SMILF” has been renewed for Season 2 at Showtime

SMILF” has been renewed for Season 2 at Showtime, the network announced Wednesday.

“From its first episode, the refreshingly honest point of view of ‘SMILF’ broke through with audiences, the press and on social media,” said Gary Levine, president of programming for Showtime. “Frankie Shaw is a creative force to be reckoned with and we love having her on Showtime. Her show is funny and forthright, pointed and poignant, irreverent and relevant, all at once. We can’t wait to see where Frankie takes ‘SMILF’ next season.”

The series follows the life of Bridgette Bird (Shaw), a young woman from South Boston whose desires for relationships, sex and a career collide with the realities of working-class single motherhood.

Shaw created the series in addition to starring in the lead role. Rosie O’Donnell co-stars as her mother. The cast also includes Miguel Gomez, Samara Weaving, and Alexandra and Anna Reimer. Shaw also wrote and directed the pilot. Executive producing alongside Shaw are Michael London, Lee Eisenberg and Scott King. “SMILF” is produced by ABC Signature Studios as a co-production with Showtime.READMORE

Mariah Carey Signs With Jay-Z’s Roc Nation for Management

Mariah Carey Signs With Jay-Z's Roc Nation for Management

Mariah Carey has signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation for management, a source close to the situation confirmed to Variety. The news was first reported by the New York Post. Carey split with her manager of three years, Stella Bulochnikov, earlier this month.

In a statement on Nov. 4, Bulochnikov said: “After working together for almost three years, Mariah Carey and Stella Bulochnikov have determined that it is in their mutual best interest to part ways on day-to-day management. During their time working together, they have accomplished great things, including, most recently, Mariah Carey’s new music and motion picture projects for this upcoming holiday season. Mariah Carey and Stella Bulochnikov remain partners in a number of business ventures, and will continue to support each other in those endeavors.”

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Amy Adams Recognized for On-Screen ‘Magic’ at American Cinematheque Awards

Amy Adams Recognized for On-Screen 'Magic' at American Cinematheque Awards

Five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams was feted by the American Cinematheque at its annual awards ceremony Friday night, and took the chance to remind everyone about the power of cinema to grow the imagination.

Adams was introduced by a string of A-list collaborators, headed off by her “Charlie Wilson’s War” co-star Tom Hanks, who was in a particularly playful mood.

Hanks’ introduction took the packed audience inside the Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom along the “butt-kicking” adventure of Amy Adams’ career, going all the way from her brief stint working at Hooters to the wide-reaching Hollywood success she’s achieved today, through a “struggling actress in Hollywood montage,” which concluded with a brief Harvey Weinstein-related quip.

“Oh there, Amy is pulled into town. Oh, she’s found an apartment. Oh, she’s moving in. Oh, that couch isn’t gonna fit through the door. Oh, she’s reading the trade magazines. Oh, she’s working the telephones. Oh, she’s working on audition pieces. Oh, she’s auditioning, and auditioning, and auditioning. And oh no, she’s not gonna audition up in a hotel room,” Hanks joked, producing a loud groan from the room

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Box Office: ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Continues to Conquer With $61 Million

Box Office: 'Thor: Ragnarok' Continues to Conquer With $61 Million

Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” is set to continue its reign at the box office in its second weekend with $61.3 million at 4,080 North American locations.

Fox’s Agatha Christie adaptation “Murder on the Orient Express” will open nearly neck-and-neck with Paramount’s comedy sequel “Daddy’s Home 2,” with “Murder” looking to bring in around $28.1 million from 3,341 locations and “Daddy’s 2” to pull in $27.3 million from 3,575 sites.

The third Thor movie ended a monthlong box office slump last weekend when it opened with $122.7 million, the fourth-best launch of 2017, so a decline of under 50% is well above the norm. Directed by Taika Waititi, “Thor: Ragnarok” stars Chris Hemsworth as the title character, with Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, and Jeff Goldblum.

Murder on the Orient Express” was directed by and stars Kenneth Branagh as the famed mustachioed detective Hercule Poirot. The star-laden cast includes Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, “Hamilton’s” Leslie Odom Jr., and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” actress Daisy Ridley. The film, set in the 1930s in Central Europe, was adapted by Michael Green and carries a $55 million budget. With fairly positive reviews from critics, it currently sits at a 59% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Josh Groban Joins Tony Danza Series ‘The Good Cop’ at Netflix

Josh Groban

Josh Groban has signed on to star opposite Tony Danza in the upcoming Netflix series “The Good Cop,” Variety has learned.

Groban will play the role of Tony Jr., an earnest, obsessively honest NYPD detective who makes a point of always following the rules. Tony Jr. is son to Tony Sr. (Danza), a disgraced, former NYPD officer who never followed the rules. They become unofficial partners as Tony Sr. offers his overly-cautious son blunt, street-wise advice on everything from handling suspects to handling women.

Andy Breckman, the creator of “Monk,” serves as showrunner and executive producer. Randy Zisk and Howard Klein also serve as executive producers. Danza serves as a producer. Netflix has ordered a 10-episode first season of the one-hour dramedy.

Groban is an internationally renowned singer and songwriter. He has sold over 30 million albums during his career and is the only artist who has had two albums appear on the Top 20 Best-Selling Albums list of the past decade,
according to Billboard.

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Comcast Q3 Earnings Beat Expectations Despite 134,000 Cable Subscriber Loss

Despicable Me

Comcast delivered third-quarter quarter earnings that topped Wall Street expectations even as the cable arm posted a loss of 134,000 residential video subscribers and NBCUniversal faced tough year-over-year comps due to the 2016 summer Olympics.

Comcast reported earnings of 55 cents per share, up 19.6% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts had been expecting around 49 cents per share. Total revenue dropped 1.6% to $20.98 billion while adjusted earnings were up 5% to $7.18 billion.

Despite the high hurdle from year-over-year comparisons, Comcast cited strong performances from the theme park wing, the theatrical release of “Despicable Me III” and content licensing gains across film and TV for powering NBCUniversal’s quarter.

On the cable side, a net gain of 214,000 high-speed Internet customers helped drive a 5.1% gain in revenue to $13.2 billion. But the residential video loss of 134,000 continues the trend of MVPD losses this quarter — a swing from this time last year when Comcast and other large providers posted modest gains in video subs.

Comcast chairman-CEO Brian Roberts noted that the company’s earnings held up despite the impact that the summer hurricane season had on cable and theme park operations.

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James Murdoch on Bill O’Reilly’s $32 Million Sex-Harassment Settlement: ‘It Was News to Me’

 

James Murdoch

James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox, said he was unaware that ex-Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s settlement with a former employee included a staggering $32 million payment — and he defended the company’s handling of the situation.

Last Saturday, the New York Times reported that O’Reilly personally reached a $32 million settlement in January with former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl. The following month, Fox News entered into a multiyear contract renewal with O’Reilly, bumping up his salary to $25 million a year from around $20 million under his previous deal.

“It was news to me when we saw that number the other day,” he said, speaking at the Paley Center for Media International Council Summit in New York on Wednesday, referring to the $32 million figure. That settlement was not entered into by 21st Century Fox, he noted.

“It’s easy to look from the outside and say, ‘Didn’t you know that?’” he said. “I think the issue becomes, how do you react to those things” once they are brought to light.

Murdoch said that the media conglomerate fired O’Reilly after investigating the complaints, as well as Fox News founder Roger Ailes following other sexual-harassment allegations. “You investigate things thoroughly, you make what you think is the best decision,” he said, when asked about O’Reilly by CNBC’s Julia Boorstin, who interviewed the exec at the Paley Center event.

Murdoch said his hope with 21st Century Fox’s firing of O’Reilly and Ailes is that “it sends a strong signal to employees and [the industry] that there are behaviors that are not tolerable.”

 

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Fats Domino, R&B Singer and Rock Pioneer, Dies at 89

Fats Domino Dead

Fats Domino, the rotund, inimitable New Orleans R&B singer and pianist who became one of the defining figures of early rock ’n’ roll, died on Tuesday. He was 89.

Robin Nicoll, an administrative assistant at the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office in Louisiana, confirmed the news to Variety.

The most powerful, and certainly the most popular, of a generation of great Crescent City keyboardists, Domino rocked into the public consciousness in 1950 with the self-referential single “The Fat Man,” the first of a string of R&B hits that stretched into the early ’60s. In all, he toted up nine No. 1 R&B hits and 40 top-10 R&B singles through 1961.

In 1955, he crossed over to pop success with the slamming top-10 hit “Ain’t That a Shame.” He became a pop star of the first rank with hits like “I’m in Love Again” (No. 3, 1956), “Blueberry Hill” (No. 2, 1956), “Blue Monday” (No. 5, 1957) and “I’m Walkin’” (No. 4, 1957).

The propulsive swing of his insistent piano work and the immense warmth and fluidity of his vocals made Domino a pop luminary in an era of still rigorous racial segregation. Nonetheless, white performers cashed in on his repertoire with blander versions of his material: Pat Boone reached No. 1 with “Ain’t That a Shame,” while Rick Nelson hit No. 4 with “I’m Walkin’.”

His biographer Rick Coleman wrote, “As (Domino’s bandleader-arranger) Dave Bartholomew would later put it, Domino was the ‘cornerstone’ of rock ’n’ roll, inspiring many later legends who began their careers as Domino fans: Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, John Fogerty, Bob Marley and Bruce Springsteen.”

In 1986, he joined Presley, Berry, Holly and Little Richard as an inaugural inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Domino placed his last pop hit in 1968 — with a cover of “Lady Madonna,” released earlier that year by his acolytes the Beatles — and was essentially inactive in the studio after 1980.

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Kate Winslet on Woody Allen, ‘Wonder Wheel’ and the 20th Anniversary of ‘Titanic

With an impressive career that spans three decades, more than 40 movies, seven Oscar nominations and one win, Kate Winslet is the first to tell you that she doesn’t have a process as an actress.

“It’s really interesting how every single job I do I feel like it really is different each time,” Winslet says on a sweltering fall day in New York. “I think it’s kind of like staring at a really untidy room of mess and clutter. You think: ‘Oh f—! Where do I begin?’ The clutter is different every time, and the piles will be different every time. It always feels a bit like moving trash around a room.”Her latest role, as a deeply troubled housewife in Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel,” presented the actress with challenges she’s never had to face. Her character, Ginny, is an unpleasant narcissist in 1950s Coney Island, who carries on an affair with a self-absorbed lifeguard (Justin Timberlake) under the nose of her husband (Jim Belushi). Winslet wasn’t sure if she could portray the character when she first read the script. She compares the process to steering a car with broken parts: “She’s in a permanent state of falling apart.

After signing on, Winslet spent a summer rehearsing on her own. On the shoot, Allen interrupted one of her early takes — he shuffled over, looked her in the eye and told her she was “too actressy.” Most stars would have buckled under such harsh directions. “I thought it was hilarious,” Winslet says. “OK, what should I do?” As she recalls, Allen responded: “You know what to do. Don’t do anything. Do it better.”

Since 1994’s “Heavenly Creatures,” Winslet has made it her mission to reinvent herself on-screen. “One of the greatest gifts I’ve had in my life is to receive the sisterhood of Kate,” says her pal Shailene Woodley, who met her in 2013 while making “Divergent.” “It’s easy to forget the amount of courage it takes to be someone like her, to stand up and talk to young women for as many years as she has about body image, self-confidence, being your own person and loving yourself.”

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