TV: SNL Adding Five Very White New Cast Members
Saturday Night Live has lost some terrific performers over the last two seasons, including Jason Sudekis and Bill Hader, it will also lose head writer and Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers when he transitions over to Late Night come February.
To make up for this, Deadline Hollywood reports that it is adding five new cast members, including one from its existing writing staff.
Michael Patrick O’Brien (not pictured) - SNL writer, 7 Minutes of Heaven
John Milhiser - comedian
Noël Wells - actress
Kyle Mooney - Good Neighbor, improv
Beck Bennett - Good Neighbor, improv
It’s great to hear there is a new female cast member, but it’s a shame they aren’t looking to add a more diverse cast, currently there exists only two (male) African-Americans (Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson) and one Iranian-American (Nasim Pedrad) cast member.
Mediaite has a decent round-up of some of these potential new cast members previous work.
Online: What Your Bio Says About You
Twitter profiles reveal some interesting things about a person, who somebody follows can reveal their interests, political leanings and who their favourite celebrities are.
The thing most central to a persons Twitter profile is their biography section. This always reveals to me how seriously the person takes themselves, whether they put their work above everything else, and if they are interested in making themselves look cultured, intelligent or political.
Many bio’s describe the Tweeter as a food person, or a wine drinker, or even more bizarrely a ‘raconteur’, or the one I love the most a ‘entrepreneur’. Most people who use this describer seems to be a freelancer or just starting their own business, in my opinion, an entrepreneur is Bill Gates or Richard Branson, most other people are either unemployed own a business or work for somebody else. It seems like a describer someone uses to pad out their profile, and either make themselves feel important, or give an impression of importance to others. It also seems to ring hollow when you find out the enterprise they oversee is a non-existent company they brand themselves under.
Another interesting thing about Twitter bios is that it exposes people who really wrap themselves and their personal image around their work. I find those silly disclaimers “RT’s not endorsements” and “opinions not those of my employer” entertaining. Not only do these no hold up if you get intro trouble for Tweeting something, or for using social media against a companies rules, but it gives an impression that your Tweets are somehow more important than others, and that you should be held to a different standard. I don’t get it.
When I look at someones Twitter page, I want to know about a person, their interests, location, what they are going to Tweet about, and whether it is worth following them. I don’t need to know your employer, or how many countries you have travelled to, or what your socioeconomic status is. Just make it interesting, and give me the basics, the space isn’t a CV, or a dating profile. Use it wisely, or like me, don’t use it at all and let the Tweets speak for themself.
Follow me: @mikebeckham (or don’t if my lack of bio worries you)
TV: Anger Management - The New Way To Make Television?
Charlie Sheen’s sitcom ‘Anger Management’ began on FX as a 10/90 experiment, meaning that should the first 10 episodes meet a certain ratings threshold, then it will be automatically renewed for an additional 90 episodes, making 100 episodes in total. That is the amount of episodes usually required for syndication (selling reruns of the show to individual stations and markets).
The ratings for Anger Management met the requirement, and it is now pumping out an additional 90 episodes as we speak, what is important to note with Anger Management, is that its ratings haven’t held up all that well for FX, but that shouldn’t bother Debmar-Mercury/Lionsgate, the shows producers, as they continue to profit, and will end up reaping significant rewards when the show begins in syndication.
The biggest potential loser in any 10/90 deal is the original network airing the show, and having to pay for 90 more episodes of a show that could start bleeding viewers after the original 10 episodes. That’s a big risk, especially as each episode of Anger Management reportedly costs $600,000 for FX to air, but it’s a risk other networks are apparently willing to take on.
Kelsey Grammar and Martin Lawrence are set to begin production on a new sitcom which is being sold as a 10/90 venture - again to the FX network. The still untitled sitcom is set to feature the pair as Chicago lawyers from "vastly different backgrounds who unexpectedly meet in court on the worst day of their lives."
My biggest issue with this format of production, is how are writers and producers supposed to properly frame a storyline, write good episodes and have the time necessary to really concentrate on the intricacies of a situation comedy, when they are expected to pump out around 45 episodes per year? Anger Management clearly suffers from this, as its writing is sloppy and its production values are cheap and very crude, it’s dropping ratings are also a concern to the network, and clearly the content is not that appealing to viewers.
Anger Management is airing first run episodes on sister network FOX over the summer in a bid to rescue the shows ratings, and give it a larger platform, but if that doesn’t help, it doesn’t bode that well for the future of this new way of production and distribution.
Health: I Like Going To The Dentist… Here’s Why
Before you run off, hear me out. I love going to the dentist because I barely ever went as a child, maybe twice did I ever go until I was around 16 years old. My parents couldn’t really afford to send me to one, and any community dental services weren’t known to them.
Even now I can only afford to go once a year (and hope nothing is wrong), so when I do go it is almost exciting, another element of my excitement is that I have never had a cavity before, even without seeing a dentist for much of my life, so whenever I go, I am hoping to find out whether I have made it another year without one.
Yesterday was my yearly visit, and I am pleased to say, it looks like I have made it another year without a cavity. The physical check was fine, as was the X-Ray, I still have a full mouth X-Ray to do, but otherwise everything looks good (except my long time issue of not having enough room in my mouth for all my teeth).
I know many people are afraid, or hate the dentist, don’t get me wrong, I really dislike getting them cleaned, or having anything else done - like a tooth extraction, that’s not fun. However when you aren’t able to go to a dentist, due to financial circumstance, it makes you appreciate the fact that you can even go at all, which I guess changes the way I look at it. Dental costs aren’t just a problem in Australia, it effects lower socioeconomic families and individuals all over the world, but you’d think in one of the richest countries in the world, being able to see a dentist wouldn’t be something you have to look forward to when you can afford it, but something that is cheap and routine, as it should be.
Travel: I Miss America
I spent three months (90 days exactly) in the U.S. over Christmas and into the new year. I spent the time staying with my partners family in Los Angeles, and meeting up with people I’ve spoken to for ages, but never met. It was a lot of fun, as well as being a tremendous learning experience on many different levels.
It made me realise that Australia isn’t perfect, I am capable of doing things I didn’t think I could, and that stuff is usually smaller than you think it would be (Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is tiny).
I loved Los Angeles, it is fantastic, it’s always sunny - but not hot, the people are nice (the customer service is way beyond anything we are capable of in Australia) and living in a non-tourist area allowed me to see how different people, from different cultures operate.
I spent a few days in San Francisco, it was the highlight of my trip, I loved the city, it was very clean, modern and had the best weather - cool in the morning, transforming into sunny and warm in the afternoon. The bay is spectacular and I would love to go back anytime.
(I’m not usually that chubby - blame the food)
I miss America for those and more reasons, my partners family is all there, I have friends there, and I miss the culture, especially the lifestyle in Los Angeles, but most of all, the food - the food is awesome.
Things I Hate #4: Updating A Blog
Okay, so a lot of people have blogs they rarely update, in fact I’ve had one since 2006 that has been on and offline, and updated sparingly over the course of that time, but this one was supposed to be different.
Real life gets in the way, as well as just not having anything interesting to say. I will do better, I promise (not I won’t).
Things I Hate #3: Finding Rental Accommodation
This has been a major element of my life. My parents always rented, they got together too late in life, moved to the other side of the world, and didn’t have any savings, so their best option was to rent properties.
The big issue with rentals is instability, knowing you may have to move with the end of each rental contract. If the owner wants to move in to the property, sell it or let a family member lodge there, it means you’ve got to find somewhere else to go.
Finding rental properties online, following up with agents to find out if there are inspections, going to them, filling out the applications, and waiting to hear back. All part of the misery of applying for rentals.
Probably the worst part is finding a place, falling in love with it, and not getting it. That happens often, occasionally you will get lucky, most of the time you will not. The demand is too great, too many people, also looking for the best of the lot, your odds are low.
This is what my partner and I have been doing over the last week, trying to find a new rental, all while trying to juggle a hundred different things at once, and travelling quite the distance from our current location, to where we are looking.
Hopefully it will all be worthwhile, and we find a great place to call home, well until the lease is up, and another hideous search for a place is necessary.
Things I Hate #2: The Heat
It has been over a week of 30c/86F degree days, and I’m completely over it. I’m never a fan of hot weather, but it’s even worse on work/school days.
Travelling to and from classes each day, in a stinking hot train, waiting on platforms for them to open the damn train, as it just sits there. Air conditioning not working, then schlepping up and down stairs, sprinting to air conditioned rooms, to only have to face it all again on the way home.
It’s not good, in fact what makes it worse is I missed most of summer, having been overseas. So stepping into the furnace from winter elsewhere, is a bit of a shock to the system.
Relief is apparently on the way come Thursday. It can’t come soon enough, even those crazy friends of mine who love hot weather, are over it already.
Here’s hoping it’s a cold and wet winter ahead, we all need it.
Marketing: Domino’s Gets Panned
This is the video that is making folks on social media go crazy. A much hyped week long teaser campaign has backfired, after promising a ‘game changing announcement’, it has been revealed that Domino’s Australia is just unveiling a new range of premium pizzas, with speculation it is in response to Crust, which offers more premium toppings.
That’s always the problem with promising so much, and delivering something rather minor - certainly no game changer.
However the reaction, as you’d expect is ridiculous. Angry Twitter, YouTube and Facebook messages, all furious that they aren’t delivering something more. What do you really expect though? Every time one of these companies promises ‘something big’, most often than not, it’s just a rebadging, or evolution of an existing product.
Perhaps we expect too much?
TV: Who Would Replace Jimmy Fallon As Host Of ‘Late Night’?
I’ve been reading, with some amusement, the latest rumours coming out of NBC about yet another attempt to push Leno out of The Tonight Show. Good luck with that by the way.
The names that are being put out there to replace Jimmy Fallon, who would take over Jay’s spot are interesting though. Howard Stern is a name that has bizarrely been put out there, the 59 year old radio show host, and judge on American’s Got Talent has been tipped as a possibility. Ignoring the fact that is almost in his 60’s and the Late Night gig has always gone to young comedian, it is unlikely he would take the massive pay-cut that comes with accepting such a role. It sure would be interesting to see, mind you.
Another name put out there, but this time for The Tonight Show is former SNL writer and performer, and 30 Rock creator Tina Fey, she could be awesome in the position, but I just don’t see her wanting to do that with a movie career longing for her.
Two names I am happy to put out there are - Jason Sudekis. Currently on SNL, he is coming to the end of his tenure, with rumours that he wants out soon. What a perfect opportunity for Lorne Michaels who produces both Late Night and SNL to slide the charisma heavy star over.
The other is The Soup host, and star of the critically acclaimed NBC sitcom Community, Joel McHale. His biting comedic edge is something different to what Jimmy Fallon does, and he is still quite young and has a built-in following, his current star vehicle Community, isn’t doing crash hot in the ratings. He might be able to be convinced to take on such a coveted role.