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NBC Give The Good Place Season Two Renewal

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Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment has announced that sitcom The Good Place will be renewed for a second season. It’s also a full season 13 episode commission.

In its rookie season, “The Good Place” has averaged a 1.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.1 million viewers overall in “live plus seven day” figures from Nielsen Media Research, improving the timeslot by +36% over NBC’s Thursday 8:30 average last season. The show’s Jan. 19 season finale delivered 5.2 million viewers after three days of time-shifted and video-on-demand viewing, for the show’s biggest L+3 audience since Oct. 27.

“The Good Place” has also generated a strong upscale audience, indexing at a 135 among adults 18-49 living in homes with $100K+ incomes (with 100 representing an average concentration of those homes).

Salke said of the news “Mike Schur has always had one of the most fertile and imaginative minds in comedy, but what he brought us with the first season of ‘The Good Place’ was just extraordinary, we absolutely can’t wait to see where these characters go, literally, in season two. A big thank you to Mike, the writers and cast for delivering a series in which we all take such enormous pride.”

Critics raved about the first season of “The Good Place” and had especially high praise for the head-turning season finale.

Said Variety, “I feel grateful for a show that is, at its heart, so sincere and earnest while also very focused on its mission to entertain. We need that.” Vulture said, “‘The Good Place’ has already made a convincing case that it deserves an award for most flawlessly executed TV twist of the year.” Entertainment Weekly said it was a “phenomenal first season,” “Ted Danson, living legend, was divine, and he better be getting an Emmy nomination, or there’ll be hell to pay” and also added, “Kristen Bell is pitch-perfect.” And The New York Times wrote that “The Good Place” was “the most acclaimed new network comedy of the fall.”

The Good Place stars Ted Danson, Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto and D’Arcy Carden.

In addition to executive producing, Schur serves as writer and showrunner. David Miner, Morgan Sackett and Drew Goddard also executive produce. “The Good Place” is produced by Universal Television, Fremulon and 3 Arts Entertainment.

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BBC-2, Feud: Bette and Joan to air this Christmas

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The fabulous 8 part series Feud: Bette and Joan will get an airing on BBC Two this Christmas. Created by Ryan Murphy and starring Susan Sarandan as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford, the series is a gorgeously realised glimpse into the golden age of Hollywood and the long running rivalry that developed between the two stars. The stellar cast also features Alfred Molina as film director Robert Aldrich, Stanley Tucci as mogul Jack L. Warner, Catherine Zeta-Jones as Olivia de Havilland, Judy Davis as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper and Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell.

They are joined by Jackie Hoffman as Mamacita, Crawford’s housekeeper, and Alison Wright as Pauline, Aldrich’s assistant. The series also stars Dominic Burgess as Crawford and Davis’ co-star Victor Buono, Sarah Paulson as Geraldine Page, and Kiernan Shipka as Bette Davis’ daughter, B.D.

Beginning with Davis and Crawford’s collaboration on What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? and continuing long after the cameras stopped rolling, Feud: Bette and Joan explores with great style and wit how the two stars endured ageism, sexism and misogyny while struggling to hang on to success and fame in the twilight of their careers.

Speaking of playing such an icon as Bette Davis, Susan Sarandon said ” it was intimidating because Bette was so eccentric in terms of the way she talks, idiosyncratic in the way she does and says everything. It wasn’t just about getting the accent – she stressed very odd words all the time and she also had a very odd walk. I had to think, how do you take that character that everybody is acquainted with the most extreme version of, and how do you ground her and make her a real person? That’s what was scary. You can learn an accent but when you’re paying attention to that – and Jessica felt the same way – you know, how do we make these real women, who were so over the top, seem like real people and not just a caricature? And that’s what terrified me. But then, I’m always drawn to things that terrify me.”

Feud Susan Sarandon

And on wanting to play Joan Crawford, Jessica Lange said “I knew that it would provide a lot of opportunity and Ryan Murphy knows me well enough at this point to know what I like to do and what my strong points are as an actor and the kind of part that I gravitate toward. I trust him. I wouldn’t have been involved in television the way I am, I only did that because of him.”

Episode one starts in 1962, Hollywood legend Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) realises that good roles are not being written for women of her age, so she decides to find one for herself. Coming across the novel What Ever Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell, she knows that she has found the perfect part. She convinces director Robert Aldrich (Alfred Molina) to champion the movie, but now she needs to bring her bitter Hollywood rival and star of equal magnitude Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) on board the project.

Sparks are about to fly.

The full series of Feud: Bette and Joan will be available to watch as a full series on BBC iPlayer from Saturday 16 December at 10pm, after episode one premieres on BBC Two at 9pm.

Ryan Murphy serves as Executive Producer along with Executive Producers Tim Minear, Alexis Martin Woodall and Dede Gardner of Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. The series is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox Television Distribution.

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HBO, Big Little Lies to get Season Two

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Big Little Lies HBO

No surprises here as it was one of the best dramas of the year but HBO will be giving the Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon starring, Big Little Lies a second run of episodes.

It will again be a limited series of just 7 episodes with Kidman and Witherspoon both starring and exec producing. David E. Kelley will be writing scripts. The first season was based on the novel by Liane Moriarty and season two will again be based on a concept by Moriarty. Andrea Arnold will direct.

Casey Bloys, president of HBO programming said: “I’m excited to announce the return of Big Little Lies, David Kelley wrote beautiful scripts and Reese and Nicole were, once again, a force to be reckoned with, reuniting the cast and recruiting the talented Andrea Arnold to direct. We look forward to working with this amazing group of artists.”

Reese Witherspoon said “I’m thrilled to be bringing back this talented team of artists. It gives us the opportunity to delve deeper into the lives of these intriguing and intricate Monterey families and bring more of their stories back to the audience who embraced and championed them. I’m beyond excited to be working with talented and acclaimed director Andrea Arnold, who will be at the helm. Andrea’s unique storytelling style will be a welcome addition to the filmmaking team.”

Nicole Kidman also added: “This is inspired by the overwhelming response by audiences around the world, conceived once again by Liane Moriarty, realized by David Kelley and now in the hands of visionary filmmaker Andrea Arnold. What a journey this has been.”

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Netflix, The Crown Season 2 Premieres Fri 8 Dec

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The Crown Season 2

Season 2 of acclaimed Netflix drama The Crown premieres on Friday 8 December. Beginning with soldiers in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces fighting an illegal war in Egypt, and ending with the downfall of her third Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan after a devastating scandal, the second season bears witness to the end of the age of deference, and ushers in the revolutionary era of the 1960s.

The Crown continues to chronicle the major political and global events that have defined and shaped the second half of the twentieth century – a series that is unprecedented in its scale, ambition and creative vision.

The series, created by Peter Morgan, tells the inside story of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, as the fragile social order established after the Second World War breaks apart. The series reunites creator/writer Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) with director Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) and producer Andy Harries (The Queen). Claire Foy and Matt Smith star.

The Crown is a Left Bank Pictures/Sony Pictures Television production for Netflix.

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