Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Remakes, Breakups and Bad Blood Highlight News Out of Summer Press Tour 2015

The broadcast and cable networks and Internet streaming outlets have wrapped up the 17-day promote-athon known as the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. Many shows were touted by many creators and stars in many panels and parties — so many, it was easy to get lost in the swirl of it all. So here’s a blitz recap of 10 of this year’s top news bites.

Lee Daniels says it’s inevitable, “without question,” that his massive hit “Empire” yields a spinoff. That spinoff will be a prequel that delves into the life of everybody’s favorite flamboyant Cookie, Taraji P. Henson’s one-of-a-kind matriarch character. No word on when the new series will come along, but “Empire” returns Sept. 23.

Jimmy Fallon has signed on to keep doing “The Tonight Show” into September of 2021.

Donald Trump has definitely been fired from hosting “Celebrity Apprentice.” NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt told critics the show will be back in 2016 with a new host, someone who must be big and make a lot of noise.

Maybe there will be a “Downton Abbey” movie. Executive Producer Gareth Neame says there’s been talk of a film and it just might happen, though there is no script or projected start date. Putting money on this one doesn’t seem like a good idea. Nevertheless, it takes a teensy bit of the sting out of the forthcoming farewell at the end of season six (which begins airing on PBS Jan. 3).

THE MUPPETS - The Muppets are back in prime time like you've never seen them before. Romance! Breakups! Success! Failure! Muppets are opening the doors to their homes and offices in this fresh documentary style series that explores these beloved characters as they live their lives in Hollywood. This real-world Muppet series will have something for kids of all ages. (ABC/Andrea McCallin ) DENISE, MISS PIGGY, JANICE

Denise, Miss Piggy, Janice “The Muppets” (ABC/Andrea McCallin )

Kermit and Miss Piggy broke up and he’s purportedly dating a pig named Denise in the ABC marketing department. Well, we all know how celebrities gin up their feuds to create interest in their new movies and shows. Would anyone be surprised if the showbiz savvy Piggy was behind this tactic to bring attention to their new “The Muppets” coming up on ABC Sept. 22. Co-created by Bill Prady (protege of Jim Henson who went on to create shows including “The Big Bang Theory) and Bob Kushell, the new “Muppets” looks like a good prospect for another TV hit.

Louis K.C. is going to take an extended hiatus after season five of his award-winning FX show. He wants to focus on other things and there is no telling when he’ll resume.

FX Chieftain John Landgraf believes that with all the outlets scrambling to put on more and more — and more — shows, we’ve reached a point of “Simply Too Much Television,” so expect a dropoff. But Showtime President David Nevins contends “There may be too much good TV. There’s never enough great TV. We’re trying really hard to make great TV.” So there.

There’s certainly a lot of retread TV. For example, Showtime has a “Twin Peaks” revival going into production next month for a 2016 debut. In addition to “The Muppets,” there’s “Heroes: Reborn” launching Sept. 24. Come midseason, we’ll see the return of Craig T. Nelson as “Coach.” “Prison Break” will return to Fox next year. Everyone involved wants to do a “Law & Order” revival, if the timing can be worked out, according to super producer Dick Wolf. And NBC’s Greenblatt raised the frightening prospect of a new “Alf.”

Wolf also disclosed plans for crossovers between his series, including a “jumbo” four-way crossover, with a story shared by “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Fire,” the new “Chicago Med” and “Law & Order: SVU.” That will be in February. In time for sweeps, of course.

Britney Spears will be on the CW’s “Jane the Virgin.” “The Muppets” guests will include Imagine Dragons and Nathan Fillion. But no show is a match for “Empire” when it comes to featuring famous names. This coming season, the show’s Who’s Who includes Pitbull, Chris Rock, Alicia Keys, Al Sharpton and Lenny Kravitz.

‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Finalist John Rich Not Ruling Out His Own Future in Politics

As “Celebrity Apprentice” finalist John Rich has been making the promotional rounds this week — for his new six-pak albums, “Rich Rocks” and “For the Kids” — he’s been asked a lot about his feelings regarding Donald Trump’s non-run for President.

So we asked him something different.

How about John Rich for President?  “I wouldn’t rule it out at some point in my life,” says the multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter-producer.  “But I wouldn’t think any time soon.  That is such an immensely powerful and responsible position, I would have to educate myself on every level.  But I could run — any American can run for President.  And I do think people should discuss politics and debate it.”

Debate is the main reason conservative-leaning Rich cites for his view that Trump’s decision to stay out of the Presidential race is something of a missed opportunity.   “I think he would be an interesting guy to hear debate if he’d have run.  I’d have liked to have heard him go toe to toe with other people.”

Rich has shown admirable tenacity, smarts and poise throughout the “Celebrity Apprentice” competition he’s playing to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  In fact, he and fellow finalist Marlee Matlin have shown exemplary behavior all down the line, unlike many of their fussin’, feudin’, freaking fellow contestants.  He admits Sunday night’s (5/22) finale “is a little nerve-wracking — live TV with 20 million people watching.”  He reports that he’s going to sing his “For the Kids” song from that same-titled album (proceeds from which are going to the charity) on the show.  “I’m going to sing that live, acoustically, and Marlee is going to sit next to me and sign the lyrics as I’m singing them.  I think it’s going to be a really powerful moment.”

MEANWHILE:  His “Rich Rocks” album contains “You Had Me From Hell No,” a tune he recorded last year with his pal Lil Jon.  At the time, neither he nor the hip-hop star with whom he’s been friends for six years (they hit it off at an awards show) had any inkling they’d be doing “Celebrity Apprentice” together.  They kept their friendship under wraps all season, figuring a secret alliance would be to their mutual benefit — which it was.

Rich says that when fans started clamoring for a collaboration between him and Lil Jon via his website and Twitter, he thought of “You Had Me From Hell No,’ which was “just sitting in my stereo.”  He phoned Warner Records and said, “let’s let the world have access to it.”

You know the company was happy about that call — just as St. Jude’s was thrilled to learn Rich had put together a full six-pack album for the charity’s benefit.  Come Sunday, he’ll find out whether the final quarter million dollar win will go to his charity, or Marlee’s, The Starkey Hearing Foundation.  They’re definitely both winners already.

Joan Rivers Enjoying Career Upsurge…While She Can

Joan Rivers

If it seems Joan Rivers is here, there, ‘most everywhere these days, well, yes, and the veteran funny lady couldn’t be happier about that.

‘My career has been up and down and up and down and up and down. And I’m in an up period at the moment and, trust me, I’m enjoying it, but I also know that this moment will pass as the others have, and you just better enjoy it while it’s there,’ she says.

Rivers is the midst of a spate of highly-visible work’from her ‘How’d You Get So Rich?’ TV Land show to her ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ and ‘Miss USA’ appearances, her December-debuting ‘Mother Knows Best?’ program. And, come June 11, the limited release of ‘Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.’

The documentary by Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg has already drawn excellent response at the Sundance Film Festival and elsewhere. It has cameras following Rivers around even during unflattering moments, such as when she confronts an empty work calendar.

‘I’ve been fired a lot. I’ve had full books and I’ve had years where I’ve had empty books, and when one day your find you’re slightly older and you have an empty book, that’s really, really scary,’ she says. ‘You just have to keep on moving and keep on trying and keep on pushing.’

The one thing that she asked to have removed from the documentary was a portion referencing her husband, Edgar Rosenberg’s, suicide. ‘I was talking about how angry I still am at him. You know, I’ll walk by his picture and still say, ‘—- you.’ And Melissa got very upset with that,’ she says, referring to her daughter. ‘She asked if you could please ask them to take that out. Everything else stayed. The deal was that I would give them free access. My view was, ‘Let’s tell the truth or why bother?”

Rivers’ work ethic is in evidence on ‘How’d You Get So Rich?’– which launched its second season earlier this month, featuring her chatting with billionaires from Trump to the man who grew rich from inventing The Clapper. Visiting their often lavish digs and hearing their rags to riches stories, does she get inspired?

Rivers replies, ‘I find that when I go home, where I thought I lived well, I now spit on it. It’s shabby.’