Fandor Lets Go Nearly Entire Staff, Will Be Sold to New Company

The streaming service was readying for a planned relaunch at the start of 2019.

Fandor, long a destination for film fans to stream recent arthouse favorites and classic cinematic offerings, suffered a huge blow this week, as most staff members were relieved of their duties.

Variety reports that employees were informed that a plan to keep the company afloat through its planned January 2019 relaunch had failed, leading to the immediate staff-cutting decision. Fandor’s assets are now under the control of an unknown group, which has allowed the site to function despite its now small group of temporary employees.

The Fandor service had been available on third-party platforms like Amazon and Sling, with subscribers gaining access to its evolving catalogue at a regular rate of $5.99 per month. Last spring, Fandor closed its online magazine Keyframe, which for five years had served as a home for original writing and video content to supplement the site’s library of films.

“The original idea was to produce editorial content to draw people to the site and watch movies on Fandor, building a community and culture around film,” popular video essayist Kevin Lee told IndieWire at the time. “Then they wanted to figure out how to make things more viral — but the films that are on Fandor are typically not viral conducive.”

Fandor joins a growing list of original and library-based content providers that have shuttered in the past two months alone. Despite desperate pleas to keep it up and running, the beloved FilmStruck platform ceased operations last week after steps taken by parent company WarnerMedia. SuperDeluxe, a division of Turner Broadcasting’s digital efforts, was also shut down amidst similar WarnerMedia restructuring efforts.

Films from the Criterion Collection, which had previously been available on both Fandor and FilmStruck, are planned to appear on the forthcoming Criterion Channel, which is expected to launch in spring 2019.

‘Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas’: This Netflix Special Breaks Through the Holiday Noise

An hourlong Christmas episode lets this anime futuristic satire embrace its weirdest and most wonderful sides.

Neo Yokio” is a show wholly committed to its aesthetic, and the Netflix series’ holiday special “Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas” contains the same idiosyncratic charm that made its first season a singular delight. It opens with a wintery remix of its iconography, complete with a scoreboard ranking the fictional city’s eligible bachelors and a snowy overview of its fantasy version of New York (centuries after the end of a demon war that left parts of the city underwater).

Even as the special references its anime ancestors, “Pink Christmas” also revels in its own bizarre framework. Arrangements of “O Tannenbaum” and “Greensleeves” slide right alongside the show’s usual Baroque-heavy background music. The Homer-sampling narration sets up a world where people have casual chats about the potential presence of evil, shapeless forces the same way they talk about hosting podcasts and using social clout.

Read More:  7 New Netflix Shows to Binge in December, and the Best Reasons to Watch

“Pink Christmas” is more than a continuation of the exploits of young socialite Kaz Kaan (Jaden Smith). It’s an overview of the characters that inhabit this futuristic world where interdimensional beasts lurk in the shadows and table manners can become grounds for a telekinetic brawl. Seesawing between the anxieties of being single and under a microscope in a big city and battling for the fate of humanity makes for a kind of whiplash, and it might take adjustment for first-time audiences. Still, the show’s appeal doesn’t come from parsing the weird “Neo Yokio” internal logic; it comes from the passion-project feeling that everyone involved seems to be delighted they’re pulling this off at all.

As in the main show, the voice performances are a little scattered; even so, each performer is so committed to each particular character choices that it’s hard not to enjoy. Jude Law is still an unparalleled pleasure as Charles the mech butler, this time used sparingly to narrate the proceedings in the style of the “Princess Bride” Grandpa. Desus and Mero are always welcome additions, this time returning as Kaz’s friends (and doomed entrepreneurs) Lexy and Gottlieb. Jason Schwartzman remains one of our finest on-screen jerks, here voicing Kaz’s preening nemesis Arcangelo Corelli. The increased presence of Richard Ayoade, voicing an overeager Bergdorf Goodman sales clerk, adds a nice twist.

Neo Yokio Pink Christmas Netflix Toblerone

Beyond the genre trappings and layers of artisanal details that encase the show in its own protective layer, “Neo Yokio” knows how to position itself in a TV world dominated by loud, busy pleas for audience attention. The stream of winks and nods to animated classics continues, including one to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” done with exquisite abandon. There are plenty of moments ripe to exist in meme form, and there’s some extra participation from series creator and Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig that might give non-genre fans reason to tune in.

“Pink Christmas” leaves very few seasonal conventions untouched. In finding the true reasons for the season, “Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas” weaves through and upends them all. Secret Santa tropes, holiday spectaculars, and even traditional dinners each are subverted in turn. In the world of “Neo Yokio,” Christmas is everything and nothing all at once.

This free-for-all generates the freedom to play with anthropomorphized Christmas trees and elaborate gift-giving in the same spirit that Season 1 relished its convoluted fashion rules and cross-city car races. “Pink Christmas” also gives the show’s team of animators a little license to experiment with the show’s visual stylings. The more the special’s title works into the proceedings, the more it feels like its own creation.

Rather than being used to set up any future storylines or tease fans with the promise of more, “Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas” uses its final showdown as a chance to acknowledge that it might be more self-aware than it ever let on before. “Neo Yokio” might be made for specific tastes, but it’s far from impenetrable. If the holiday spirit is really about unity and finding common ground, “Pink Christmas” offers up something unapologetically wild. For everyone, it’s a blast.

Grade: B+

“Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas” is now available to stream on Netflix. 

Kevin Hart Fires Back at Critics of His Homophobic Tweets, Does Not Apologize

An Instagram video and caption accused those who resurfaced his multiple past homophobic tweets as spreading negativity.

Kevin Hart’s road to hosting the Oscars just got a little more bumpy.

After multiple homophobic tweets by Hart resurfaced in the wake of his announcement as the 2019 Academy Awards ceremony’s host, the comedian responded with a lengthy Instagram post on Thursday evening. In it, Hart opted not to apologize for his past jokes, but instead claimed that he had changed since then.

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Stop looking for reasons to be negative…Stop searching for reasons to be angry….I swear I wish you guys could see/feel/understand the mental place that I am in. I am truly happy people….there is nothing that you can do to change that…NOTHING. I work hard on a daily basis to spread positivity to all….with that being said. If u want to search my history or past and anger yourselves with what u find that is fine with me. I’m almost 40 years old and I’m in love with the man that I am becoming. You LIVE and YOU LEARN & YOU GROW & YOU MATURE. I live to Love….Please take your negative energy and put it into something constructive. Please….What’s understood should never have to be said. I LOVE EVERYBODY…..ONCE AGAIN EVERYBODY. If you choose to not believe me then that’s on you….Have a beautiful day

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“Guys, I’m almost 40 years old,” Hart said in the video. “If you don’t believe that people change, grow, evolve as they get older, I don’t know what to tell you. If you want to hold people in a position where they always have to justify or explain their past, then do you. I’m the wrong guy, man.”

The announcement of Hart as host came just a day before the Golden Globes revealed that Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh would be sharing hosting duties for the upcoming January ceremony.

Writers Guild Awards 2019: ‘Haunting of Hill House,’ ‘GLOW’ Among TV Nominees

The Writers Guild of America recognized a number of shows that went overlooked by this morning’s Golden Globes announcement.

To round out a busy Thursday of new awards nominees, the Writers Guild of America and Writers Guild of America, East announced their lists of the best that the eligibility window had to offer.

Awards season heavyweights “Atlanta,” “Barry,” and “The Crown” all garnered series nominations in their respective genres, with plenty of other programs like “Nathan for You,” “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Narcos: Mexico” and “Maniac” picking up recognition after being passed over at this morning’s Golden Globes announcement.

The Writers Guild Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 17, 2019 with events in both New York City and Los Angeles.

A list of the notable nominees can be found below:

Drama Series

“The Americans”
“Better Call Saul”
“The Crown”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Succession”

Comedy Series

“Atlanta”
“Barry”
“GLOW”
“The Good Place”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

New Series

“Barry”
“The Haunting of Hill House”
“Homecoming”
“Pose”
“Succession”

Long Form Original

“Castle Rock”
“My Dinner with Hervé”
“Paterno”

Long Form Adapted

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”
“The Looming Tower”
“Maniac”
“Sharp Objects”

Short Form New Media Original 

“After Forever”
“Class of Lies”
“Love Daily”
“West 40s”

Short Form New Media Adapted

“The Walking Dead: Red Machete”

Animation

“Bart’s Not Dead” (“The Simpsons”)
“Boywatch” (“Bob’s Burgers”)
“Just One of the Boyz 4 Now for Now” (“Bob’s Burgers”)
“Krusty the Clown” (“The Simpsons”)
“Mo Mommy Mo Problems” (“Bob’s Burgers”)
“Send in Stewie, Please” (Family Guy”)

Episodic Drama

“Camelot” (“Narcos: Mexico”)
“The Car” (“This Is Us”)
“Episode 407” (“The Affair”)
“First Blood” (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
“Paean To The People” (“Homeland”)
“The Precious Blood of Jesus” (“Ozark”)

Episodic Comedy

“Another Place” (“Forever”)
“Chapter One: Make Your Mark” (“Barry”)
“Halibut!” (“Santa Clarita Diet”)
“Kimmy and the Beest!” (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)
“Pilot” (“The Kids Are Alright”)
“Who Knows Better Than I” (“Orange Is the New Black”)

Comedy/Variety Talk Series

“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee”
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
“Late Night with Seth Meyers”
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

Comedy/Variety Sketch Series

“At Home with Amy Sedaris”
“I Love You, America”
“Nathan For You”
“Portlandia”
“Saturday Night Live”

Comedy/Variety Specials

“2018 Rose Parade Hosted by Cord & Tish”
“Drew Michael”
“The Fake News with Ted Nelms”
“The Oscars 2018”

For a full list of the nominees from the realms of new media, radio/audio, news, and promotional writing, visit the Writers Guild of America website here.

The New York Times Asked the Year’s Biggest Stars to Dance and the Results Are Joyous — Watch

This year’s Best Actors roundup includes Julia Roberts, Elsie Fisher, the trio from “The Favourite,” and more.

Every year, the New York Times Magazine gathers together the best performers from the last 12 months for a series of shorts built around a common theme. This year, everyone danced and the results are glorious.

Headlined by Julia Roberts and Toni Collette, the 2018 edition saw 10 different vignettes directed and choreographed by New York Ballet choreographer Justin Peck. Each minute-long segment features one actor or actress (in the case of Emma Stone/Olivia Colman/Rachel Weisz’s team-up, three of them) playing a character moved to dance while in the middle of an everyday activity.

Read More: The 16 Best Film Performances by Actresses in 2018

Some are mopping floors, some are stuck in a waiting room, and Regina Hall turns the act of getting out of bed into an elaborate wake-up routine. Established favorites like Ethan Hawke and, well, the trio from “The Favourite” are right at home alongside a few 2018 breakout stars, including Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”), Yalitza Aparacio (“Roma”), and Yoo Ah-In (“Burning”).

It’s a worthy addition to the NYT Magazine’s regular feature, which in past years has built its collection of star-centered shorts around horror and kisses. (The latter featured Timothy Spall in a scene where he brought his own clothes to the shoot.) This year’s batch is a pure expression of dance through the prism of everyday life, but it’s also fantastic GIF/meme fodder. (If there aren’t at least 15 tweets by the end of the day mashing up Robyn with Julia’s top hat subway dance, the internet has failed us all.)

Per usual, the visual component of the annual tradition comes with a series of small tributes, penned by NYT writers A.O. Scott and Wesley Morris. (Scott named his Top Films of 2018 earlier this week.) All ten scenes can be viewed on the New York Times Magazine’s official site or as part of the Twitter thread embedded below.

Golden Globes Announce New Lifetime Achievement TV Award

HFPA President Meher Tatna explained the award would honor a television figure the way Cecil B. DeMille Award does for film.

After a surprise host announcement the night previous and a bevy of new honorees, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had one last trick up its sleeve for nominations morning. The HFPA revealed that it will be adding a new special award to its ceremony for the first time in over half a century, with a career achievement honor given to an individual in the world of TV.

HFPA President Meher Tatna announced the award before revealing this year’s nominees on Thursday morning at the Beverly Hilton, where next year’s ceremony will be held.

Read More: Golden Globes 2019 Full TV Nominations List: ‘Versace,’ ‘Barry,’ ‘Mrs. Maisel’ Among Frontrunners

“Equivalent to its film accolade counterpart, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, this new annual award will honor TV’s biggest names and brightest talents,” said Tatna. “Honorees will be selected based on their outstanding accomplishments, as well as the impact and influence that their television career has had on the industry and audiences. The importance of this presentation is underscored by the fact that this is the first special achievement award of its kind since the DeMille Award was originally presented in 1952.”

Tatna went on to explain that the name and recipient would be revealed in the coming days, along with the person who’ll be handed the 2019 Cecil B. DeMille Award in just a few weeks.

It’s interesting timing for the award, considering that last year’s DeMille recipient, Oprah Winfrey, got her career start in television. Other former DeMille awardees that also could have received this new TV equivalent include Denzel Washington, George Clooney, and 2019 Golden Globe nominee Michael Douglas, who all rose to fame as parts of TV ensembles.

The 76th Golden Globe Awards will take place on Sunday, January 6, 2019. Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh will host this year’s festivities, broadcast as usual on NBC.

Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg Announced as 2019 Golden Globes Hosts

It’s the first time the ceremony will have two hosts since Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s three-year stretch.

With just a few weeks until one of the big award shows of the year, the Golden Globes cut their host search pretty close, but still ended up with one of the year’s most pleasant surprises.

On the eve of the announcements of who the 2019 ceremony would be honoring, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced that that Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg would be presiding over the January festivities.

IndieWire’s Ben Travers predicts that Oh had a very strong chance of being at the Globes anyway, after her acclaimed role as Eve Polastri on the BBC America surprise hit “Killing Eve.” Samberg is a recent addition to the NBC family, with “Brooklyn Nine Nine” recently joining the network’s lineup. While his role as Jake Peralta on the former Fox sitcom likely won’t be in contention this year, he did win for the role back in 2014. Most recently, Samberg hosted the 2015 Emmys.

The announcement comes in the same week that the Oscars went off the board for their pick. The ABC telecast, which had locked in Jimmy Kimmel the past two years, instead went with comedian Kevin Hart.

In the period since the Hollywood Foreign Press Association introduced hosts into what had largely been a host-free ceremony, NBC has not strayed far from its own roster. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey were a three-time hosting pair from 2013-15, while “Late Night” host Seth Meyers filled in last year. This won’t be the first time the pair have shared an awards show stage together. The duo presented the award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series earlier this year at the Emmys, where the two had one of the best bits of banter of the evening, with a “nervous” Oh ripping up the envelope with the winner’s name.

The 76th Golden Globe Awards will take place on January 6, 2019.

‘True Detective’ Season 3: Drafthouse to Screen Episodes Month Before HBO Debut

The one-night-only event on December 18 will happen at 18 different theater locations.

Turns out “Green Book” won’t be the only chance for people to see Mahershala Ali in theaters this month. Alamo Drafthouse announced on Wednesday that it will be partnering with HBO to screen the first two episodes of “True Detective” Season 3 at locations across the country.

The event is scheduled for December 18, when 18 different venues from Texas (you lucky, lucky people of Lubbock, Denton, New Braunfels and more) to San Francisco to Virginia will have these special screenings at a particularly low price. The announcement has a list of participating venues, also explaining that tickets “are free with a $5 food and beverage voucher purchase.”

Those two episodes make a quarter of the upcoming season, the first on HBO since the mixed reception to Season 2 in 2015. Ali stars as Wayne Hays, a police detective investigating the disappearance of two Arkansas schoolchildren. “Green Room” and “Blue Ruin” director Jeremy Saulnier was behind the camera for each of the two episodes of this season that will be screened.

This announcement also coincides with a brand new motion poster for the season that the network also debuted on Wednesday.

 

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Starring @mahershalaali, #TrueDetective Season 3 premieres January 13 at 9pm on @HBO.

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Season 3 episodes beyond the ones screening at this event will be directed by Daniel Sackheim (he of recent “Nora Durst mourning underneath a hotel sprinkler” fame) and series writer/creator Nic Pizzolatto, who’ll be stepping behind the camera himself. Aside from Ali, the ensemble for the upcoming season also includes Carmen Ejogo, Scoot McNairy, Mamie Gummer, Sarah Gadon, and Stephen Dorff.

“True Detective” Season 3 will premiere in the new year for all HBO subscribers on January 13.

‘Miracle Workers’ First Trailer: Steve Buscemi Is God in Angel Workplace Comedy

The latest series from “Man Seeking Woman” creator Simon Rich debuts next February on TBS.

For as long as people have wondered if heaven exists, they’ve wondered what it might look like. “Miracle Workers,” the new TBS comedy slated to premiere next year, presents a version of the afterlife where it not only exists, but prominently features Steve Buscemi. (A win-win if ever there was one.)

The series, from “Man Seeking Woman” creator Simon Rich, imagines heaven as an office of sorts, with angels on different rungs of the corporate ladder managing what problems come up down on Earth. “Miracle Workers” will join the TBS Tuesday night programming lineup next February.

This particular crop of middle-management guardians is headlined by Craig (Daniel Radcliffe), who concerns himself with an increasingly heavy workload after God takes a far less hands-on role in answering humanity’s pleas. When a particularly dire problem rises up from the planet below, it’s up to Craig and his cohorts to save the world from an extremely unfortunate apocalypse.

The ensemble of angels surrounding Radcliffe includes “Blockers” breakout Geraldine Viswanathan and Karan Soni, while Jon Bass and Sasha Compère play the two humans whose urgent prayer for a shot at love together gets sent all the way up the chain. The seven-episode limited series will also feature a number of guest stars like Tituss Burgess, Margaret Cho, Tim Meadows, Angela Kinsey, and Chris Parnell. (Buscemi assumed the role of God after the part was originally announced for Owen Wilson last summer.)

“Miracle Workers” is based in part on Rich’s own 2012 novel “What in God’s Name,” and the show is executive produced by Lorne Michaels, Rich’s former boss during his time as a staff writer at “Saturday Night Live.”

Watch the first trailer for the series (including some impeccable interior design choices) below:

The Miracle Workers” premieres February 12 on TBS.

‘The Good Place’ Renewed for Season 4 at NBC

Put away that Peeps chili for now.

Anyone scared that one of the best TV shows was facing an uncertain fate can rest a little easier: “The Good Place” got renewed for a Season 4.

The NBC series, which has quickly become one of the network’s most culturally relevant pieces of programming, is currently in the middle of its third season. Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, and Manny Jacinto star as a quartet of misfits navigating the afterlife. Ted Danson and D’Arcy Carden are the architect and omniscient entity helping to guide this ragtag group through multiple planes of reality.

After not getting any Emmys attention for its initial season, the show garnered two acting nominations at the 2018 ceremony, for Danson and for Maya Rudolph as The Judge.

IndieWire’s review of this ongoing season highlighted what’s been able to keep the show in a renewable state, even as its characters face increasing levels of uncertainty: “Without leaning into sci-fi or more wonky multiple-timeline tropes, ‘The Good Place’ has one of the most complex and fascinating relationships to time of any show on TV. Following the endless resets of last year’s bonkers and masterful ‘Dance Dance Resolution,’ in Season 3 the show is still not afraid to play with how much ground a single episode can cover.”

After taking a short hiatus for the Thanksgiving season, the show returns to the air later this week. Jacinto told IndieWire last month of the upcoming installment, “The episode that’s coming up is the episode that I’ve looked forward to the most this season. I think this next episode defines why our show is so weird.”

Tuesday’s announcement did not include an episode number for Season 4, but all previous seasons of “The Good Place” have been 13 episodes in length.

‘My Brilliant Friend’ Renewed for Season 2 at HBO

The new season will be based on the Elena Ferrante novel “The Story of a New Name,” the next in the famed Neopolitan series.

Let the soaring strains of Max Richter sound the news: “My Brilliant Friend” is coming back for a Season 2 on HBO.

Continuing the story of the Neopolitan Novels quartet, the next group of eight episodes will draw from the Elena Ferrante novel “The Story of a New Name.” Published in 2013, the book continues the story of childhood friends Lila and Lenù as they progress further into adulthood and deal with the significant changes in their respective families. The series, which is set to wrap up its debut season this Sunday, is a co-venture with Italian broadcaster RAI.

Margherita Mazzucco and Gaia Girace starred for a majority of the first season as the teenage versions of Lenù and Lila, navigating the challenges of a male-dominated society as the dynamics of their evolving friendships change with each new development in their lives.

Ferrante, a notoriously secretive literary figure, did contribute to this TV adaptation and is listed as a co-writer on the first season, along with Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci, and series director Saverio Costanzo. The series marked a historic production for HBO, the first series for the network entirely in a language other than English.

As Indiewire’s Ben Travers described in his review, “Season 1 is a formative story, and universal because of it. These are the daughters’ whose lives are prioritized behind their brothers’, and the quiet kids in class who learn through silent observation. The world around them is filled with corruption, murder, and betrayal, but the plot hinges on their perseverance through education and friendship. It’s like watching ‘The Godfather,’ but instead of focusing on Michael’s continued corruption, ‘My Brilliant Friend’ dials in on how his daughter might have saved herself.”

“My Brilliant Friend” Season 1 concludes with the final two episodes airing on Sunday, December 9 and Monday, December 10 on HBO.

‘The Twilight Zone’: Here’s Everything We Know About the CBS All Access Revival

The series will premiere in 2019, with a collection of new and updated stories from the world of the iconic anthology series.

The Twilight Zone” is one of the most beloved TV shows in history. Since its initial TV run from 1959-64, it has spawned a number of imitators and adaptations, eventually leading to a feature film and TV shows with the same title that premiered in 1985 and 2002. CBS All Access made a huge splash late in 2017 when it announced that it would be reviving “The Twilight Zone,” with a series close in line with the spirit of the original, updated for a newer audience.

Details have been trickling out about this new series, and with enough confirmed tidbits floating around, here’s a handy overview of everything that curious viewers might want to know as new episodes approach.

“That Signpost Up Ahead…”

In addition to working as an executive producer on the series, Jordan Peele will step into the monochrome Rod Serling role as narrator and host. To make the announcement official, Peele recorded part of the classic intro from the original series. Peele and fellow EP Simon Kinberg also picked their favorite “Twilight Zone” episodes.

The Ever-Growing Cast

Much like the Serling original, this CBS All Access version will look to combine established stars with some up-and-coming talent.

One batch of casting announcements confirmed that John Cho, Allison Tolman, and Jacob Tremblay would all be joining the ensemble, appearing together in an episode called “The Wunderkind.” No additional details accompanied this news.

They will join Sanaa Lathan and Adam Scott, two previously revealed members of the cast. Lathan is starring in the episode “Rewind,” while Scott will be the center of “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet,” presumably an updated twist on William Shatner’s character from the Serling run and John Lithgow’s from the feature film. “The Big Sick” writer/star Kumail Nanjiani will also be appearing in an episode.

Behind the Camera

When production on the series began at the beginning of October, the announcement revealed that “The First Purge” director Gerard McMurray would be directing one of the episodes.

Release Date

As of the time of this post, production is still underway. However, the show is still aiming for a premiere date sometime in 2019.

‘The Innocent Man’ Trailer: Netflix Series Reopens Two Murder Investigations

The six-part documentary based on the John Grisham book of the same name premieres next week.

Netflix has had some of its biggest surprise phenomena in the world of true crime documentaries. Now, with a new venture with legendary author John Grisham, they don’t appear to be letting up any time soon.

After a 2018 that saw Netflix release series like “Evil Genius” and the conclusion of the years-long saga of “The Staircase,” “The Innocent Man” examines the case that Grisham profiled in his 2006 nonfiction book of the same name. Both are a look at a pair of killings in the mid 1980s, both occurring in the town of Ada, Oklahoma.

Much like another Netflix crime series you may have heard of, “The Innocent Man” takes a closer view of the aftermath of the crimes, looking at how law enforcement officials arrived at their conclusions and arresting the young men they believed to be guilty of the abductions and killings. As a result, “The Innocent Man” also tracks the nearly two-decade long effort to prove that the two convicted suspects were wrongfully accused.

“The Innocent Man” is a six-part series from “Gleason” and “Finders Keepers” director Clay Tweel, who spoke with a number of individuals involved in the search for the truth and the years of uncertainty that followed in its wake. (Tweel’s latest film “Out of Omaha,” following two brothers growing up in the Nebraska city, premiered last month at DOC NYC.)

Those who covered the case, the family members affected by the outcome, and the members of the community who are still grappling with what these deaths mean for their city are all featured in “The Innocent Man” interviews. Grisham himself also appears as a participant in the series.

Watch the full trailer for “The Innocent Man” below:

“The Innocent Man” premieres December 14 on Netflix.

‘The Shivering Truth’: Watch the First Episode Before It Airs on Adult Swim

The co-creator of “The Heart, She Holler” is back with another logic-defying Adult Swim offering.

The Shivering Truth” premieres next week, as part of the Sunday night block on Adult Swim. But for anyone adventurous enough to take a chance on a stop-motion descent into some dark territory of the human psyche, IndieWire is presenting the first episode in advance of the series premiere.

This quarter-hour creation comes from Vernon Chatman, the co-creator of “Wonder Showzen” who also helped bring “The Heart, She Holler” to Adult Swim back in 2011. Chatman also voices characters in the series, joining a voice cast for this debut episode that also includes Jon Glaser, Kevin Breznahan, Miriam Tolan, and Ivy Chatman.

As part of a certain amount of due diligence, this intro is the time to reiterate that this is an episode of TV that will likely make some viewers uncomfortable. Anyone expected a traditional heartwarming stop-motion special (or even the measured, less-happy offerings of something like “Anomalisa”) is in for a deep, profound surprise. (To wit: A flipbook sent to members of the press as part of a preview for the show features an insect bite morphing into a structure that envelops an entire person.)

For those who feel mentally equipped to handle it, watch the full debut episode below:

So, that’s quite a lot to fit into 11 minutes. “The Shivering Truth” unfolds in the subsequent five episodes as part of an anthology of similar thematically connected mental rabbit holes. In order to let viewers watch more, Adult Swim has created an online scavenger hunt — before its television premiere, the network has released the following five episodes across other websites and platforms. Good luck finding them all!

To help bring these episodes to life, there’s an even bigger cast of favorites from the comedy world, including Jordan Peele, Maria Bamford, Andy Daly, Janeane Garofalo, David Cross, Trey Parker, Peter Serafinowicz, and Julio Torres.

For an idea of what to expect from the rest of this season, watch the trailer below:

“The Shivering Truth” premieres December 9 at midnight on Adult Swim.

‘You’ Season 2 Moving to Netflix from Lifetime

The Penn Badgley-led drama series about obsession in the age of social media premiered earlier this summer.

Fans of TV distribution switches, voiceovers from psychopathic obsessives, and Penn Badgley’s face are getting a nice Christmas present: “You” Season 2 is coming to Netflix.

The streaming service announced that the Greg Berlanti/Sera Gamble-developed Lifetime series based on the Caroline Kepnes novel of the same name would be continuing with a Season 2 made directly for Netflix, rather than through the cable network.

“You” stars Penn Badgley as Joe, an unassuming bookstore manager who begins an unhealthy obsession after a chance encounter with Beck (Elizabeth Lail), a customer. The audience can hear Joe’s thoughts and twisted rationales as he ingratiates himself with Beck’s inner circle and makes some dangerous leaps in logic and legality in order to clear a path to steal her affections. The series also featured a later-season role from John Stamos as Beck’s therapist.

The series was renewed for a Season 2 earlier this summer, before the show premiered in the beginning of September. The move to Netflix is understandable in part due to Berlanti’s existing relationship with the platform, which also distributes the Berlanti-produced “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”

As Indiewire’s Liz Shannon Miller wrote in her positive A- review of the series back in September, “It speaks to the thing that’s all too true in life: the hero of a story might, from a different perspective, really be a villain. The more we get to know about Joe, the more we know to be afraid of him, but we also see where he’s coming from. It’s dangerous… but sometimes, danger can be an exciting thing. It’s all too easy to get hooked.”

To celebrate the announcement, Netflix released a new trailer for the series:

For those who may have missed the series’ 10-episode first season of “You,” it will be available to Netflix subscribers on the platform beginning December 26.

December TV Premieres: 10 New Shows and Movies to Look Out for This Month

This month will bring projects starring Sam Richardson, Adam Pally, Tyra Banks, Olivia Cooke, and Gretchen Mol.

And so the calendar closes on yet another TV year. As critics start to assemble year-end best lists and look forward to what the next 12 months might have in store, there’s still a final flurry of new original programming to sift through before 2018 fades away.

Per usual, these are spread out across broadcast, cable, and subscription services, this time with an extra peppering of original films debuting on TV airtime. With plenty of other options to juggle as 2018 closes, allow this one final collection to cap off the bunch.

(We do this roundup of new shows pretty much every month — if you missed any of those previous picks, here are some notable TV premieres from FebruaryMarch, AprilMayJune, July, August, October, November, and our giant fall preview.)

Nightflyers” (December 2, Syfy)

NIGHTFLYERS -- "All That We Left Behind" Episode 101 -- Pictured: Gretchen Mol as Agatha -- (Photo by: Jonathan Hession/Syfy)

Joining the ever-growing sci-fi subgenre of “Hey, space is probably not the best place to go with people you don’t completely know!” is this new adaptation of the George R.R. Martin novella of the same name. Gretchen Mol, Angus Sampson, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Maya Eshet lead this galaxy-crossing ensemble. “Another Earth” director Mike Cahill directed the pilot, and all episodes in the series are written by Jeff Buhler.

“Life Size 2” (December 2, Freeform)

LIFE-SIZE 2: A CHRISTMAS EVE - FreeformÕs annual "25 Days of Christmas" programming event will be a lot brighter as Tyra Banks reprises her iconic role of ÒEveÓ in the highly anticipated sequel "Life-Size 2," on SUNDAY, DEC. 2, at 9:00 - 11:00 p.m. EST/PST. In the sequel "Eve" returns to help Grace Manning (Francia Raisa), a 20 something CEO of Marathon Toys who is in over her head. (Disney Channel/Guy D'Alema) TYRA BANKS

Of all the original movies to air in ABC’s “Wonderful World of Disney” Sunday night block, the one with the most inexplicable staying power has been “Life Size,” the story of a doll (Tyra Banks) who takes human form. Now, 18 years later, the sequel features Banks in a similar role, this time with a Christmas twist. (Fingers crossed this also means Tony Danza will get a chance to reprise his role from “The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon.”)

“Finding Joy” (December 3, Acorn)

This six-part comedy, which originally premiered in Ireland, stars Amy Huberman as the title character, who’s trying to deal with unexpected fame right after a breakup. Another point in the show’s favor: Joy has a dog named Canine Aidan. That’s almost worth tuning in all by itself.

“Icebox” (December 7, HBO)

Icebox HBO

Daniel Sawka’s chronicle of a teenage boy’s (Anthony Gonzalez) travels through the U.S. Border Patrol detainment system premiered earlier this year at the Toronto International Film Festival. Based on Sawka’s short of the same name, this feature-length version co-stars Genesis Rodriguez, Omar Leyva, Johnny Ortiz, Matthew Moreno, and Jessica Juarez.

“The Shivering Truth” (December 9, Adult Swim)

The Shivering Truth Hospital

Adult Swim’s stop-motion series is an otherwise unclassifiable anthology series about the more bizarre corners of the human psyche. Voiced by an impressive ensemble of comedy favorites (including Jordan Peele, Maria Bamford, Andy Daly, Janeane Garofalo, David Cross, Jon Glaser, Trey Parker, Peter Serafinowicz, and Julio Torres), the six-part series will air in the traditional AS quarter-hour installments.

“Champaign Ill” (December 12, YouTube Premium)

Pair up Sam Richardson and Adam Pally and they’ll make anything borderline-essential viewing all by themselves. Putting them together as former entourage members trying to figure out what to do in the wake of losing their famous rapper friend (Jay Pharoah)? With former “Happy Ending” boss David Caspe also as a co-writer on the series, YouTube Premium’s biggest venture into the comedy world has plenty of the right ingredients.

“LOL: Last One Laughing” (December 14, Amazon)

Eugenio Derbez'Overboard' film photocall, Mexico City, Mexico - 07 May 2018 'Overboard' film Photocall at St. Regis Hotel

Eugenio Derbez

Carlos Tischler/REX/Shutterstock

Megastar host Eugenio Derbez headlines this reality competition series in which comedians test of their ability to be funny against people trying their hardest not to laugh. The one who can stay silent the longest walks away with a cash prize. The show is based on a Japanese series with a similar premise.

“Pete Holmes: Dirty Clean” (December 15, HBO)

In advance of Season 3 of “Crashing,” the series partly drawn from his own rise through the stand-up comedy world, Pete Holmes stays in the HBO family with this hourlong special, his first since 2016’s “Faces and Sounds.”

Timeless” (December 20, NBC)

TIMELESS -- "Hollywoodland" Episode 203 -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lanter as Wyatt Logan, Abigail Spencer as Lucy Preston, Malcolm Barrett as Rufus Carlin -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

“Timeless”

Paul Drinkwater/NBC

Not so much a “new” show (or really a “movie,” so much as a two-part finale). But it is one last testament to a vocal fanbase that this NBC series about a small group of time-traveling compatriots got one final extension to wrap up its various loose ends.

Vanity Fair” (December 24, Amazon)

Amazon Vanity Fair Poster

 

William Makepeace Thackeray’s mid-19th century English social novel has spawned a bevy of adaptations over the decades. The latest is this Olivia Cooke-starring series from veteran British TV director James Strong (“Broadchurch,” “Downton Abbey,” “Doctor Who”). The seven-part series also features Simon Russell Beale, Johnny Flynn, and the great Michael Palin as Thackeray.

‘Blade Runner’ Anime Series Coming from Adult Swim and Crunchyroll

The series will be set 17 years before last year’s “Blade Runner 2049” sequel.

One of the enduring elements of “Blade Runner 2049” was a giant depiction of a neon-tinged computer generated person. Now, an entire season of TV is going to take the idea of an animated “Blade Runner” world and run with it.

Adult Swim and Crunchyroll announced Thursday that they will partner to produce and air “Blade Runner — Black Lotus,” a season of 13 half-hour episodes that will exist in the same universe as Ridley Scott’s iconic 1982 film “Blade Runner” and last year’s Denis Villeneuve-helmed sequel.

This won’t be the first time “Blade Runner” and anime have officially been paired together. A trio of shorts, made in the run-up to “Blade Runner 2049″ helped bridge the gap between the two feature films. “Blade Runner Black Out 2022” director Shinichiro Watanabe will be involved in this new series.

“Blade Runner — Black Lotus” will be directed by Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama. Once it’s ready for release, Adult Swim will air the series in all territories except for Asia. The Adult Swim broadcasts are planned to have dubbed English voices, while Crunchyroll will make the episodes available to its worldwide subscribers.

Exact details about the story are unknown, but Thursday’s news does come with a target time period for the show itself. The show will reportedly be set during the year 2032 and will incorporate characters that those familiar with the previous films and adaptations may recognize.

“Blade Runner — Black Lotus” is slated to be part of the long-running Toonami block, which has been a staple of Cartoon Network programming and a part of the Adult Swim umbrella since 2012. As part of Toonami, the show will join other joint Adult Swim/Crunchyroll ventures as “Megalo Box” and “Mob Psycho 100.”

Awkwafina is Getting Her Own Comedy Central Series

Fresh off a packed 2018 summer, the “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Ocean’s 8” star is already set for a 10-episode season.

One of the breakout stars of the 2018 movie season, Awkwafina is ready to bring her talents to a half-hour comedy all her own. Comedy Central announced Thursday that the network had ordered 10 episodes of “Awkwafina,” a half-hour comedy based on the rapper and comedian’s own experiences.

The announcement explained that Awkwafina’s character would be a “twenty-something living in Queens, striving for a larger than life existence while living with her father and grandmother.”

It’s been a busy year for Awkwafina, who co-starred in both “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Ocean’s 8,” earning a hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live” in the process. She will next be seen in two different films at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in January.

After a summer of being a part of some of the impressive film ensembles of the summer, Awkwafina will have some quality co-stars for this new show as well. BD Wong will play her father, “Las Culturistas” host and newly minted “SNL” writer Bowen Yang is set to play her cousin, and Lori Tan Chinn is signed on as her grandmother.

Awkwafina isn’t the only comedian who’ll have a new slot in the coming Comedy Central plans. The network also revealed that it had given an eight-episode order for “Robbie,” a half-hour series starring Rory Scovel.

The performer behind the 2017 Netflix special “Rory Scovel Tries Stand Up for the First Time,” Scovel also co-starred in the Amy Schumer-starring “I Feel Pretty” earlier this year and is a regular on the truTV series “Those Who Can’t.”

“Robbie” also has an impressive ensemble, with Beau Bridges, Sasheer Zamata, and Mary Holland also part of the cast.

These two series join an upcoming slate of Comedy Central shows that also includes a sketch series from “Broad City” alum Arturo Castro, the respective returns of Jordan Klepper and Anthony Jeselnik, and the January 2019 premiere of “The Other Two,” from co-creators Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider.

‘Luther’ Season 5 Trailer: Idris Elba Returns With One Wicked Surprise

The latest four-episode season, featuring Idris Elba and another familiar face, is expected to premiere next year.

After three years, TV finally has one of its best detectives back on the case. And it looks like he’s got some unexpected company.

BBC One has released the trailer and release date for upcoming episodes of “Luther.” This latest season looks to roust John Luther out of isolation one more time, this go-around complete with what appears to be the return of Ruth Wilson in the role of Luther’s deadly sometimes-helper Alice. In addition to Elba and Wilson, fellow series vets Dermot Crowley and Michael Smiley are also returning for this round of episodes.

Series creator Neil Cross, who’s written all previous 16 episodes of “Luther,” was also behind “Hard Sun,” which premiered on Hulu earlier this year. Regardless of how this impending season wraps up, Cross said in an interview earlier this year that a feature film ending to the “Luther” story still has a shot.

At the very least, this trailer delivers on everything “Luther” fans have come to expect: moody, smoky-voiced pop songs (this time, a brooding cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic”) and putting its title character through every kind of danger imaginable. This season, he’s about to get punched more than a few times.

Watch the full trailer (including further proof that forests are dangerous places that never fare well for Neil Cross characters) below. “Luther” Season 5 is expected to premiere next year on BBC One. The series’ first four seasons are currently available to stream on Netflix.

The Road Ahead for YouTube’s TV Plans is Harder Than Ever

“Cobra Kai” is a hit, but these are the major hurdles that YouTube Premium’s efforts still face.

As things stand in the ever-changing streaming platform arms race, the competition has somewhat separated itself into tiers. In size and scope, Netflix and Amazon have the longest reach, moving into territories around the globe with catered programming for each. Hulu has nabbed some awards success and still has in “The Handmaid’s Tale” a show that captured public attention in a way that few shows in the streaming era have.

Apple is (still) on the horizon and Facebook is still on shaky ground getting momentum for its content push. So where does that leave YouTube Premium, the SVOD arm of the revolutionary video platform.

Reports surfaced Tuesday that YouTube Premium is mulling two major developments. One would see the service slow down development of new scripted programming, sticking with its current crop — including the surprise hit “Karate Kid” spinoff “Cobra Kai” — for the near future. (The internal explanation is their slate is well-stocked for the next few years.) The other is a possible openness to an ad-supported version of YouTube Premium, which would be in addition to the current $11.99-a-month option for some subscribers. YouTube has already been placing some of its shows in front of a pay wall and others behind it; this move will eventually place shows in both.

Regardless of whether these moves are seen as mere reworkings or retreat in the face of a landscape that’s only going to get more crowded with Disney+ and whatever WarnerMedia has cooked up, those aren’t the only challenges facing YouTube Premium, a service that has shown occasional promise, but still has a hard road ahead to break into those upper ranks.

Ads and Options

The development of an ad-supported system, on a granular level, is going to give YouTube Premium a problem. Like Hulu before it, which used to present itself as two versions of a product — one with ads and one dubbed Hulu Plus, a subscription that would eliminate ads — YouTube is muddying its own waters as to what people would get from paying for the service.

Hulu now exists as largely a unified entity, but that’s only after wrestling with that huge initial branding problem, one that took months — and in some case years — to get people to forget that Hulu Plus was ever a thing.

IMPULSE Maddie Hasson YouTube Premium

“Impulse”

Erin Keating

Juggling Scripted and Unscripted

In hindsight, one thing that helped Netflix’s rise is that it was able to focus largely on launching its programming push on the shoulders of prestige dramas. Not subject to the content glut it eventually helped usher in, it was not only able to ramp up, but ramp up with a clear focus. “Making a Murderer” eventually came, but that was after the platform helped revitalize public interest in documentaries with its library, not its batch of originals.

To reach the level of options of its competitors has meant supplementing shows like “Cobra Kai” with unscripted fare like “Best Shot,” the Jay Williams/LeBron James-produced youth basketball series. The move into docuseries seems to be part of the service’s plans going forward, with an Ariana Grande show reportedly in the works.

Acclaim and attention will come with that — “Best Shot” is nominated at this year’s International Documentary Association Awards and having a creative partnership with one of the biggest pop singers in the world never hurts — but it’s indicative of a service trying to spread itself across all genres, possibly at the expense of a single, marketable identity.

Existing History

Trying to harness some of the platform’s cachet isn’t so much starting at square one, but digging out from under over a decade of learned behavior from how audiences engage with YouTube in the first place. Younger audiences may be used to watching channel offerings from live-streamers and tutorial offerers, but getting many viewers to engage with an hourlong drama (or even a shorter-length comedy) means rewiring people’s expectations as a site for premium programming and not momentary viral hits.

In this way, YouTube is a kindred spirit with Facebook, which is also trying to figure out how to capitalize on eyeballs by directing them towards the Facebook Watch element of the site. In either case, they’re working against expectations by asking people to not only reroute their habits away from why people visit the respective sites in the first place, but to stick around for an exponentially longer amount of time once they do.

Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television

“Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television*”

YouTube Premium

The Parent Company

One of the biggest problems endemic to YouTube is that it’s not exactly operating from a position of autonomy. It’s had to juggle the predicaments of launching its content while competing with a live TV package (when ads were taking over this year’s MLB postseason coverage, the shows weren’t the main focus).

It’s a well-documented problem that Amazon certainly hasn’t been exempt from, as the casual viewer for years has juggled what exactly to call Prime Video. But as Amazon has made strides to clearly delineate its film and TV offerings — rebranding to “Amazon Movies” for its feature and theatrical efforts — YouTube Premium is still defining itself after dropping the “YouTube Red” label earlier this year.

That Premium is still tied to the remnants of a Google Play Music connection isn’t helping things either. While that might grow the subscriber base and pool of potential viewers, having music and original programming linked this way makes it harder for Alphabet and Google to consider them as separate entities. In some cases, like the Ariana Grande series, it offers a certain kind of synergy. But trying to prop up a mini-universe of sci-fi shows while also catering to people who just want to hear songs while the app plays in the background is forcing Premium to serve two different interests.

Finding a Superstar Creator

Getting “House of Cards” was a coup partly because it earned Netflix the David Fincher imprimatur. Even though the director’s involvement grew to be in name only, having him set the visual tone for the series helped lend both show and service some initial credence that helped it leapfrog on an awards stage, too.

YouTube Premium has had its share of experienced creators and stars. “Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television*” is a gem, created by Rawson Marshall Thurber, who has a trio of $100 million-grossing movies under his belt. Doug Liman has lent very vocal support to “Impulse,” but even he’ll admit that the show is something of a second chance to redeem himself for the failure of his film “Jumper.”

What YouTube doesn’t have is an in-house rockstar and the exclusivity that having someone fully under the umbrella can bring. Competitors have the money to offer astronomical paydays for Greg Berlanti, Ryan Murphy, and Shonda Rimes (as Netflix has done) or give first-look deals to Jordan Peele and Viola Davis (like Amazon has). Without a giant name to stake a growing fleet of projects around, it’s another challenge in the way of creating a defining image. Instead, the most dependable creators on the YouTube platform are the personalities who command millions of subscribers on a single channel. Some of lent their talents to YouTube Originals, but it’s not a direct, one-to-one pipeline.

YouTube is now in a position where the defining element of its landmark scripted show is that it harkens back to “The Karate Kid,” a film that’s been in the public consciousness for over three decades. Nostalgia is a powerful weapon, but it’s the people wielding it that will give entertainment hubs a leg up in the content wars to come.

‘Black Lightning’ Showrunner Salim Akil Accused of Physical and Sexual Misconduct

Akil developed the CW series and co-created the OWN series “Love Is____.”

Salim Akil, TV writer, director, and creator is the subject of a new lawsuit alleging physical and sexual abuse over an extended period of time.

The plaintiff in the case, Amber Dixon Brenner, alleges that she and Akil had a decade-long relationship. During that time, Brenner’s lawsuit alleges a number of crimes in explicit detail, including multiple instances when Brenner says Akil coerced her into multiple instances of forced sexual contact and committed various acts domestic violence.

Most recently, Akil has served as the showrunner of the CW series “Black Lightning,” which he also developed. He wrote and directed the pilot and has served as a writer and director on numerous other episodes. The show’s second season is currently airing.

Along with his wife, Mara Brock Akil, Akil created “Love Is___,” an hourlong drama that premiered last year on the OWN Network. The series, based in part on the pair’s relationship, follows a couple at the beginning of their time together and a parallel storyline of the two of them in the present day. Brenner’s suit alleges that part of “Love Is____” (and another project pitched to ABC but never produced) came from ideas that he took from a script she had written and shown to him.

These allegations come roughly a year after Andrew Kreisberg, the head of multiple CW shows, was fired from his roles on “The Flash” and “Supergirl” after a number of employees “engaged in a pattern of alleged sexual harassment and inappropriate physical contact over a period of years,” according to a Variety report.

Jezebel first reported on the existence of the lawsuit, which was filed last week in the state of California. A full record of the filing can be read here.