolutionary haircare line that highlights the innate, natural beauty of black women. But she soon discovers a dark secret about her own mother’s past that will turn her world upside-down and shake up this community forever. The show is a soapy, thrilling exploration of race and class in America and an unapologetic celebration of black resilience and achievement. OUR KIND OF PEOPLE is produced by 20th Television and FOX Entertainment. The project is written and executive-produced by Karin Gist. Lee Daniels and Marc Velez (Lee Daniels Entertainment); Pam Williams and Claire Brown (The Gist Of It Productions); Ben Silverman and Drew Buckley (Propagate); and Montrel McKay also serve as executive producers.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: 20th Television, FOX Entertainment

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Karin Gist

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Lee Daniels, Marc Velez, Pam Williams, Claire Brown, Ben Silverman, Howard Owens, Drew Buckley, Montrel McKay

CAST: Yaya DaCosta as Angela Vaughn, Morris Chestnut as Raymond DuPont

The following unscripted series will debut this fall on FOX:

ALTER EGO

In this all-new original singing competition, lost dreams and second chances are reignited when singers from all walks of life become the stars they’ve always wanted to be. However, these contestants won’t perform as themselves. Rather, they’ll be given the chance to show how they’ve always wanted to be seen, creating their dream avatar ALTER EGO to reinvent themselves and perform like never before.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: FOX Alternative Entertainment

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Matilda Zoltowski

The following dramas will debut in midseason on FOX:

THE CLEANING LADY

From executive producer/writer Miranda Kwok (“The 100”), executive producer/showrunner Melissa Carter (“Queen Sugar”), executive producer/director Michael Offer (“Homeland,” “How To Get Away With Murder”) and executive producers Shay Mitchell (“You,” “Pretty Little Liars”), Rose Marie Vega and Paola Suarez, THE CLEANING LADY is a thrilling and emotionally driven character drama about a whip-smart Cambodian doctor who comes to the U.S. for a medical treatment to save her ailing son. However, when the system fails and pushes her into hiding, she refuses to be beaten down and marginalized. Instead, she becomes a cleaning lady for the organized crime, using her cunning and intelligence to forge her own path in the criminal underworld. THONY (Elodie Yung, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”) had it all – a successful career, a handsome husband and a child on the way. But when their son, LUCA (newcomers Valentino and Sebastien LaSalle), was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening immunodeficiency disorder, her husband’s own secrets begin to emerge, leaving Thony to save the boy on her own. Now in Las Vegas with her sister-in-law, FIONA (Martha Millan “The OA”), Thony waits for a matching bone marrow donor for Luca, while struggling to make ends meet as an undocumented worker. Then, through an unexpected connection with the mobster ARMAN MORALES (Adan Canto, “Designated Survivor”), Thony learns she can now save Luca – even if it means sacrificing her own soul in the process. Crossing into a world of moral greys, Thony begins to live a double life, keeping secrets from her family, while cleaning crime scenes for Arman and dodging the law. Based on the original Argentine series, THE CLEANING LADY is a story of empowerment, resilience and the human spirit that asks us all if the ends justify the means.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Warner Bros. Television, FOX Entertainment

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Miranda Kwok

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/SHOWRUNNER: Melissa Carter

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Michael Offer

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Shay Mitchell, Rose Marie Vega, Paola Suarez

CAST: Elodie Yung as Thony, Adan Canto as Arman Morales, Martha Millan as Fiona, Sebastien and Valentino LaSalle as Luca

MONARCH

MONARCH is an epic, multi-generational musical drama about America’s first family of country music. The Romans are passionate and fiercely talented, but while their name is synonymous with honesty, the very foundation of this family’s success is a lie. When dangerous truths bubble to the surface, the Romans’ reign as country royalty is put in jeopardy. Nicky Roman, the brilliant and fierce heir to the crown, already battling an industry and world stacked against her, will stop at nothing to protect her family’s legacy. It’s finally her turn. But is it too late? MONARCH is produced by FOX Entertainment. Melissa London Hilfers (“Instinct”) serves as creator, writer and executive producer. Michael Rauch (“Royal Pains”) is an executive producer and showrunner. Gail Berman and Hend Baghdady (The Jackal Group) and Jason Owen (Sandbox Entertainment) also serve as executive producers.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: FOX Entertainment

CREATOR/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Melissa London Hilfers

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/SHOWRUNNER: Michael Rauch

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Gail Berman, Hend Baghdady, Jason Owen

The following comedies will debut in midseason on FOX:

WELCOME TO FLATCH

Inspired by BBC Studios’ BAFTA-winning format “This Country,” WELCOME TO FLATCH is a half-hour comedy written and executive-produced by Emmy Award winner Jenny Bicks (“Sex and the City,” “The Greatest Showman”) and directed and executive-produced by Emmy Award nominee Paul Feig (“The Office,” “Bridesmaids”). When a documentary crew sets out to explore the lives of residents in a small American town – their concerns, their dreams, their lives – they stumble upon the midwestern town of Flatch, a place you want to visit and maybe even stay. If there was a decent motel. Which there is not.  Flatch is made up of many eccentric personalities, including two cousins who don’t have much, but they do have each other. Twenty-year-old KELLY MALLET (newcomer Chelsea Holmes) has never left her hometown and doesn’t want to. Outwardly tough, she’s really a softie with dreams of being an entrepreneur, and the wardrobe of an aging male sports fan. SHRUB MALLET (newcomer Sam Straley) is Kelly’s 21-year-old cousin and best friend. He has the soul of an artist and the body of an artist with a mineral deficiency. Hoping to guide Kelly and Shrub is FATHER JOE (Seann William Scott, “Lethal Weapon,” “American Pie” franchise), the town’s new pastor and a recent transplant from Minneapolis. He loves his adopted town and its odd inhabitants and always believes things can be made better with a good chat and a hug, even though he’s not sure it’s okay to hug anymore. Actually, Joe arrived in Flatch with his girlfriend, CHERYL (Aya Cash, “The Boys,” “You’re The Worst”), but they broke up soon after they moved. A reporter back in Minneapolis, Cheryl is surprised to find that she is blossoming here as editor of the town’s newspaper (circulation 751). Other residents of the town are NADINE PETERSON (Taylor Ortega, “Succession”), who went to high school with Shrub and Kelly and is everything they are not – beautiful, married, successful; BIG MANDY (newcomer Krystal Smith), Kelly’s neighbor and a magnetic force of nature; and MICKEY (newcomer Justin Linville), an old classmate of Shrub and Kelly’s who works at the fireworks store.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Lionsgate, BBC Studio’s Los Angeles production arm, FOX Entertainment

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Jenny Bicks

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Paul Feig

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Angie Stephenson (BBC Studios), Charlie Cooper (creator of the original BBC series “This Country”), Daisy May Cooper (creator of the original BBC series “This Country”),

CAST: Chelsea Holmes as Kelly Mallet, Sam Straley as Shrub Mallet, Seann William Scott as Father Joe, Aya Cash as Cheryl, Taylor Ortega as Nadine Peterson, Krystal Smith as Big Mandy, Justin Linville as Mickey

PIVOTING

PIVOTING is a single-camera comedy about how we deal with life, death and all the crazy things that happen in between. Set in a small, middle-class town in Long Island, NY, the series follows three women – and close-knit childhood friends – as they cope with the death of the fourth member of their group.  When faced with the reality that life is short, these women pivot, and alter their current paths, by way of a series of impulsive, ill-advised and self-indulgent decisions. These pivots will strengthen their bond and prove it’s never too late to screw up your life in the pursuit of happiness. For AMY (Eliza Coupe, “Happy Endings”), the fearless producer of a local cooking show, managing a hundred employees comes easily. Yet, when it comes to caring for her own children – seven-year-old LUKE (Marcello Reyes, “Modern Family”) and 18-month-old JULIA – she’s absolutely terrified. Despite her lack of maternal instincts, her husband, HENRY (Tommy Dewey, “Casual”), a contractor who never loses his cool, perfectly counter-balances Amy in all of her flaws.  Her pivot is to be a more active, present mother. JODIE (Ginnifer Goodwin, “Once Upon a Time”) is a stay-at-home mom of three in a loveless marriage. Her husband is a controlling, finance-obsessed jerk, but Jodie has never even considered that the grass might be greener anywhere else. When she does, her pivot means getting in shape…and maybe more with her hot 25-year-old trainer, MATT (JT Neal, “Bless This Mess”), who gives her the attention, affection and excitement she didn’t realize she had been craving for years. SARAH (Maggie Q, “Designated Survivor”) is a successful doctor — an MD and PhD, as she will readily let anyone know. For Sarah, the loss of their friend is compounded by the recent divorce from her wife. After a life filled with stress, Sarah is sent into a tailspin, that launches her pivot to a simpler, and thus happier life — working as a grocery store employee.  Written by Liz Astrof (“The Conners,” “2 Broke Girls”), PIVOTING takes a real look at three intelligent, empowered and seemingly enlightened women who decide to stop and hit the reset button. For all three of these women, the untimely and heartbreaking death of their friend was the wake-up call they didn’t know they needed, but might be just the thing that helps them live their best lives.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Warner Bros. Television, FOX Entertainment

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/WRITER: Liz Astrof

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Tristram Shapeero

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor

CAST: Eliza Coupe as Amy, Ginnifer Goodwin as Jodie, Maggie Q as Sarah, Tommy Dewey as Henry, JT Neal as Matt, Marcello Reyes as Luke

The following unscripted series will premiere midseason:

NEXT LEVEL CHEF

Gordon Ramsay is back with NEXT LEVEL CHEF, the next evolution in cooking competitions.  The series features a one-of-a-kind culinary gauntlet – which Ramsay designed — set on an iconic stage like you’ve never seen. Over three stories high, each floor contains a stunningly different kitchen. From the glistening top floor to the challenging bottom of the basement, the ingredients will match the environment, because Ramsay believes the true test of a great chef is not only what they can do in the best of circumstances, but what kind of magic they can create in the worst! With a level playing field, Ramsay has opened up the competition and scoured the country for the very best line cooks, home chefs, social media stars, food truck owners and everything in between, all competing against one another with the goal of finding the food world’s newest superstar. Joined by two elite names in the food world, chefs Nyesha Arrington and Gino D’Acampo, Ramsay and his co-mentors will leave no stone unturned, as they each recruit a group of the talented young chefs, and take them under their wings. Ramsay and his friends will attempt to bring out the very best in their cooks, as they all try to find “the one.”

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Studio Ramsay, FOX Alternative Entertainment

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Gordon Ramsay, Lisa Edwards, Matt Cahoon

MENTORS: Gordon Ramsay, Nyesha Arrington, Gino D’Acampo

DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS!

Emmy Award nominee Niecy Nash hosts the all-new version of the popular game show DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS!, challenging contestants’ musical memory, as they get one song closer to winning $1 million if they DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS! Contestants will choose songs from different genres, decades and musical artists, then they’ll take center stage to sing alongside the studio band as the lyrics are projected on screen – but suddenly the music will stop, and the words will disappear.  Will the contestants belt out the correct missing lyrics, or freeze under pressure?  If they sing nine songs correctly, they are presented with a No. 1 hit and sing the final missing lyrics for the top prize of $1 million. It’s that simple: 10 songs, some missing lyrics, $1 million.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Apploff Entertainment, Bunim/Murray Productions

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Jeff Apploff, Rupert Dobson, Niecy Nash

HOST: Niecy Nash

DOMINO MASTERS

Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”) hosts new unscripted competition series DOMINO MASTERS, featuring teams of domino enthusiasts facing off in an unbelievable domino toppling and chain reaction tournament. Throughout the competition, Stonestreet, alongside the judges, will encourage the domino aficionados, introduce incredible challenges and put the creations to the test until one team is crowned the DOMINO MASTERS.  DOMINO MASTERS brings imagination and creative ingenuity to life when teams of domino enthusiasts go head-to-head in a toppling tournament to create mind-blowing masterpieces, with infinite possibilities and thousands of tiles and unique kinetic devices. Sixteen skilled teams will compete against each other in ambitious dominoes building challenges to be crowned the country’s most talented amateur domino topplers. In each episode, the teams will be given a bold theme and exciting custom elements to incorporate into their topple. The competing pairs who most impress the judges will progress to the next round, until the finale, during which the top teams will face off for a cash prize, the ultimate trophy and the grand title of DOMINO MASTERS.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: FOX Alternative Entertainment

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Gail Berman, Danny Schrader, Hend Baghdady

HOST: Eric Stonestreet

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Family Guy Characters

Character Descriptions

Family Guy characters

 

Peter Griffin bioPeter Griffin is the head of the Griffin family of Quahog, Rhode Island. He is a working class guy… not very mature or bright.   He often runs off on some wild chase or scheme.  He loves beer and hanging out with his friends at the local bar, The Drunken Clam.

 

 

 

Lois Griffin bioLois Griffin is married to Peter and the mom of their kids. She has a little more common sense than he does, but she’s not a very warm person (especially when it comes to her kids). She and Peter bicker a lot but love each other.

 

 

 

Meg Griffin bioMeg Griffin is the oldest child. No one seems to like her (including her family). Her family bullies or ignores her. She’s a bit odd and definitely “a nerd.” Sometimes the family jokes that she’ll be a lesbian in the future.

 

 

 

Chris Griffin bioChris Griffin is a teenaged boy. He’s not very smart and seems emotionally stunted. He’s obsessed with girls, like most teens. Sometimes he speaks as if he’s actually a lot smarter. He loves to play video games.

 

 

 

Stewie Griffin bioStewie Griffin is the baby of the family, but he’s really an evil genius. There are many jokes about him being gay (and in the closet).  Sometimes he acts like a regular child, and other times he seems very far advanced. He has most of the best jokes on the show. Brian is his best friend. They have adventures together. Stewie likes to try to kill his mom and also build time machines.

 

Brian bioBrian is the family dog, but he can speak and is fairly smart (not as smart as he thinks he is). He likes to read (or at least, pretend to read), write and sip Champagne. He dates humans as well as dogs.  He tries to keep Stewie out of trouble. Brian has a big crush on Lois but is also Peter’s best friend (and Stewie’s as well).  He and Quagmire hate each other.

 

 

Joe Swanson bioJoe Swanson is Peter’s next door neighbor. He’s in a wheelchair but is also a police officer.  He has an offbeat sense of humor and is usually cheery not matter what. He, Peter, Quagmire and Cleveland hang out at the local bar. He’s married to a woman, Bonnie, that doesn’t treat him very well.

 

 

Glenn Quagmire bioGlenn Quagmire is Peter’s other next door neighbor. He’s a pilot who’s obsessed with sex and bedding as many women as he can. Like Brian, he has a huge crush on Lois. He and Brian hate each other. He thinks Brian is a big phony. His favorite sayings are “all right” and “giggity giggity.”

 

 

Cleveland bioCleveland Brown lives across the street from Peter. Whenever there’s a terrible thing that happens in the neighborhood, Cleveland’s house is usually destroyed, with him in the bathtub and falling out of the house. He’s a mail carrier. His wife is Loretta, and they have two children. There was a spinoff of his family, “The Cleveland Show.”

 

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Interview with “The Masked Singer” panel and host

TV Interview!

The Masked Singer cast at the FOX Winter TCAs

Interview with “The Masked Singer” panel and host on FOX by Suzanne 3/2/21

This was a very fun panel at the FOX Television Critics Association. The panel is filled with comedians and they were all being hilarious (especially Ken Jeong).  There was a lot of laughing.

The panelists included Host Niecy Nash; panelists Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg, Ken Jeong, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke; and executive producers Craig Plestis, James Breen and Rosie Seitchik.

I’ve never heard Robin Thicke speak before. I was amazed at how much he sounds like his dad, Alan Thicke! For those of you who are younger folks, Alan Thicke starred in the hit 80’s sitcom “Growing Pains.” He passed away about 5 years ago.

I didn’t get a chance to ask a question, but I was there watching it with the hundreds of other reporters.

I’ve put in quite a bit of quotes here because the cast was just so funny, and I wanted to share with you how they joke around and make fun of each other. Normally I would just summarize it a lot more.

Introduction: The smash hit competition series THE MASKED SINGER returns for its game changing fifth season with major format twists and all new costumes you really have to see to believe. The season premieres Wednesday, March 10th, with our fabulous guest host, Niecy Nash, serving as ringmaster of our very weird and wonderful three ring circus. We are excited for you to be the first to see this show stopping performance from the new season of THE MASKED SINGER.

The first question asked about the wild card. The questioner said that “one of the appeals of the show is connecting with the masked celebrities” but the wild card just jumps on stage. Would there be any connecting with a wild card?

Producer Plestis answered that yes, they do connect with the wild because of the story and clue packages, where they find out a little. He said that it just adds some freshness to the show. They’re excited by it and think the viewers will be, too, and be able to connect with them. Wahlberg added that she thinks that the wild cards have had some of the “most moving stories.” She thinks that the audience will expect that they’re “coming too late in the game” but they’re not. She thinks they’ll be surprised. Producer Breen agrees with that and added that one of them gives a very emotional performance.

The second questioner asked about whether there was any concern about too much franchise spinoff and posited two possible examples as “The Masked Chef” or “The Masked Athlete” Jeong said, jokingly, “I mean, look, we are getting the message out to wear a mask, guys. If you want to wear a mask out in public, if you want to wear a mask on broadcasting, on television, I mean, how better than to get the message out and profitability, you know, than to wear a mask, so no.” Everyone was laughing at his dry humor. He said seriously that the Masked Chef was exceptional and the Mother Ship (implying that any spinoffs would not be a problem). He praised the production team. Thicke added that, although they love the Masked Dancer as well, he feels that the “level of star power in Season 5 in THE MASKED SINGER is at another level.” Scherzingers said, “We also love your gold chains, Robin.” Thicke joked back, “Thank you. You know, I figured I’d shower and put on some clothes this time.” Nash said, “Very good.” Jeong joked, “Oh my goodness. Talking about Mr. T, literally.”

Wahlberg was impressed by the high caliber of celebrities they had on the show this season. It shocked her. Nash and Thicke agreed with that. Plestis added that they had so many celebs that wanted to be on the show, but they had to ask them to “Come back for a future season.” They felt very lucky this season to have so many.

The next questioner asked if there would be more competition between the judges this season. Thicke replied succinctly, “Yes.” Wahlberg said, “Well, I’m a very competitive person.” Thicke joked, “Ken and I will be doing bare hand boxing.” Jeong joined in on the joke, “Yeah. It’s really great.” Nash put in her two cents, “Listen, let me just say, as somebody who was blessed and honored to show up and stand in the gap, the competition between these judges is a real — they go hard because–” Scherzinger interjected, “What are you talking about, Niecy?” Nash couldn’t believe she said that. She went on. “Oh, you know what I’m talking about. The competition is real.” She said they put pressure on themselves to get it right. Wahlberg agreed that they get harangued on social media if they don’t get it right. She continued, “But I will say this: The game changing in terms of the panelists is Ken Jeong went from Ken Jeong wrong to Ken Jeong strong.” Thicke added, “Ken Jeong is competitive.” Wahlberg said, “He comes as a real competitor this year with the Golden Ear.” Nash joked, “Ken Jeong is not so wrong.” Jeong kept the joking going, “Yeah. I go ‘Queen’s Gambit’ on this, guys. I go ‘Queen’s Gambit.’ I really just… it’s just a whole new look for your boys over here.” Wahlberg said, “He stares at the ceiling just like, ‘Shit.’ It gets crazy.” There was a lot of laughter. Scherzinger had been pointing, gesturing, so Jeong said, “Great pointing, Nicole. Great pointing.” Scherzinger agreed, “I get to point my finger. I was, like, wait a minute.” Jeong joked, “You have to find your finger first. Yeah, no. That’s how you make a point, by pointing. That’s how you do it.” They were clearly having a good time.

The next question was a two-parter. First he asked if the judges are getting better at picking up on the clues, or are the producers finding new ways to challenge them.

Thicke jumped in to admit that it’s gotten more difficult with each new season and that in this one, they’re “pretty much inadequate in most ways.” He said that Wahlberg studies the clues hard. Then he joked,”Ken gets lucky because every dog has their day.” He bragged that he and Scherzinger usually can get it after a few times listening and also admitted that the new “first impression guess” had really been challenging them. Scherzinger said that the new character Cluedle-Doo makes it difficult. She has difficulty saying that name, but the others helped her out. Wahlberg said, “And he messes with us. So even when we think he’s going to give us an amazing clue, sometimes he does, but sometimes he’ll steal it or not tell us or turn it around.” Thicked agreed, “A lot of the clues line up, and a lot of them are misdirects,” and Wahlberg agreed.

The second question was for Niecy Nash. The questioner asked if there was anything she noticed, as a viewer, when watching the first 4 seasons, that she brings as a host? Nash answered her part of the question. She was able to sit with the judges and be a guest, which was very different from hosting. When she’s hosting, she can’t be guessing about who’s who like the judges do. She’s supposed to “lead the charge, lead the circus.” Whenever she wasn’t hosting, though, she tried to figure out the clues. She felt like one of the home viewers even when she was hosting.

Executive producer Rosie Seitchik joined the call late, so they welcomed her.

The next question asked about the various changes they make in the game each year and whether they’re worried about messing with success. Plestis answered that their challenge every season is to make it fresh and making things a little different without really varying the format. He added, “And, honestly, it was fun filming it. And I know with the panel, you know, the twists and turns, they had a ball doing it, and I think America will as well.” Breen agreed. Scherzinger added, “Keeping them guessing.” “Exactly,” Plestis agreed. Jeong joked, “Point again, Nicole. Just point again, please.” Scherzinger said, pointing, “Let me find it.” Jeong replied, “There you go.” Scherzinger said, “There it is. Is that good?” This brought more laughs.

The next question asked about the fake audience (that they use during the pandemic) – whether it changed at all this season and whether they’re worried people at home might think it’s a real audience (and thus breaking protocols). Breen thinks that people are more sophisticated than that and know that it’s not a real audience because of what’s going on in the world, so they don’t worry that people will think it’s real. Breen added, “I also think big, communal events are what everyone’s missing right now, and we wanted to keep that atmosphere and that fun for everyone at home. I mean, I think it would be a very different show without any audience. So, yeah, this season is going to be the same as Season 4 in terms of there’s a virtually created audience and there’s audience cutaways from previous seasons, but I think that’s the best we can do, unfortunately, right now.” The panelists agreed with that, and Thicke said that they like giving people something to celebrate and give them hope that good times are coming soon again. “It’s all about positivity,” he said.
Scherzinger shared her praise, “Yeah. I think it’s really cool how you producers did that and used old footage to make it feel like a real audience as opposed to just doing what a lot of people are doing with a Zoom and just this screen behind everybody.” Thicke mused, “When I watch basketball games, I miss that intensity. You miss that crowd. You miss the crowd’s reaction. You miss seeing how they would jump up and down to something, and that little bit of fantasy is necessary for us to fully dive into the experience.” Wahlberg said, “Right. And cardboard cutouts just don’t cut it.” Seitchik: “To each his own. … I was going to say, for such an interactive show, the premise of this show is so much guessing and so much participation that, without that element, it would be a very different show. So, we were really keen on holding onto that selling point and everyone’s ability to engage on that level and see everyone on the floor, engaging with the panel’s guesses and guessing who is under the mask. It’s so much a part of what this show is.” Thicke said, “Yeah. A lot of times, when we are watching it at home, we feel those emotions that rise and fall of oohs and ahs. We feel those emotions, and so you want to see that represented in the people in the audience also. I think it’s wonderful how they figured that out.”

The next question was to Robin Thicke about whether the singers try to sing in a different style to throw him off, since he tries to guess by singing style. Daughtry mentioned that, so he wondered if others did that, too. Thicke replied, “In fact, it’s become part of the game. They want to go as long as they can into the competition, but they don’t want to be guessed. So, they want to throw us off, and the producers want to throw us off so we get to go on this adventure with the performers. But sometimes Nicole and I will look at each other from across the table, like, ‘We know who this is, right?’ And then some of the clues will take us down another path. And then Jenny will say something that now, all of a sudden, we are thinking an athlete. And then Ken goes on some rant, completely unnecessary, that won’t help us at all.” Jeong, mock-angry, replied, “How dare you.” Thicke joked, “And somewhere in the middle, we don’t get it right even after all of that.” Wahlberg said, “Very true.” Thicke added, “That’s pretty much what happens, and it’s a lot of fun the whole time.” It’s clear that this cast has a lot of fun with their job.

The next press person asked, “When you make your guesses, how much of it do you think is based on the clues, how much is based on what you just heard, and how much is just a gut feeling?” Jeong joked, “I’m all gut. I mean, you really have to just not think and just don’t listen. I’m not trained. I don’t have any musical talent. I’m not a recording artist. I’ve never been signed to any label, my choice, which is why I feel I’m the most authentic voice because I only listen to my gut and nobody else, including my peers, producers, network, studio, and that’s why I’m very necessary, Robin.” Everyone laughed because it was very funny. Wahlberg shared that she was “90 percent clues except when I get the first impression,” because she loves clues. “I love going to escape rooms on the weekends. I love to figure things out. So, I really lean heavily on those because it makes it even more fun for me. ”

The next question asked about the condensed filming for the season, and how often we’ll see Niecy Nash hosting and how often Nick Cannon will be hosting. Breen replied, “Well, Nick rejoins towards the second half of the season. I won’t be too specific about how many shows, but Niecy kicks things off. And I did want to say, actually, we got incredibly lucky there because Niecy just stepped in… it was pretty last minute… and immediately had her own chemistry with the panel.” He kept praising her, and the cast agreed. Plestis also replied, “She is part of our game changing season,” which Breen agreed with. Scherzinger praised, “Niecy is the boss. She’s a queen. She’s so fast but fun, relatable. And she took over from Nick’s spot, and she put her son in his place, Ken.” They all laughed. Nash was thankful for all the praise, saying, “You guys, I have never felt so welcomed. You know, it’s not like we all started together or we… do you know what I mean? I just walked in the door, and every single person supported me and was so kind. And the producers, I have to take my hats off to you because they gave me such a beautiful surprise.” She went on to reveal that the producers surprised her with a video message of her new wife, which made her cry.

Jeong also praised the producers and how safe they make them feel. “We’ve never been on a set where we’ve had so much love and support and especially during COVID. Even before we’ll do episodes, the producers will do a completely edited package for each panelist, and, you know, whether they’ll bring in friends and family and highlight old clips, it’s just for us. It’s not for public consumption. It really is. And it’s not just for shallow morale. It really is just how much we genuinely love and support each other and especially during these times. It’s the best TV job I’ve ever had. It’s just been incredible.” Wahlberg agreed, “A hundred percent. Well said.” Nash joked, “Well, if y’all need anything, an extra grip or somebody to hold up, like, done.” Breen also joked, “Done. You are hired.”

The next question from the press was asking how COVID impacted the filming and whether they got bigger stars than they would normally get because people aren’t out there performing. Plestis replied that they definitely got people whose schedules would not normally be free and that they were “really blessed this season to get some exceptional talent.” He added that the premiere is phenomenal and we won’t believe it. Scherzinger said, “There’s been celebrities who have said to us that they… oh, wait. What was the question again?” Everyone laughed at that. Jeong joked, “Just point. Just point, Nicole.” Thicke added, “Welcome to THE MASKED SINGER.” Jeong also said, “We told her backstage “Just point.” Scherzinger said,”When you looked at me, all I kept thinking was “Premiere energy, premiere energy,” and then I forget what the question was.” Jeong joked, “Good point.” Wahlberg agreed that there were “amazing celebrities” this year. Scherzinger said,”No. Wait. Celebrities have said… I know what I was going to say. Celebrities have said… oh, my gosh, yes, to what you are saying! Their schedules are more free but also that they want this platform, that they miss performing, that they miss the stage, and this is the perfect opportunity to get back out there. So, a lot of people aren’t touring, like me and Robin. So they are, like, ‘Get me out there.’ Yeah, even LeAnn Rimes said that the other day.”

The next questioner said that “Jenny is very good at figuring out who is behind the mask. Do you guys have to have conversations with her about slowing it down in terms of the guessing?” Jeong replied jokingly, “Yes. I’m glad you brought that up. I really do, on and off camera, just really slow it down.” Nash confirmed “that conversation isn’t planned.” Plestis praised cast for being so smart and that they have find tougher ways to trick them. He made sure that everyone knows that “no one knows who is behind the mask. There’s only a few people on our production who does. Our director doesn’t know. Most of the crew doesn’t know, definitely not the panel. We don’t tell the host. So, it is a big secret.” They make the clue packages to just give a little “nugget” of truth for them to play with. Wahlberg agreed and added, “They’ve never approached me to say, “Slow it down,” because all they do, like he said, is just change it up to make it more difficult.” Jeong added, “But slow it down, please.” Plestis joked, “Let Ken catch up, Jenny. Come on. Let him catch up.” Wahlberg joked, “He can slow it down.”

Another person asked a very good question about whether there had been “an accidental reveal? Like, somebody tripped on a wire, and their costume might have come off, or someone walked in a room at the wrong time? And then, for the judges, who to this day has been your most shocking unmasking?” Wahlberg replied, “Well, I’d love to answer both of those questions, which is Mickey Rourke, because he just decided ‘I’m done. I’m hot. I want to take it off.’ We were, like, ‘What?’ So that was a true unexpected surprise.” The person who asked the question was amazed. “That was genuinely unplanned?” Wahlberg confirmed it, “Yes.” Jeong agreed, “Yeah, that was unplanned.” Breen also agreed, “Yeah, absolutely. That was all legit, real, and we were–” Thicke cut Breen off by accidentally. “Yeah. Mickey Rourke was tired. He wanted to go.” Jeong said, “He wanted to go, and we were being told, ‘Just go with it. Just go with it.’ And we were, like, ‘What is going on?’ That was a hundred percent real.” Wahlberg said, “He just didn’t want to be in it.” Thicke agreed, “Yeah.” Jeong said, “It was crazy.” Scherzinger joined in, “He did whatever he wanted when he wanted. I think, for me, the biggest surprise, I was really impressed with my guess. I guessed the Ying Yang Twins when it was Bob Saget.” Jeong joked, “They do get confused, to be fair.” Scherzinger added, “The biggest surprise for me was Lil Wayne, and I think it was, for all of us, when Lil Wayne took the robot mask off.” Thicke agreed again, “Yeah.” Scherzinger continued, “We were, like, “What?”” Wahlberg added, “That was embarrassing.”

The last questioner asked, “Whose skills have gotten sharper? Whose have maybe gotten less sharp? And feel free to talk about each other.” Of course, this set them up for more joking. Thicke remarked, “Oh, I can answer this loud and clear. Well, Ken has definitely finally shown up.” Wahlberg agreed, “Yeah.” Jeong joked, “How dare you.” Scherzinger pointed out, “Ken is not so wrong Jeong.” Thicke answered, somewhat seriously, “Nicole and I started off stronger the first couple of seasons. Now we are just more confused than ever.” Scherzinger agreed, “Yeah.” Thicke continued, “I think we try to trust our guts, and then the clues take us on another path. Nicole and I need help. We need help in whatever way you can send it to us.” Wahlberg countered, “That’s not true.” Scherzinger chimed in, “I think our ears are pretty golden because we have good ears, but our clue master is definitely Jenny.” Jeong agreed, “Yes.” Thicke said, “Yes. I’ve decided to just have a good time this season.” Scherzinger said, “You sure have.” Wahlberg agreed, “And because of it, we all have a good time.” Thicke said, “Yeah. I’ve never had more fun and gotten…” Jeong interrupted to say, “Robin really is just… if you look at his attire and unfortunately his chains today, it really has been amazing to see his evolution on the show, and he is so funny this season and is just a ray of light, just pure sunshine. I think we can all say that.” Thicke added, “I think Ken and I kind of switched places. Ken is getting more right now, and I’m just going for the jokes.” Nash joked, “Let me just say this: Being able to come and host this season, I don’t know how well I would have done on the panel because everybody who stood next to me in the costume I thought was somebody I dated. I’m, like, “Did we go out?” Scherzinger added, “Just like Nick Cannon. It was the same for him as well.

Conclusion: As a reminder, THE MASKED SINGER will premiere on Wednesday, March 10th, at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific. New episodes of the show will be available on Tubi shortly after the linear premiere, and all prior seasons of THE MASKED SINGER as well as more than 30,000 other titles are currently up and available. So, we encourage you to download the app and check it out.

characters from "The Masked Singer" on FOX

MORE INFO:

FOX BET SUPER 6 TEAMS WITH
TELEVISION’S #1 ENTERTAINMENT SERIES, “THE MASKED SINGER,” FOR SEASON FIVE,
PREMIERING WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10, ON FOX

 

Free-To-Play App Introduces Awards
Totaling More than $250K Throughout Season Five

Players Try to Predict Six Outcomes Per Episode For a Chance to Win Cash Prizes

When the fifth season of the hit singing competition series THE MASKED SINGER debuts Wednesday, March 10 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, the FOX Bet Super 6 app will offer viewers an enhanced entertainment experience, by making predictions about what they think will happen in each episode throughout the season.

In advance of each episode of THE MASKED SINGER, viewers who download the FOX Bet Super 6 app will be presented with six questions to predict what will occur in the show that night. For every correct answer, users of the app will receive an entry into a prize drawing where a total of $20,000 will be given away each week. There will be multiple winners each week. Users who enter the sweepstakes every week will receive an extra entry into a grand prize sweepstakes with a $100,000 grand prize, which could be awarded to a single player following the show’s season finale in May.

Starting Monday, March 8, in advance of the season premiere episode of THE MASKED SINGER, FOX Bet Super 6’s weekly contest will launch each Monday at 8:00 PM ET, and entries will be open until the end of Act 1 of the East Coast airing on Wednesdays at 8:00 PM ET.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to build on the app’s popularity with sports fans and expand the fun and excitement into an entirely new audience,” said FOX Bet CMO, Andrew Schneider. “The app has proven to be an engaging complement to live events and, through this partnership, will help to drive viewership and enrich the experience of MASKED SINGER fans.”

This season’s #1 entertainment series among Adults 18-49 in Most Current ratings, THE MASKED SINGER is hosted by Nick Cannon and will feature guest host Niecy Nash this season, along with panelists Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke. Celebrities who have performed on the show include T-Pain, LeAnn Rimes, Gladys Knight, Donny Osmond, Seal, Patti LaBelle, Drew Carey, Lil Wayne, Mickey Rourke, Rob Gronkowski, Wayne Brady, Tori Spelling, Dionne Warwick and many, many more!

Beyond the sports arena, the versatile FOX Bet Super 6 app grew exponentially with contests during the 2020 Presidential Debate and Election. The first Presidential Debate in September generated over 479,000 entries, followed by October’s Presidential Debate with more than 678,000 entries, and culminated with November’s Presidential Election contest registering over 1 million entries. Additional pop culture contests include FOX Bet’s Super 6 Stock Market Challenge and Quiz Show.

Since launching in September 2019, the FOX Bet Super 6 app boasts a user base of 4.4 million with more than 90 million contest entries and has awarded 22,000 nationwide winners with approximately $4 million in prizes.  Since the return of sports at the end of July 2020, FOX Bet Super 6 has garnered the most downloads in the free-to-play category of Sports Prediction Apps (includes Fantasy). For the Super Bowl LV Super 6 contest last month, the app scored more than 1.4 million entries – the most entries for a single contest ever.

THE MASKED SINGER is produced by FOX Alternative Entertainment. James Breen, Craig Plestis, Rosie Seitchik and Nick Cannon serve as executive producers. James Breen serves as showrunner. The series is based on the South Korean format created by Mun Hwa Broadcasting Corp.

FOX Bet Super 6, is a free-to-play prediction app under the FOX Bet umbrella, which is a division of Flutter Entertainment. No betting or wagering of any kind is made on the FOX Bet Super 6 platform. No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the U.S., excluding WA, 18 and over. Each contest closes at 8:15pm ET. See terms and conditions at FOXSuper6.com. Sponsored and prize supplied by TSG Interactive US Services Limited.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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The Masked Singer on FOX

Interview with cast of “Prodigal Son” TCA Panel

TV Interview!

"Prodigal Son" cast at the FOX Spring TCAs.

Interview with actors of “Prodigal Son” on FOX by Suzanne 3/2/21

Today I went to the TCA panel (virtual presentation) with most of the actors from “Prodigal Son” and the executive producers, Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver.

The actors were newcomer Catherine Zeta-Jones (Dr. Vivian Capshaw); star Tom Payne (Malcolm Bright); Lou Diamond Phillips (Gil); Bellamy Young (Jessica); Halston Sage (Ainsley); Aurora Perrineau (Dani); Frank Harts (JT); and Keiko Agena (Edrisa). Unfortunately, Michael Sheen (Martin) was not there. He was back in England, and I heard that he was recovering from COVID.

First they had an introduction, where they talked about some of the upcoming FOX shows, and they showed us a preview video.

I didn’t get to ask a question, but it was still fun to be there, and to see the actors on the panel. Most of my questions were asked by other journalists, anyway.

Tom Payne (Bright) was dressed in a suit, and Bellamy Young (Jessica) was dressed in a very nice lace white top. Halston Sage also had a nice white top. The rest were not particularly dressed up. From the banter during the interview, it was clear that this cast is not only amazingly talented but gets along really well.

Catherine Zeta-JonesThe first question was, “What made PRODIGAL SON the right choice for this TV renaissance? And how will Dr. Capshaw change things up at Claremont?” Catherine Zeta-Jones answered this question with a very long speech. (By the way, I had no idea that “Zeta” is pronounced like “cheetah.” I thought it was like “beta.” Who knew? Not me.She replied that she liked the nuance of the show…how it’s a “pretty good family drama with a twist of danger.” She also mentioned that Michael Sheen is from her hometown of Swansea in Wales. She’s admired him from a distance, and they have mutual friends. She said it’s “bizarre” how much their paths have almost crossed before now. That was one of the reasons she wanted to do the show as well as the character of Dr. Vivian Capshaw. The script really drew her in. She was intrigued and wanted to know more about the character and why she was working there at the facility.

The next question was a bit lengthy. In short, the person asked her to elaborate about working with Michael and the relationship between their characters. She answered that Martin Whitley reminds her of men she grew up with. She spoke about the complexity of her character and how it’s starting to unfold. She then praised the group of actors and how their “great work” made her want to be part of the show. She specifically praised Lou Diamond-Phillips for his work directing. She revealed that she and Michael had many Welsh inside jokes but that everyone was very welcoming, which made her feel comfortableJT, Bright and Dani

I was starting to feel bad for the other actors there because they weren’t getting much of a chance to answer any questions.

Case in point: the next questioner asked all the other actors what their first response was to finding out that Jones would be joining the show, and asked Lou Diamond Phillips what it was like to direct her. (Which reminds me of the old joke: “Enough about me. What do YOU think of me?”)

Several of the actors answered. First was Halston Sage, who said she was excited. Then Tom Payne answered next. (He has a wonderful British accent. I wish he used that on the show.) “I was super excited, happy and excited that someone like Catherine would want to join our little gang, really.” He shared that it’s hard for him to watch the show as a viewer and just see it as entertainment. He said they have a lot of fun, especially with the “flashy characters come in and join us like Alan Cumming’s character who came in.” He felt that when Jones joined their show, they were doing a good job because it attracted people of her caliber. It made him feel “proud and very happy, and I’m excited for where our story line goes in the show. Simon Hoxley (Alan Cummings) with Martin and Vivian (from https://www.instagram.com/alancummingsnaps)

Keiko Agena then said, “Yeah. I’ll just say my jaw dropped, and I think it’s still dropped. So, at some point, I’ll pick it up and go on.”  Everyone giggled at that.

Then Lou Diamond Philips revealed that when he started his preparations for direction Episode 207, he didn’t know it was the midseason finale, nor did he know who his guest stars would be. He compared it to “a frog getting boiled in water. The heat just kept getting turned up. It was, like, this is the finale. Okay. That’s a big deal. Catherine Zeta Jones? Oh, my God. And the sphincter tightens more on top of that.” Very colorfully put.  He described the episode as a ship, which he said started as having lovely storylines for Halston and Bellamy, as well as having Rachel York (Birdie), someone he’s known for a long time since they were both on Broadway. It just became richer and richer for him to direct, but it was overwhelming at first. “And knowing that I was going to be the one to welcome Hera down from Mount Olympus when Catherine stepped on set, you don’t always know what you are going to get. And what you are seeing today is emblematic of who she is, so gracious and so warm and so inclusive of everyone.” He praised her for being a team player and part of their group from the outset, which made it all work very easily. He ended by saying, “to quote Keiko Agena’s character, ‘Well, that went well.'”

EP Sklaver chimed in with, “And Catherine is not lying. The second rehearsal, she said, ‘Do you remember Margaret?’ I go, ‘Yeah, I know Margaret.’ It was nonstop. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Which led to Catherine Zeta-Jones replying that she was randomly watching “The View” when Whoopi Goldberg gave high praise to their show.  She knew that Whoopi understood their show, and she was happy to see that praise.  Michael was there when she saw it and wondered if she knew that would happen.  She just figured that “great minds think alike.” They got that stamp of approval from out of nowhere.

Frank Harts was very funny when he added in his two cents, which were meant in a sarcastic (but hilarious) way: “Yeah. I was excited about the Whoopi thing, too, and Catherine joining. I was also a little scared because I was thinking, like, ‘How am I going to hang with Catherine in all of these one-on-one scenes that we are going to hit?’ I’m trained. I come from the theater. There’s a lot there. But, you know, that’s Hollywood royalty. She’s a Titan, man. So, I just had to wrap my brain around that, but welcome, Catherine.” Catherine Zeta-Jones thanked him for this, laughing.

Another journalist asked why they think there are more serial killer shows now and whether it has something to do with the times we’re living in, or even the pandemic crisis.

EP Fedak agreed that it does speak to us because of the age in which we live, since things seem “dark and seemingly scary.”  However, they view their show as more of a family show with a lot of humor and a great cast that’s “charming and fun.” He concluded that it’s many things together, not just a serial killer drama.

Catherine Zeta-Jones chimed in, “You know, what’s really interesting is where this I think it comes from the work and obviously the script. What’s on the page is what we work with, but it’s admirable when the characters that are darker than the regular folk can be as charming and interesting.” She thinks that you need a great actor to play a likable serial killer, and she added that she has a fascination with mobster families.  The family is reflected, which we can all relate to, but then to bring in a serial killer that is likable, all intertwined with the rest, is unique.

Bellamy Young shared her thoughts on that question, saying that they couldn’t have known the pandemic would hit during their filming of the show, but they just happened to hit it at the right time and place while the world is going through something so difficult.  She praised the show for making us laugh through the horror and pain, with it all being about family.  Zeta-Jones agreed that this was true.

Frank Harts answered in a serious way. He remembered how he reacted to the George Floyd murder last summer, which made him freak out and wake up in a little bit of a cold sweat the next day.  He told his wife it was crazy and that now he has to go back into the Prodigal Son world, playing a black cop on TV.  He wasn’t sure which direction they would go in, but he had a great conversation with the EPs. They assured him that they would incorporate the racism conversation into the show, which they did. He’s grateful that they nailed it. He echoed Bellamy’s words that the best part of the show is how they do comedy and big drama as well as “keep it real and grounded.” He gave credit to both the writers and all of the actors for bringing their best work to the table.

Zeta-Jones added that the FOX network deserved praise as well for having such great diversity among the actors and crew. She pointed out that many of them were from other countries and everyone is working together, being not only great at their jobs but “gracious and respectful,” which she noticed immediately.

The next question asked about the future of Dani and Malcolm’s relationship as well as when they were going to replace Gil’s car (the LeMans). The EP’s confirmed that the car was destroyed last season and isn’t coming back. Sklaver said that we will see Gil working on the car that Jessica destroyed in a scene involving her.

Lou Diamond Phillips pointed out, “I just said, ‘No Whitleys are supposed to get near my car.'”

“Don’t let them,” said Frank Harts.

Sklaver continued: “That’s the rule.”  He continued on, saying he couldn’t give spoilers about Bright and Dani, but he loves how fun they are together.  He praised the actors’ chemistry and shared that they do want to explore their romance, but he hinted that some things in the story might be keeping them from doing that. He said the same is true about Martin and Vivian.

Sklaver brought Aurora into the conversation, asking her thoughts on the Dani-Malcolm relationship. He said that he enjoys them together on the show because they’re “magical.”

Aurora answered that she agrees…she likes the transition they’ve been going through between meeting, and then learning more about each other. She praised the writers for making their relationship very believable and organic.

Fedak half-jokingly pointed out, “It is unfortunately, when you write someone kissing in a script this year, with COVID protocols, it does require a hazmat team. So, we do have to be careful in that regard.” Everyone on the screen was nodding their heads in agreement on this one.

Bellamy Young was asked what she could share about how things will play out for her character after she takes matters into her own hands this week and whether she’ll find it empowering. Bellamy answered that she thinks things will be rocky for Jess because she’s been keeping way too many secrets. She thinks the truth will set her free in the end. She shared that the episode they’re filming now leads her to “a very dark predicament.” She hasn’t seen the scripts after this one, so she doesn’t know how it all comes out.

There was one last question, for Keiko. The journalist said that we “got a look at her incredible fashion sense recently” and that we want to know more about her. He asked, “Can we perhaps see a more Edrisa-centric episode in the future?”

Keiko answered that they just finished episode 209, which does focus on her character. She had mentioned to the EPs about what her hopes for Edrisa were and what she though about the character. This episode has a lot of action and get to meet some of Edrisa’s friends, outside of the precinct.

Sklaver said, jokingly, “Keiko sends us emails that I’m afraid to show my wife sometimes. I don’t know about these guys. She sends an email. There’s whips. She’s bound to do whatever. It’s the best. ”

Keiko looked at him as if to scold him, saying, “Sam.”

Zeta-Jones joined in the joking by adding, “Yeah. It changed the course of her career right there.”

Fedak used the opportunity to praise the cast and how well it works together and goes along with whatever crazy stories they write. He thinks every network show should involve this kind of enthusiasm and cooperation.

Lou Diamond Phillips mentioned how great Halston was in the episode he directed, too.  He hopes to see more about the relationship with Ainsley in the future. He was glad to see more of “Lou’s relationship with Halston. He says it’s “pretty wonderful, and I was so grateful for her help and for her enthusiasm throughout. I just wanted to toss that out there.”

Halston Sage was grateful, “Oh, I love you, Lou. That was so sweet. I feel the same way. It was amazing working together.”

MORE INFO:

PRODIGAL SON follows MALCOLM BRIGHT (Tom Payne), a criminal profiler with a rare talent for getting inside the minds of killers. He learned how they think because his father, DR. MARTIN WHITLY (Michael Sheen), was a notorious serial killer known as “The Surgeon.” Now he’s using his twisted genius to help the NYPD solve their most puzzling murders. Bright’s team, led by his longtime mentor, NYPD Lieutenant GIL ARROYO (Lou Diamond Phillips), includes Detectives DANI POWELL (Aurora Perrineau), JT TARMEL (Frank Harts) and medical examiner DR. EDRISA TANAKA (Keiko Agena). Season Two picks up with Bright’s personal life in disarray after his sister AINSLEY’s (Halston Sage) shocking actions in the Season One finale. Now, he must “take care” of her and protect his mother JESSICA WHITLY (Bellamy Young) from a secret that could tear the family apart all over again. Meanwhile, Martin proves himself valuable in treating patients, after being assigned to infirmary duty by Claremont Psychiatric’s resident MD, DR. VIVIAN CAPSHAW (Catherine Zeta-Jones, “Chicago,” “Ocean’s 12,” “Traffic,” “Feud”), and seeks to deepen his relationship with Bright, his prodigal son, but forging this bond leads to shocking twists and revelations.

PRODIGAL SON is produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and FOX Entertainment. Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver created the series, and are executive producers, showrunners and writers on the show. Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter also serve as executive producers.

ACADEMY AWARD AND TONY AWARD WINNER CATHERINE ZETA-JONES JOINS
FOX’S HIT DRAMA, “PRODIGAL SON,” FOR SEASON TWO

 

Zeta-Jones to Star Opposite Fellow Welsh Actor Michael Sheen,
As Claremont Psychiatric’s Resident MD, Dr. Vivian Capshaw

Season Two of PRODIGAL SON Premieres on a New Night,
Beginning Tuesday, January 12, on FOX

Academy Award, Tony Award and three-time Screen Actors Guild Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Catherine Zeta-Jones (“Chicago,” “Ocean’s 12,” “Traffic,” “Feud”) will join FOX’s hit drama, PRODIGAL SON, for Season Two of the series. Starring as a special guest star opposite fellow Welsh actor Michael Sheen, Zeta-Jones will appear in the latter half of the season as DR. VIVIAN CAPSHAW, Claremont Psychiatric’s resident MD. In Season Two, DR. MARTIN WHITLY (Sheen) is assigned to infirmary duty, and Dr. Capshaw (Zeta-Jones) revels in tasking “The Surgeon” to clean bedpans and mop the floor. But as Martin proves valuable in treating patients, Capshaw begins to see him in a new light…which is not a good thing.

“An extraordinary talent, Catherine Zeta-Jones is the perfect foil for the brilliant Michael Sheen,” said Michael Thorn, President, Entertainment, FOX Entertainment. “I can’t wait to see these two greats go head-to-head in a season that is bound to raise the bar set by an outstanding Season One.”

Season Two of PRODIGAL SON premieres on a new night, Tuesday, Jan. 12 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. PRODIGAL SON was the No. 1 new series last fall, averaging 9.3 million multi-platform viewers.

PRODIGAL SON follows MALCOLM BRIGHT (Tom Payne), a criminal profiler with a rare talent for getting inside the minds of killers. He learned how they think because his father, Martin Whitly, was a notorious serial killer known as “The Surgeon.” Now he’s using his twisted genius to help the NYPD solve their most puzzling murders. Bright’s team, led by his longtime mentor, NYPD Lieutenant GIL ARROYO (Lou Diamond Phillips), includes Detectives DANI POWELL (Aurora Perrineau), JT TARMEL (Frank Harts) and medical examiner DR. EDRISATANAKA (Keiko Agena). Season Two picks up with Bright’s personal life in disarray after the shocking actions of his sister, AINSLEY (Halston Sage), in the Season One finale. Now, he must “take care” of her and protect his mother, JESSICA WHITLY (Bellamy Young), from a secret that could tear the family apart all over again! Further complicating matters, Martin seeks to deepen his relationship with Bright, his prodigal son, but forging this bond leads to shocking twists and revelations. Season Two guest stars include Christian Borle and Michael Potts.

Zeta-Jones is a multi-award-winning actress whose talents range from film to theater. She garnered an Academy Award for her portrayal of the scandalous “Velma Kelly,” in the screen adaptation of the Broadway musical “Chicago.” She also was nominated for a Golden Globe and took home the Critics’ Choice Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award and the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. She won the Tony Award for Lead Actress in a Musical for her critically acclaimed Broadway debut as “Desirée Armfeldt” in Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music.” Her other starring roles include Steven Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s 12,” “Side Effects,” and Steven Spielberg’s “The Terminal,” opposite Tom Hanks. Zeta-Jones also starred with George Clooney in the Coen Brothers’ dark comedy, “Intolerable Cruelty.” She earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of the wife of a drug-runner in Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic.” Most recently, she starred in the telefilm “Cocaine Godmother,” based on the true-life story of the notorious drug lord Griselda Blanco. She first gained international recognition in the action-adventure film “The Mask of Zorro,” opposite Antonio Banderas and Anthony Hopkins. She then captivated audiences in “Entrapment,” opposite screen legend Sean Connery. Born in Wales, Zeta-Jones began her career on the stage in London and was then cast in the popular Yorkshire Television series, “The Darling Buds of May,” based on the novels of H.E. Bates. In 2010, she was awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to the film industry and charity.

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Prodigal Son second season poster

Primetime TV Review: “Call Me Kat”

TV Review!

Call Me Kat on FOX

“Call Me Kat” on FOX Review by Suzanne 1/9/21

Mayam Bialik (“Big Bang Theory”) stars as a 39-year-old single woman, Kat, who loves cats. She has social anxiety and opened her own Cat Café. In other words, she’s supposed to be a lovable dork. Other characters in this show include Max (Cheyenne Jackson), a man Kat used to have a crush on in high school; her good friend Tara (Vanessa Lachey); her mother (Swoosie Kurtz), who likes to nag her; a bartender she knows, Carter (Julian Gant); and people that work in her cat cafe: Randi (Kyla Pratt) and Phil (Leslie Jordan). Leslie Jordan is always funny, especially if he has good material. I’m sad to say that’s not really the case here.

Kat is a very different character than probably any others you’ve seen Bialik play before. She’s an excellent actress, but this show is not right for her. In an annoying plot device, she talks to the audience a lot. I really hate shows that do this. Kat is very animated and often makes wild gestures, which end up with her accidentally hitting or kicking someone or something. She’s supposed to be very awkward, but frankly…. I just don’t think it works. There aren’t enough jokes in the show to make me laugh.

MORE INFORMATION:

New comedy CALL ME KAT, starring Emmy Award nominee Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory”), and executive-produced by Bialik, Emmy Award-nominated producer Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory,” “The Boys in the Band”) and Darlene Hunt (“The Big C”), will have a special series premiere Sunday, Jan. 3 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT), following the NFL ON FOX doubleheader. The series then makes its time period premiere with an all-new episode Thursday, Jan. 7 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT). Based on the BBC UK original series “Miranda,” CALL ME KAT stars Bialik as a woman who struggles every day against society and her mother to prove that she can still live a happy and fulfilling life despite being single at 39.  Which is why she recently spent her entire savings to open a cat café in Louisville, Kentucky. It was expected of KAT (Bialik) to be married with kids by now, but for many reasons, she’s still single – and totally fine with it. Of course, Kat’s mother, SHEILA (Emmy Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Swoosie Kurtz, “Mike & Molly,” “Sisters”), views her daughter’s single-hood as her own personal failure, but Kat remains determined to live a fulfilling life, and charts her own course to happiness. Working alongside Kat at the café are RANDI (Kyla Pratt, “One on One”), a confident millennial and self-proclaimed “non” cat person; and PHIL (Emmy Award winner Leslie Jordan, “The Cool Kids,” “Will & Grace”), who recently broke up with his longtime partner. Although Kat celebrates her independence, her single-forever plans may begin to veer off-course, when her former crush and good friend, MAX (Cheyenne Jackson, “American Horror Story,” “30 Rock”), returns to town and takes a job as a bartender at the piano bar across the street, working with his friend, CARTER (Julian Gant, “Good Girls”).  CALL ME KAT is produced by That’s Wonderful Productions, Sad Clown Productions and BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production arm in association with Warner Bros. Television and FOX Entertainment. Darlene Hunt is the executive producer and showrunner. Additionally, Jim Parsons, Todd Spiewak (That’s Wonderful Productions), Mayim Bialik (Sad Clown Productions), Miranda Hart, Angie Stephenson (BBC Studios) and Beth McCarthy-Miller also serve as executive producers. McCarthy-Miller directed the series premiere.

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The opinions in these articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of TVMEG.COM or its other volunteers.

Call Me Kat on FOX