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The latest news on TV from Business Insider

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    alec baldwin donald trump james comey snl

    Alec Baldwin was back as President Trump in “Saturday Night Live’s” cold open, parrying with Michael Che in a spoof of this week’s much-publicized interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt. Host Melissa McCarthy delivered a lengthy sketch spoofing the travails of White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

    The opening sketch lobbed several zingers at Trump, including a risque reference to Trump’s claim to have coined the phrase “priming the pump.” Baldwin’s Trump insisted that it was a description of his need to “tug at myself for about a half an hour before Melania comes in so she can find it easier.” 

    The cold open incorporated numerous headlines from another eventful week for the Trump administration, from the firing of FBI director James Comey to the revelation that the President likes two scoops of ice cream for dessert. Mikey Day made an appearance as an over-eager House Speaker Paul Ryan delivering ice cream to Trump.

    Among Baldwin’s best lines from the sketch:

    • “Some people have called me a serial tapist — when you’re President they let you do that.”
    • “I sit on every chair like it’s a toilet.”
    • “Nothing’s going to stop me because I have the Republicans in the palm of my hand.”
    • Referring to his presidency as a TV show, he vowed it will run for eight years. “In an upcoming episode we will find out that Kellyanne (Conway) has been dead this whole time.”
    • When pressed by Holt about his choice to replace Comey, Trump vowed that it will be someone “so bonkers you’re going to wish like hell it was Judge Judy.”
    • Che’s Holt pressed Trump on the reason for firing Comey. When Trump responded “because of Russia,” Holt spoke into his earpiece “Did I get it? Is this all over?” before repeating the answer: “Absolutely nothing matters.”

    Later in the show, McCarthy made a triumphant return as Spicer in a long sketch that had him battling for his job after Sarah Huckabee Sanders began filling in this week.

    The segment began with McCarthy-as-Spicer hiding in the bushes outside the window, with Sanders (Aidy Bryant) filling in at the podium, and the press corps begging her to stay on. “Can’t you just do this full-time instead of him?” they pleaded.

    But McCarthy’s Spicer returned to the lectern, armed with a fire extinguisher to put “his pants out” for lying. “Spicey’s back, Sarah’s out,” announced McCarthy as he sprayed the extinguisher’s white foam at reporters.

    McCarthy swatted away questions from the reporters questioning Trump’s mental fitness. “If he’s crazy, he’s crazy like a fox with mental problems,” McCarthy said.

    Asked about Trump’s connections to Russia, McCarthy-as-Spicer responded: “Let me just  put this whole Russia thing to bed. Trump is innocent. How do we know? Because he told us so. They’re going to prove it with a certified letter.”

    McCarthy then read off the tracking numbers — only then to realize it was his own bank routing number. “No one use it,” McCarthy declared.

    McCarthy then brought a set of Russian nesting dolls to illustrate the relationship between Trump and Comey, ultimately explaining that Comey’s firing was due to “Trump’s good friend” Jeff Sessions, illustrated by Pikachu.

    When asked: “Where you surprised Trump fired James Comey instead of you,” McCarthy-as-Spicer ripped a pillar off the wall and threw into the press corps. “I hope to god it killed her.”

    Pressed on if Trump is lying to him, Spicer insists “he wouldn’t do that, he’s my friend.” Spicer then left the press briefing room on his motorized podium, driving through the streets of Manhattan in search of Trump. “I promise I’ll talk better,” he yelled while rolling down 58th Street.

    Spicer arrived at Trump Tower, only to be told by the doormen that Trump doesn’t come there anymore. He finally finds Baldwin-as-Trump at a golf course in New York, and asks the burning question: “Have you ever told me to say things that aren’t true?” Replies Trump, “Only since you started working here.”

    Trump reassures Spicer that he won’t replace him with Sanders (“She doesn’t have your special spice”). The two exchanged a passionate embrace to close out the sketch.

    SEE ALSO: Seth Meyers: Trump 'just admitted everything the White House has been saying is a lie'

    DON'T MISS: Stephen Colbert gleefully fires back at Trump calling him a 'filthy,' 'no-talent guy': 'I won!'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here are the major events leading up to Comey's abrupt firing


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    melissa mccarthy sean spicer snl nbcWith Aidy Bryant doing a spot-on Sarah Huckabee Sanders on "Saturday Night Live," Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer quickly and brashly took his rightful place at the podium, sputtering, berating and using Russian nesting dolls for a visual aid.

    Riled by reporters’ questions, Spicey embarked on a (pre-taped) podium road trip to confront his boss about being fired – all to the tune of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Only Living Boy In New York” and finally sharing the stage (and a big kiss) with Alec Baldwin’s Trump.

    That should really get the “Fire Colbert” folks going.

    This weekend's "Saturday Night Live" cold open went to Baldwin’s Donald Trump, interviewed by Michael Che’s Lester Holt – or as Trump called him, Jazzman, O.J., Kenan, and Tupac.

    The first blast of the show’s satire went to Trump’s axing of FBI Director James Comey. “I fired him because of Russia,” Trump/Baldwin said. “I thought, he’s investigating Russia, I don’t like that, I should fire him.”

    Responded a stunned Holt, “Did I get him? It’s all over?” Then, “No, I didn’t. Nothing matters.”

    Enter Mikey Day’s Paul Ryan, delivering ice cream, and a defiant Trump making a Nixon-esque two-handed Victory salute – for two scoops.

    So who will replace Comey? “I can promise you, whoever I choose is going to be so bonkers you’re going to wish like hell it was Judge Judy.” Trump said. Asked about how that would look, Trump said, “Think I care about optics? I sit in ever chair like it’s a toilet.”

    During McCarthy's opening monologue, she gave a lucky mother a backstage tour, running into Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.

    SEE ALSO: Seth Meyers: Trump 'just admitted everything the White House has been saying is a lie'

    DON'T MISS: Stephen Colbert gleefully fires back at Trump calling him a 'filthy,' 'no-talent guy': 'I won!'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here are the major events leading up to Comey's abrupt firing


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    viserys targaryen death

    "Game of Thrones" has always been known for its gratuitous nudity, but HBO's epic fantasy drama also packs plenty of shocking violence. 

    Over the past six seasons, there have been many deaths, some more gruesome than the others.

    In anticipation of season seven, premiering this summer, we put together a list of the most gruesome deaths we've seen on the show so far.

    So you can fondly remember some very painful memories of lovable characters gone too soon, and relive some of the most satisfying deaths of the worst villains the show has to offer. 

    Here are the most gruesome and violent deaths on "Game of Thrones":

    SEE ALSO: All the 'Game of Thrones' deaths, ranked from least tragic to most tragic

    20. Shae

    The most gruesome, heartbreaking part of Shea's death? You could see it in Tyrion's eyes that despite her epic betrayal, he still loved her. 

    Time of death: Season 4, episode 10, "The Children"

    Cause of death: Tyrion strangled her upon discovering that she was sleeping with his father, Tywin.



    19. Ser Vardis Egen

    Not as graphic as some of the others, but it was one of our first looks at how effective (and brutal) of a fighter Bronn is. And such a long fall!

    Time of death: Season 1, episode 6, "A Golden Crown"

    Cause of death: After a bloody stab in the throat, Bronn throws the Knight of the Vale through the Moon Door, thus winning Tyrion's trial by combat. 



    18. The High Septon, Margery Tyrell, Mace Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, Kevan Lannister, Lancel Lannister

    According to an alchemist Tyrion talks to in season two, wildfire "burns so hot, it melts wood, stone, even steel! And of course: flesh. The substance burns so hot it melts flesh like tallow."

    Wildfire also becomes more potent as it ages. The wildfire Cersei used was placed there by the Mad King over 20 years ago, so it was extremely dangerous. The deaths at the Destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor were quick, but they certainly weren't painless. 

    Time of deaths: Season 6, episode 10, "The Winds of Winter"

    Cause of deaths: Burned alive in Cersei's wildfire explosion at the Sept of Baelor.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak attend the women's final between Canada Eugenie Bouchard and Czech Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon Championships in London, UK.

    Jim Parsons has married his longtime partner Todd Spiewak.

    The actor – best known for playing Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory– has been together with graphic designer Todd for the last 14 years.

    The pair tied the knot on Saturday night (May 13) at New York's Rainbow Room, reports Page Six.

    On their 14th anniversary, Jim published a touching tribute to his partner in an Instagram post.

    "I met this guy (the one with the mic) 14 years ago today and it was the best thing that ever happened to me, no contest," Jim wrote.

    "One of his greatest gifts to me is that he no longer takes me to sing karaoke. Also, I believe this was a selfie with an actual camera, as our phones couldn't do that back then hahaha! #todd #anniversary."

    Interestingly, when Jim was asked about tying the knot by Ellen DeGeneres in an interview from 2014, he said that he felt no rush to get married.

    "I feel like I haven't been enthusiastic enough about it and now I feel like I'm a loser for the cause," he told Ellen.

    On screen, Jim's iconic Big Bang Theory character Sheldon was at the centre of a huge cliffhanger ending for the season 10 finale, which airs on E4 in the UK on Thursday (May 18) at 8pm.

    Executive producer Steve Molaro said of the moment: "It feels good to know this season [11] premiere is going to kick off at such an explosive point in the series. That's great."

    MORE FROM DIGITAL SPY:

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This animated map shows how religion spread across the world


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    Daenerys Targaryen crying Game of Thrones

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • George R.R. Martin took to LiveJournal to explain more about the four "Game of Thrones" spinoffs in the works.
    • He said there's actually a fifth idea being developed.
    • He's also involved with all five possible series, not just two (as previously reported).
    • Martin didn't provide details on the five series' subjects.
    • But he said they definitely are NOT Robert's Rebellion or the Dunk and Egg novellas.


    Author George R.R. Martin is making waves on his LiveJournal blog again — this time regarding the exciting news that HBO is developing ideas for multiple "Game of Thrones" spinoff shows. Three major pieces of news were revealed in Martin's blog post.

    First, that there is a fifth possible story being explored (while previously we only knew of four). Second, that Martin himself is involved with the development of all five ideas (whereas before we only knew he was attached to two of the projects as a writer).

    And lastly, Martin confirmed that two of the potential spinoffs fans were most eager to see — Robert's Rebellion and the Dunk and Egg series— are not included in any of the five developing shows.

    George RR Martin

    How Martin views these new possible shows

    One thing we should clear up here is that just because HBO has hired writers to begin work on five different "Game of Thrones" related shows, this doesn't mean all five spinoffs will actually make it to air.

    "I do think it's very unlikely that we'll be getting four (or five) series," Martin wrote. "At least not immediately. What we do have here is an order for four — now five — pilot scripts. How many pilots will be filmed, and how many series might come out of that, remains to be seen."

    Also of note is that Martin doesn't think the term "spinoff" or "prequel" is the best descriptor for these series. Instead, as Martin's blog post explains, he would like us to call them "successor shows."

    What we're talking about are new stories set in the "secondary universe" (to borrow Tolkien's term) of Westeros and the world beyond, the world I created for ["A Song of Ice and Fire"]. 

    None of these new shows will be 'spinning off' from ["Game of Thrones"] in the traditional sense. We are not talking "Joey" or "AfterMASH" or even "Frazier" [sic] or "Lou Grant," where characters from one show continue on to another. So all of you who were hoping for the further adventures of Hot Pie are doomed to disappointment. Every one of the concepts under discussion is a prequel, rather than a sequel. Some may not even be set on Westeros. Rather than "spinoff" or "prequel," however, I prefer the term "successor show." That's what I've been calling them.

    Jon Snow Game of Thrones season five snow

    The bad news for fans

    Martin knew fans would be disappointed to know that neither Robert's Rebellion nor the Dunk and Egg stories would be included in the five possible shows. 

    His reasoning behind not adapting Dunk and Egg now was that the written series isn't complete. Martin has published three novellas that tell the story of Dunk and Egg, but according to his newest blog post, there are at least ten more books he wants to write about those characters. 

    "We all know how slow I am, and how fast a television show can move," Martin said. "I don't want to repeat what happened with 'Game of Thrones' itself, where the show gets ahead of the books."

    Many fans will understand this logic, but the explanation behind not doing Robert's Rebellion is falling a little short when it comes to dedicated readers of Martin's books. 

    "I know thousands of you want [Robert's Rebellion], I know there's a petition," Martin said. "But by the time I finish writing 'A Song of Ice and Fire,' you will know every important thing that happened in Robert's Rebellion. There would be no surprises or revelations left in such a show, just the acting out of conflicts whose resolutions you already know. That's not a story I want to tell just now; it would feel too much like a twice-told tale."

    robert baratheon 1920

    Seeing as Robert's Rebellion and the whole of "A Song of Ice and Fire" is Martin's creative baby, he's well within his right to choose which aspects of the story are adapted for the screen.

    But the reasoning behind this call for Robert's Rebellion will not sit well with many fans. Since Martin has yet to finish "The Winds of Winter"— and then who knows how long it will be until the (hopefully) final book is published — it means fans are still largely in the dark about some key aspects of Robert's Rebellion. 

    How did Rhaegar and Lyanna fall in love? Who was the Knight of the Laughing Tree? What made Rhaegar so obsessed with prophecy to the point where he risked causing a catastrophic war over a woman he loved (who was not his wife) and decided that having a bastard child (Jon Snow!) was worth it all?

    Perhaps these questions and more will be answered in Martin's subsequent "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels, but even with resolutions it wouldn't negate the desire fans have for a show or mini series about Robert's Rebellion.

    Ned and Lyanna Stark with Baby Jon Snow Game of Thrones

    And just because we already know the resolutions to the conflicts of Robert's Rebellion doesn't mean it wouldn't be fascinating to watch in full detail. By the logic presented by Martin, seeing the "Harry Potter" movies play out wouldn't have been worth it, seeing as J.K. Rowling had already provided fans with the resolution to the story.

    "Game of Thrones" itself was already a series based on books with major plot points revealed — but that didn't make seeing the Red Wedding or Jon Snow's assassination any less compelling.

    So for now, the subject matter of the five "successor shows" remains a mystery, but we will continue speculating and swapping ideas. The Doom of Valyria, perhaps? The history of the Targaryen conquest and civil war

    Martin's blog post also made note (in large, bold letters) that he's still working on "The Winds of Winter." In the meantime, "Game of Thrones" season seven returns to HBO on July 16. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: China built a $350 million bridge that ends in a dirt field in North Korea


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    John Oliver Comey HBO final

    On Sunday's episode of "Last Week Tonight," host John Oliver addressed the branch of government that has the power to look into President Donald Trump's surprise firing of FBI Director James Comey and potentially do something about it: Congress.

    Oliver believes what's important here is not just that Comey confirmed before his firing that there's an ongoing FBI investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. He also pointed to a tweet from Trump that suggested the president may have recorded his private meetings with Comey. In the vaguely threatening tweet, Trump said Comey "better hope" no "tapes" of their conversations exist.

    Oliver described Trump's words about the "tapes" as "both a borderline obstruction of justice and the meaningless rantings of a confused, old idiot."

    But nothing Trump says (or tweets) surprises anymore, according to Oliver.

    "There is really nothing Trump could do to genuinely shock me right now," Oliver said. "If you said he fired Comey because he’s investigating Russia, I’d believe you. If you said he did it because Comey is 6’8” and Trump feels like a tiny little man standing next to him, I would believe you. If you said he fired Comey, walked into the Oval Office, spread peanut butter on his genitals, brought in 35 squirrels, and yelled, ‘Buckle up, Daddy’s brought dinner,’ I’d say yeah, sure, why not? That sounds like something the President of the United States would do. That’s the world we live in now!”

    Oliver then put the pressure on Congress to address Trump's actions and comments, saying it needs to "pick a lane." That means, according to the host, backing the investigations into the Trump campaign and Russia or pressing for a special counsel to investigate the matter.

    “But at the very, very least here, they need to acknowledge that what has happened is f---ed up and not continue to give non-answers,” Oliver said of Congress.

    “The point is," Oliver continued, "the founding fathers created a system of checks and balances to limit the power of the president, but it only works if someone f---ing checks or balances. And if you don’t, it’s no longer on Trump — it’s on you.”

    Watch Oliver's Comey segment below:

     

    SEE ALSO: 42 TV shows that have been canceled

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's all the food The Rock eats in a single day


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    Chhavi Verg Miss New JerseyThe INSIDER Summary:

    • Miss USA contestant Chhavi Verg (Miss New Jersey) gave a flawless answer when asked to explain what she considers feminism to be.
    • "Feminism is striving for equality and I do consider myself a feminist," she said.
    • Verg also talked about the misconceptions of feminism, and emphasized how the movement is "a fight for equality."
    • Her response was praised on the internet.


    Miss New Jersey USA Chhavi Verg came to set the record straight about 
    feminism.

    Verg, 20, was asked in her final question, "What do you consider feminism to be and to you consider yourself to be a feminist?"

    Verg smiled, then dropped the mic.

    Feminism is striving for equality and I do consider myself a feminist. I think it's a misconception when people believe that feminism is women being better than men. But it's really not. It's a fight for equality. And we need to realize that if we want a stable society, a better future for every single individual, we need to be equal. And that's why I advocate for education for women. Women are still held back in places in the world. They still don't have that right to their independence, that right to their equality — all because of education. And, once we do take that step, I believe that an equal world will be a better world.

    Women erupted on Twitter, praising Verg for her answer about what feminism really is.

    Throughout the pageant, Verg — who immigrated from India to the United States when she was  4 years old — spoke of her passion for empowering women through education. 

    Verg placed first runner-up behind eventual winner, Miss District of Columbia USA, Kara McCullough.

    Thank you, Miss New Jersey USA, for getting real about feminism and smashing the patriarchy, all while wearing six-inch heels.

    Watch Verg slay the final question below:

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The new Miss USA is unlike any other winner in history


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    Glow 2 Netflix

    Netflix's latest original show will take us back to the 1980s in all their shoulder-padded glory and the era of GLOW, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. 

    During the height of professional male wrestling in the United States, women's pro wrestling came on the scene and featured the same types of over-the-top characters that made audiences flock to watch the men.

    This fictional look at the wrestling promotion stars Alison Brie ("Community") as a struggling actress who lands a job as one of the ladies of GLOW when she hears about an audition hoping to find "unconventional women."

    The funny trailer features comedian and podcast host Marc Maron as the GLOW promoter and a whole lot of 1980s references, including a robot filled with drugs.

    Check out the trailer below. The show launches on the streaming giant June 23.

     

    SEE ALSO: 35 movies coming out this summer that you need to see

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here’s what it takes to be a YouTube star — according to someone who’s been doing it for over a decade


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    tim allen last man standing

    The past week or so would have been a great time to just stop caring about a whole slew of TV shows, since all the networks have been going crazy handing out cancellations to the series that apparently just haven't done what those in charge were hoping for.

    Some were surprising, some were predictable, and some probably shouldn't have been on TV to begin with. Below, you'll see 10 of the biggest shows that each of the big networks put on the chopping block in just this week alone. (For a more comprehensive look at the fates of everything else on TV, head to our cancellation/renewal rundowns for both network TV and cable/streaming.)

    "The Catch" (ABC)

    Most networks cancel shows when they're either early in the run and earning poor ratings, or far after a season is finished, when fans and the show's cast/crew are sick with worry. But not ABC, which decided to pull the plug on the Shondaland crime caper The Catch mere hours before its Season 2 finale aired. And that finale featured all manner of backstabbings and other twists that would have led nicely into a third season. Who was the real backstabber here?



    "Rosewood" (Fox)

    Never a critical darling, Fox's Rosewood likely squeaked into a Season 2 order on the strength of two things. One was the affability and charisma of its cast, with the gorgeous pairing of Morris Chestnut and Jaina Lee Ortiz leading things. The second confidence-booster Fox had was Bones' lead-in audience and their appreciation for forensics-based crime procedurals. But Rosewood's audience dropped too far, and after Bones said its big farewell, so did Rosewood.



    "Powerless" (NBC)

    Recent years have provided tones of comic book-sourced programming to cheer for, though almost everything has been dramatic in nature. NBC aimed to change that with the comedy Powerless, which took a super-talented cast (that included Vanessa Hudgens and Alan Tudyk) and stuck them in a vaguely structured show that spouted out jokes that were broader than the lesser-known DC Comics hero Side Of A Barn Man. The series was pulled from NBC's schedule months before it was quietly depowered for real.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Mr. Wednesday and Shadow Moon American Gods pilot

    "Showrunners" is a new podcast from INSIDER - a series where we interview the people responsible for bringing TV shows to life.

    The following is a transcript from our interview with Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, the showrunners of Starz's "American Gods."

    Subscribe to "Showrunners" on iTunes here, and listen to the episode to hear the highlights from our interview, and keep reading below for the full conversation.

     

    Fuller and Green on becoming co-showrunners  

    INSIDER: So first I want to talk about "American Gods" and how you wound up being co-showrunners.

    Fuller: I was working on what I thought was going to be the final season of "Hannibal," season two, and Neil Gaiman came up to Toronto to have a conversation about his book. We talked about all the wonderful things of immigration and strangers and strange lands trying to make their way in America. He said would you like to be the showrunner of "American Gods"? I said yes, if I can do it with [Michael] Green.

    Neil Gaiman Michael Green and Bryan Fuller on set of American Gods

    Green: Bryan and I have been friends for a long time, a really long time now we've discovered because we did the math, but since first season of "Heroes" where we had a great time and got along really well.

    Fuller: Ten years ago.

    Green: Ten years ago. We remain fans of each other, rooting for each other's work and always trying to find a way to work together again. I had just spent two years that were fun, but disappointing, trying to write network pilots for 20th Century Fox. I really enjoyed working with all the executives there, but I came to the sad realization that what's coming out of my pen doesn't work on network television, which was liberating, but also a little disappointing because I had spent two years trying to get things on network television.

    Bryan called me and said, "Do you like American Gods?" The answer was an emphatic yes. I couldn't say yes fast enough, so we met the next day and just started talking about what we loved about the book, and they were all the same things. The chance to work together again, I would have done on anything, but to do it on one of my favorite books, even better.

    INSIDER: When did you each first read "American Gods?"

    Green: We both found it in paperback is what we discovered, so like a year after it came out, so probably 2002. When we sat down to have that conversation, I hadn't reread it, but we had the benefit of being able to say what do you remember about it from the first reading? Here it is, "x" number of "teen" years later, and it's a book I remember very vividly. We wrote down here are the things that stood out before even sitting down to reread it carefully for an adaptation.

    Fuller: We talked about Laura Moon–

    Green: The Jinn.

    Fuller: There were so many wonderful vignettes and departures from the Shadow and Wednesday's story that gave us a taste of the gods that was being obfuscated for Shadow Moon. It was a very important aspect of the adaptation.

    Shadow Moon coin American Gods

    Green: I remember talking about something in that first conversation that we've never stopped talking about, which is as great a character as Shadow Moon is in the book, he is a very internal, non-reactive character to the insanity all around him. One of the things that we would have to do is find ways to externalize it and visualize it. It's something that we continue to do anytime we approach any page that says "Shadow."

    INSIDER: What were some of the challenges of adapting as you went? When you went back and did that close reading, were there some roadblocks that you ran into?

    Fuller: The [literal] road was one of the biggest challenges for the adaptation because in order to run an efficient television production, we need standing sets that we go back to, and the crew understands and knows how to shoot effectively. "American Gods" is a road show, and a sprawling one at that. That was the biggest challenge of this production was not having a home to lay down our equipment and our dolly tracks. It was always about running out, finding the best locations, or building them. That level of detail on an episodic budget and episodic schedule was really challenging.

    Green: Once the hammers started swinging in construction, they just never stopped for months. This show, adaptation-wise, we never really struggled script-wise. Production was so difficult. Post-production was so difficult. Writing was sort of non-exotic [because] we have some things to write. It was fun. It was fun writing with Bryan. I think at one point you were like, "of course it's fun." You only have to write twenty-five pages, not fifty-two. We'd be splitting stuff, and it was always fun to get each other's pages and read them and enjoy them, and be able to say you love them and here's some thoughts and we cut this and that.

    Fuller: Our scripts ended up being about forty-five to fifty pages.

    Green: Yeah. We knew we were writing things that were going to take their time and have a lot of visual breathing room. Looking at those first episodes and deciding how to turn them into scripts, no one bled on that part. There was a little bit of course correction of things we thought we should do earlier on in the season that once we started shooting and looking at the episodes, realized that we may have gone too far with Shadow's arc too soon. Because we are working with Starz and with Fremantle, they were very forgiving in letting us make some course corrections mid-stream. Yeah, the adaptation process was kind of fun.

    American Gods cast and crew on set Neil Gaiman Bryan Fuller Michael Green

    INSIDER: How did you guys decide how to divvy up different parts of the script?

    Fuller: Whoever had a particular affinity toward a scene would say, "I kind of have a grasp on this." But really, we passed our work back and forth and would either do passes or write notes in the margins. For Michael, I was usually suggesting cuts, [while] he was usually suggesting adds. We have different styles of writing that are very compatible.

    INSIDER: You guys mentioned the things that you vividly remembered about the first read of the book. Was there one of those scenes in particular that was really exciting for you to bring to life?

    Green: It was all kind of exciting to bring to life. Ian [McShane's] first day playing Mr. Wednesday was his first scene with Shadow. This six and a half page scene where they're seated and just parked. We're relying on dialogue and performances. I remembered reading it in the book the first time. I remembered when we wrote those scenes, hearing a thousand actors auditioning for Shadow, reading versions of that scene. Then watching those two characters meet for the first time was really fun and thrilling, and Neil was there. That was one of Neil's high-level visitation fly-in days.

    Mr. Wednesday and Shadow Moon American Gods

    Mousa, who plays the Jinn, was coming in for a wardrobe fitting that day because we were going to go to his stuff in a day or two. He came with his copy of the author's preferred text and was like, "Do you think Neil will sign it?" I think Neil will sign the Jinn's book. He happily did, happily will.

    INSIDER: How involved was Neil in the overall production?

    Fuller: Neil saw the dailies — every outline, every script — [he] gave us feedback. He was involved in the casting process. We sent him auditions. We would consult with him whenever we cast somebody or there was an offer situation. We had called him and said what do you think about Ian McShane for Wednesday? He said, "I like it. He's bastardy."

    That was an interesting story in and of itself because we had originally offered Czernobog to Ian. Ian, who'd worked with Michael in the past, had a conversation with him and said this role is great, but he leaves. What about this Wednesday guy? That was all it took.

    Green: With Neil, it wasn't so much that he had approval over casting, it was more that we would talk to him while we were still thinking about it. We wanted his input. If he had an instinct for or against a certain direction, that meant a lot to us.

    On being showrunners and why it's a "stupid" job

    INSIDER: I feel like people that don't obsessively watch a lot of television or read a lot of industry news might not know what the term "showrunner" means. How would you define your job for "American Gods" specifically as showrunner for someone who's not familiar with the term?

    Fuller: The showrunner is essentially responsible for the vision of the production and is directing the directors and the actors and the department heads and kind of just the last stop for the overall aesthetic and value of the production, so it's the stupidest job in the world.

    Czernobog American Gods

    INSIDER: Why do you say that?

    Fuller: It's impossible to do in the time permitted, under the circumstances permitted, because you're expected to be so many different places, juggling so many different things, and as co-showrunners, we found, particularly on this production, that it wasn't the two of us splitting a job as it was the two of us doing a four person job that actually requires that many people to wrangle to the ground. It is the dumbest job in the world because you have to fight for things–

    Green: Everything.

    Fuller: Everything. And you're not saving lives.

    Green: There's a quote, I think it's Mike Schur, who's an amazing showrunner that's created some of my favorite shows that I look forward to watching, most recently "The Good Place," who defined the job of showrunning as "three full-time jobs plus problems."

    You're constantly [...] writing breaking stories, keeping the scripts coming, often times writing or rewriting every single script, prepping, production and all the exigencies that go with that, and post [production]. They're often, if not always, going on simultaneously.

    On a show like this, we had the advantage of certain parts of the three-ring circus were broken up. There was a period where we were mostly in post [production]. Anytime anyone's running a show, it's always best when you have more hands. People run shows alone end up, of necessity and a lot of gratitude, delegating to strong right-hands, either other EPs or co-EPs that they treat as partners. You have to because there's just too much to get done.

    A show that has any degree of ambition, and I'll define that as anything other than what the industry of network television developed around, you need more than one person. In drama [shows with] cops, lawyers, doctors, general procedural, or standard soap, you can run a show like that "normally" because that's what [the industry] was built around: Standing sets, set number of actors, set number of days, and just a formula for how things are mechanically accomplished.

    Fuller: In this particular show there was no shortage of tasks to be done. Usually in shows that we've worked on in the past, the post-production process is relatively easy. You've got production down. You've written the scripts and editing process is more or less complete, but because of how many visual effects are in ["American Gods"] and the specificity of sound design for head spaces, god spaces, the real world change every episode and have to be bespoke, we found ourselves working as hard, not harder, in post-production as we did in actual physical production.

    Between Michael and I, we have color timing, which is generally on a network show you set a "look" and [...] you can hand it off and let people take the reins. But with this show, every episode had many different "looks." We have to be in the color timing working with the colorist getting very specific looks for the variety of different worlds that we're representing.

    Buffalo American Gods

    The sound design of the show is something that we cared very much about. Once again, you're dealing with different physical spaces, psychological spaces, and all of those have to have a very distinct vocabulary for how we represent them. At any given day in the post-production process of this show, and that means everyday of the week, seven days of the week, we are in color timing, sound mixing, and visual effects review.

    It's an interesting time [to be in television] for a number of reasons. The amount of filmmaking you can put into a show that is appreciated by the audience has gone up. The job that Bryan has been describing and the way our seven days a week have been the last few months, it's closer to [being] a feature director finishing a movie.

    Fuller: Because there's two of us, those four things are happening everyday. Ideally, we like to be in the room together because there will be something where it's like because we're so aggressive in our styling of the show, we have to gut check with each other. Is this too far? That's the ideal, but often times we have to, those four things are happening simultaneously, so we have to split up. We're constantly circling each other as we're going to the different aspects of the post-production process.

    Green: Our text exchanges are a long list of shorthand of descriptions of the latest iteration of the visual effects shot and what's gone further and what needs work.

    Fuller: If I'm in the sound mix, and Michael is with the visual effects team, and he sees something, and he's like you need to take a look at this because we need to choose a direction. They'll send me a file. We'll get on the phone and talk about it, and vice versa. I'll be in the sound mix and say you need to come by and hear this because we're doing some aggressive stuff. I want you to get your ears on it, so it's not too big or too broad because I'll just go for it if I'm left unchained. Michael will come and say I can't hear dialogue anymore.

    Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday American Gods

    Green: One of the things I try to be conscious of, I've had the experience of working for partners and one of the frustrations that people can have when there's a showrunner team, is getting caught between the two-headed hydra — where one person told you one thing, and the other person comes and tells you the exact opposite, and the team they've hired to help them is suddenly is like, "We don't know what to do. Which is it?" [You get] uncomfortable and shut down and short out.

    I've learned to see the distressed looks. Like you can see the cortisol level spikes if I give a note, and then I can just kind of say, "Did Bryan say something to the contrary?" Then he and I can then discuss it on the side because you just want to make sure that the artists you've hired to do things are clear and ready to action things.

    Fuller: Giving one message.

    Green: Yeah. Giving one message. Sometimes that means Bryan and I need to have the quick conversation of basically who's more passionate about their view is usually how we decide things.

    Fuller: Whoever cares most, wins.

    Green: That's just a matter of wanting to support each other's visions for things and who has a clear vision. It's nice to have that gut check. Sometimes you have an idea that only gets you through the day, and your partner can have the idea that closes out the episode.

    How choosing the right blood for each scene is critical

    Warning: NSFW violent imagery ahead.

    INSIDER: Speaking of that "have we taken it too far?" gut-check, I wanted to talk about the violence on the show.

    Fuller: The answer is yes. We took it too far. Happily took it too far.

    INSIDER: In the very first opening scene, there's even an arm flying through the air with a sword still in its hand. What's the story behind that moment?

    Sword arm vikings American Gods

    Fuller: That was actually one of the earlier, not necessarily bones of contention, but something that we had been repeatedly asked to take out. We felt very strongly that that was totally allowing the audience to be amused by what we're presenting as opposed to saying "oh no, this is a very serious world and a very serious war." We wanted that absurdity and heightened sense of almost Pipen-esque humor with the violence.

    Green: We weren't trying to depict history in any way. We wanted that clear that this was someone's depiction.

    Fuller: History in the same way that Monty Python depicts history was our approach. It's amusing to me when people complain to me about the violence in the story of gods because that's all there ever has been in these stories. Take a peek at the Old Testament. There's violence, bloodshed, sacrifice — all are poetic expressions of our faith bargain with the gods that we choose to worship. We needed a bit of that represented in the show to really set the stage of what people fight for, and who hasn't heard of a religious war? I poo-poo the complaints of violence.

    American Gods bloody viking scene

    INSIDER: Has there ever been something that you did wind up toning down?

    Green: There was one thing that we toned down, but not for any reason of feeling like we'd gone too far. David Slater, our director for the first three [episodes], there was one point when we were adding visual effects blood where he said, "Oh, I'm only halfway there. I want to do a whole other layer. They're building a whole other CG element of blood to do here."

    We actually said (partly because at the time we were fighting budget, but also the image we had was so beautiful and interesting and weird) "you have enough blood, sir." 

    It was, for me, more sometimes we have to say to people we like the work you've done so much, we have to protect it from the work you'd like to do.

    INSIDER: You just mentioned CGI blood, but how does the physical blood on set work?

    Fuller: We have lots of physical blood.

    Green: In that [Viking] sequence specifically, I think there's three different types of blood. There's physical blood. There's guys with buckets on the side.

    Fuller: There's projectile pump cannons that pump geysers of blood.

    Green: We would actually have conversations in later episodes about which types of blood, like we have a sequence in the top of our sixth episode where we have immigrants crossing the Rio Grande and coming to America and bringing Jesus with them and some violence ensues.

    Our first pass in the visual effects department where they were adding the CGI blood to it used the "Viking blood." It was a much more serious scene. We had to scale it back and say: "No, no, no. That's the wrong element. We don't want any giggles. This is actually harrowing." Whereas we'd specifically designed the blood in the Viking sequence to be bright, to give a remove from the violence so that you could watch it and have a "I can't believe they're doing this" reaction.

    Whereas the blood in the immigrant story was going to be grounded, upsetting. That takes a different palette. It has to move differently. It's just literally a different build.

    Technical Boy limo American Gods

    INSIDER: Another element of the show that I wanted to talk about was updated technology aspect. You guys had the Technical Boy attack Shadow using a virtual reality mask, instead of actually making him get into a limo.

    Fuller: That's a good question because it's a good story. In the production design of the show, we wanted something quasi-futuristic for the Technical Boy's limousine. When the network saw the dailies, they were like "we want it to look like a regular limousine." Our response was "it's Technical Boy. It has to be a special limousine."

    They said "well this feels more like a virtual reality environment. If you're going to do that, you should do a virtual reality environment."

    Green: They said that to try to convince us to re-shoot it in an actual limo.

    Fuller: Yeah, but we said: "That's a great idea. We should make this all virtual reality. We have the capacity to do that. This is how we would do that." They were like "that wasn't why we brought that up. We want you to do the standard limo."

    It took some convincing, but actually, they gave us a great idea to double down on the Technical Boy's abilities and the vocabulary that he uses to interact with those that he worships and those he commands or those he abducts.

    Green: Ultimately, they really liked the idea. There was a moment there where they felt like we were just being brats, and maybe there was a moment there where we were just being brats.

    Fuller: I don't think so. I think we both were like "that's great."

    Green: It actually informed a lot of the decisions that came after, because I remember that we were building with the visual effects department what the face hunter would look like (the thing that jumped on Shadow's face and transported him into [the limo]). They were like "well since it's VR, let's put these little eyes on him." It just got more delightful.

    Fuller: The idea of that entire world being 3D printed out, including the Technical Boy, it just informed our imagination for the rest of it.

    Shadow Moon in Technical Boy's limo American Gods

    Why Fuller and Green are attracted to mythology

    INSIDER: I feel like you both have been drawn to mythology, sci-fi, superheroes in your careers. What do you think it is that's attracting you to telling those stories specifically?

    Fuller: They're fantastic stories. For me, the first television that kind of blew my mind in its act of ignoring of the parameters of reality was "The Twilight Zone." I grew up in a household where the most revered actors were Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood — people who do not emote. Anything that left reality had great disdain cast upon it.

    For me, I couldn't stand watching movies or television with my family because [they had] no interest in fantasy or things that weren't real. I escaped to all those things and found that there was so much more opportunity for expression when you knock down the boundaries of reality.

    These mythologies are all wonderful fables that are telling tales of the human condition in really creative ways that I think we just respond to the poetry of a fantasy and being able to extrapolate from reality a sense that there is greater purpose in these characters' lives that goes beyond what they do when they get up in the morning and go to work.

    Green: The things that captured my imagination early, I just remember "Super Friends." [All of] the Saturday morning cartoons were ones I loved.

    Fuller: Aquaman.

    Green: The idea of him and Batman, Superman, all hanging out together deciding how to beat lava monsters, what's better than that? The first network drama I remember really being like "I need more of this" was "Misfits of Science." It was like a team, and they're all odd, and they have stupid powers that they don't know what to do with, and when they come together. Then [it] was canceled. I was like, "How could no one want more of this? I want to watch this all day."

    Fuller: Wasn't Courtney Cox on "Misfits of Science"?

    Green: I think she was, and the guy who played Predator. Kevin something. The like, seven-foot-tall guy.

    Fuller: Oh, yeah. His whole thing was he was a scientist who was seven feet tall and black, so everyone expected him to play basketball. He couldn't because he just wasn't good at it, so he invented a shrinking think so he would go *zoop* and turn him into [the size of] your little Evian bottle, then he could sneak into things. Then there was the cool guy with the sunglasses and the motorcycle jacket. Johnny B. Goode or something like that. He could pull static electricity from the air and shoot like one lightning bolt.

    Green: Now that I think of it, it's because they could afford one lightning element. One lightning effect per show. It's like oh, "I'm tapped out. I'm tapped out. I can't do it again. They sprayed water on me."

    Fuller: You get one shot.

    Green: It was great. I have friends who can write and love to write standard procedurals, and are really excited by those puzzles. I admire it because every time I've tried to watch, or even early on in my career, even just thinking about trying to break one of those stories, I come up cold because my brain just doesn't accept that as a puzzle worth solving.

    Fuller: It's not fun enough.

    Green: For me anyway. The people I know that can constantly be energized by that, it's a fabulous career. It's just not where my brain goes. Part of it is also just you write long enough, you start to identify the things you can do versus what you want to do. A lot of people come out and say I want to be a comedy writer. They realize I don't write comedy the way comedy writing gets done. I'm not as funny as you need to be to be on the Chuck Lorre show.

    Shadow Moon American Gods

    I had certainly had that experience. I grew up watching sitcoms and loving those and thinking that's what I wanted to do. Then I spent three days helping on a sitcom pilot and went oh my god, if I took a job on this show, if it went to series, it's not writing as my brain recognized writing. It would be joke pitching with brilliant people and eating three meals a day out of styrofoam, but never actually having time to go and work it out on your own, and that's the realization. I know I'm a drama writer. Ideally, a genre drama writer.

    Even the procedurals I've been able to break had to have some remove of either magic or period so I could leave the current moment.

    Fuller and Green on their writing process and whether fast equals "good"

    INSIDER: You talked about how when you write, you write separately then send each other notes, but what is your specific writing process? Are you guys laptop guys?

    Fuller: I like to be alone and carve out hours where I could be undisturbed thinking about the story and what people are going to be saying within it. It's a process of self-hypnosis where you have to consider who this person is that's walking into this room [and] what they want and what's the first thing that's going to come out of their mouth. It requires a certain sense of stillness and solitude. That's rare when you're running a show just to carve out some time.

    Sometimes in the showrunning process, we will end our daily production meetings at eight [o'clock at night], and then write until two or three in the morning, then start our production days or story breaking days again. As I said, it's the stupidest job in the world, and you have homework everyday. 

    Green: Writing alone, writing as a job in and of itself, should be the job.

    Fuller: It's one good solid job.

    Green: How many times have I turned to you and said "work is getting in the way of work today?" As a dispositional writer, producing is always this thing that's intruding on the script as the first principle. People will be like "where's the script? Where's the script?" Well, you made me have a four hour meeting with you today, so there's no script. Sometimes you have to chase people away or leave work unfinished.

    With as many things as you have to do in a day showrunning, getting 80% of what you were supposed to get done done, is like a great day. There's always a monstrous list. 70%? I'll take that win.

    Fuller: No day is possible. There is never a day that is possible.

    Laura Moon American Gods

    Green: There are all these artists you've hired that are waiting for some time with you to go over the work that they've prepared for it. You have to have an internal mechanism to weight necessity and say "I'm sorry." How many times have I said something like "art department, you're the priority tomorrow [or] today, you're the priority."

    What I'm secretly thinking is I want to get this over quickly so I can go write, because that's what always feels like the thing that needs to get done. I'd always romanticized having writer habits like "I have to have my mug in its spot and it sits on a special doily my grandmother gave me. My lamp is on and it's just on the right setting."

    Fuller: [Instead it's] "just leave me alone somewhere, anywhere."

    Green: All I really need now in terms of process is the sanctity of time. I can write upside down in the bathtub if there's two hours (I don't actually write in the bathtub). I remember watching "Trumbo" thinking about how they keep trying to romanticize his writing process. I'm like "F--- you. You don't need those things you think you need. You don't a special writing program. You don't need the special pens."

    Fuller: You just need alone time.

    Green: You need alone time.

    INSIDER: Was there a point where you did feel like you needed those things?

    Green: Before I started actually writing. People get caught up in the ritual of it. I hear people starting out all the time talking about how they're still doing the research for the project they want to do. It's like "You've done enough. I assure you you've thought about it enough if you can list the six books you intend to read still. Doesn't mean you shouldn't be reading while you're writing, but just do the writing. Stop doing the things to prep you for the writing."

    One of my favorite ways to write is at the kitchen table with a good amount of chaos around me. I like being around it, so it's there, but the people who love you that are making that noise think you're still a person. You're like "no, no, no, I'm not here. I'm furniture right now. I can't actually answer you." Someone asks me a question and there's that eight-second time delay where the sound has to penetrate, depending how far I am in myself, then I have to re-engage, but also make the mental note of what passage I'm on and where I left off that thought.

    My family, God bless them, has learned to understand that "daddy's special," meaning there's something wrong with him. "Daddy's a very slow robot and sometimes needs recharging." I actually like that little bit of interruption, but it also depends on what stage of writing.

    Fuller: I just have a poster of "The Shining" in my office. Every time my partner comes to talk to me, I just point at it. 

    Green: My wife has been with me long enough, I can say to her in the shorthand of like "I'm not actually here" and she understands that. I've had that conversation with a number of writers. Bryan and I talk about that all the time. The people who love you and want you to be a person when you're not.

    Fuller: It's the stupidest job in the world.

    Green: It's the stupidest job in the world. There's a huge difference between what kind of person you are actually and the stuff that comes out of your pen. You have to kind of access the person that you're not often. There's a remove there. That eight-second delay is you remembering how to be you again for a second.

    Mr. Wednesday and Czernobog American Gods

    INSIDER: When do you remember first recognizing that writer inside?

    Fuller: I think it's always there because the blessing and the curse of being a writer is you can work anywhere. I went to a musical last night, on Broadway, and about halfway through it, I started working. I just …

    Green: Tuned out.

    Fuller: Yeah, Iooked at the ceiling and thought "Okay, we need this." That's a blessing and a curse. You can be at a dinner and start working. You can be at a party and start working. You can be taking a stroll and start working because all you need is a brain to work out some story and do the preparation work for when you sit down and start committing things to paper. It's hard to shut off the job in that aspect.

    Green: I remember early on, you write something and you suddenly tap into a voice you didn't know was there. You're like "What happens if I push that?" It's like "Oh, there's a gear." It's something I say to a young writer starting out: You might not be the writer you think you are, because when you start, you write the things you've always liked. Just because you like something that doesn't mean that's what comes out of your singing voice. You find out what kind of singer you are.

    I remember I once saw Harry Connick Jr. on Jay Leno, ten thousand years ago, telling a story. Maybe I even remember it wrong, but I'll attribute it to him. [He was] saying that when he grew up, he wanted to be a rock n' roll star. He couldn't wait to be a rock n' roll star. He started singing and out comes this crooner voice and he was like "Well, I guess I'll do that."

    There's a lesson to that. Find out what kind of voice you have, and go do that. Get really good at that. Some writers can train themselves to become a different type. I've certainly done different genres and wanted to get better at doing something. Become the writer who can write the thing that you're interested in.

    Other writers are not versatile. That doesn't make you better or worse. If you double down on the thing that you're great at and you love, you're the luckiest person. You're a much luckier writer than someone who keeps wanting to reinvent their voice. It's not better or worse.

    In television, there's a lot of fetishizing of who's fast.

    Fuller: Fast does not mean good.

    Green: Fast does not mean good. Brilliant does not mean fast or slow. I know wonderful, amazing, brilliant writers whose work I admire who are good for like, one script a year or every two years. Then I know mediocre writers that take the same amount of time. Then I know brilliant writers that can write very, very quickly. There's no correlation between speed. That's just disposition. That's just weird Venn diagram s---.

    Just like showrunning is the weird Venn diagram s---of managerial skills and writing skills, and where they overlap, you can now have this stupid job, which you shouldn't take.

    Why co-showrunning is an easier task

    Bilquis American Gods

    INSIDER: What I'm hearing is that you two are never going to run a show on your own ever again?

    Green: I'm sure we will, but I will absolutely miss having someone to do this interview with or break a story. The writing process of "American Gods" has been different for me than anything else I've worked on because before I go into a scene, if I have a problem or I'm not sure what it's about, I have someone to go to. It costs Bryan creatively nothing to fix my problems.

    He doesn't know this, but he's saved me weeks of [time]. When we're in a scene, and I'm off in my office and I'm supposed to get it, I know what I'm stuck on. I can go to him and go so "blah, blah, blah, blah." He'll forget that we've even had the conversation. He'll have cracked the problem that I had. Without that, that's like three days of just "Goddamn it. I suck."

    Fuller: You don't suck.

    Green: Not with you around. It's definitely more fun doing it this way. It's good to have someone who's been there with you. So many ridiculous things happen. Someone who's had the experience with us you can just be like, "Remember that time it was really stupid? Yeah, I remember that time it was really stupid."

    Fuller: There were lots of those times.

    INSIDER: Is there anything you get to delegate to the other person that you wouldn't want to do yourself as a showrunner?

    Fuller: I love that Michael engages with the network and studio. I'm happy to go hide on the mix stage and toil away in there, if [he] will just go take that call.

    Green: I will sometimes use that as an excuse to go home and put the kids to bed and come back to the mix stage after. When you have someone that you trust with literally any part of the show or are thrilled for them to do anything, it's more what do you that day have more of a disposition to do. It's the same thing looking at a script and looking at scenes. "Oh, you've got that in your teeth? Great because I don't." If it was just me alone, I would've had to find a way to get that in my teeth.

    Zoraya star gazing American Gods

    Fuller: In the showrunner mentality [you have to] engage a certain level of hyper-criticism and direct people where they need to go, whether it's visual effects or sound design or color timing or even script writing. You have to entertain the hyper-critical self just to make the product better or as good as it can be.

    [One day] I was over stimulated because my brain was constantly analyzing what I was seeing. The next day, I was absolutely exhausted because I had been engaged at such a hyper-aware and analytical place. That takes a lot of mental energy.

    There will be times when we've been in visual effects sessions for four hours and another shot comes up. You're like "I can't find the words to articulate why or how to make this better." The other person who might not be as burned out can jump in. Then you're like, "Oh, that was the thought that I couldn't access and now I have my other thoughts because you just held my hand through it."

    Green: I've been in those VFX effects sessions and will drink my water much faster to generate a pee break just to get like five minutes to be alone with my brain for a minute. In this show in particular, there's a density to it that neither of us have ever experienced before. Most shows, even the very elaborate shows we've done in the past, would have a few sequences per episode or two episodes that require that level of detail, where all hands on deck have to figure out how to accomplish that one moment, that one special moment.

    With "American Gods" every scene is [like] that. Every episode has dozens of moments like that. There's a density of insanity in it.

    Fuller: In those moments, I've now got to the point where it's like "Well, we did it to ourselves."

    Green: We have no one blame but ourselves if anything. The people [at Starz] come with a wealth of production experience. I remember early on when we gave them just outlines, the response was, "We love it. If you can pull off half of it, we'll be thrilled." We pulled off about 60, 70% of it.

    Fuller: I'd say 80%.

    Green: Some things we did bite off more than we could chew. Or we chewed wrong.

    Fuller: I choked.

    Green: We certainly did. They did give us the room to make our own mistakes a lot of times, or believed us when we said "we've got this covered," and we thought we did. Most the time we did. "American Gods" has been particularly difficult that way. The idea of two showrunners being able to do it, I believe truly has yielded the better product.

    I can imagine what the show would've looked like if it was all yours, and I would've loved it. I can imagine what the show would've looked like if it was all mine, and I hope I would love it. Neither is as interesting to me as what we've made up.

    Fuller: The show needed both of us.

    Green: I can be surprised by it. I am surprised by it constantly.

    Czernobog and cow American Gods

    INSIDER: What do you each think would be different if you weren't there?

    Fuller: I think the center of the Venn diagram where Michael and my creativity meets is a fairly thick section. I don't think it would be as evenly written. We've balanced each other out in that way. There are things that I simply wouldn't have thought of that Michael thought of.

    Green: That certainly would've been more s--- jokes if I was writing it without you. I think I can be much coarser. Bryan's a much more refined creature.

    Fuller: I was raised Catholic, so s--- jokes are part and parcel of my vocabulary.

    Green: We've always liked each other's material, and there is a different voice that grew out of us knowing that we were writing for each other.

    Fuller: It's a harmony. It really is a harmonization of two voices that are different. Two great tastes that taste great together.

    Green: Kurt Vonnegut had a great passage about how when you're writing you should be writing for one person, but if you try to write for everyone, it's going to be a disaster. When he thought long and hard about it, he was always writing for his sister, even after she died, which I always found very sweet. Everything I've written, I realize the better things I'm subconsciously writing, whether it's director, I'm writing these to delight Bryan with the things I write.

    We start writing because we're hoping to make each other laugh or keep each other's interest enough so that we will both work as far as we need to work to actualize these. This show, more so than anything else either of us have ever worked on, it isn't just you give it to production and they shoot it on the sound stage. Every scene requires so much creation and seeing through.

    The Jinn American Gods

    I'm actually nervous about season two because now we're a little wiser about everything we write, how hard it's going to be.

    Fuller: I'm actually more clear on season two because I know the things that we touched that burnt and hurt us.

    INSIDER: What's something that you touched that burnt you?

    Fuller: Just in terms of tonally what worked for the show. It wasn't until we had seen the footage of episode four, the Laura pilot, that we realized what the show wanted to be, and what it was telling us we could do with a bit of magic and a lot of character. There were episodes where we pushed too far too early and cut them out and destroyed that footage because it was before the show spoke back to us.

    Even after that process — when we were trying to keep things more grounded, but had already sort of committed to broader aspects of the storytelling — it then became about trying to shape those things in post, so they weren't as bright and loud and broad as we had originally intended them.

    Things like the, when we talk about season two and talk about wanting to do an Audrey point-of-view episode, that's something that I get very excited about because Betty Gilpin is an inspiration. I'm very excited about writing for her a human perception of this world.

    Audrey and Shadow American Gods

    Even when we did that with Laura, she ultimately became a magical creature. There were things that I wanted more of in season one, but I didn't know I wanted them until after we finished them, and I think that will help guide us in a season two, if there is one, that will give us greater confidence in the material because we've done it before. We've swam across the channel. We know we can make it to the other side. Now I'm a little more aware of the savvier route to take.

    Green: We know what not to eat for breakfast.

    Fuller: Right — oatmeal.

    Green: The hardest thing to get right in a show like this is the transition from reality to magical. How do you hold the audience's hand so they can believe it? What I always loved about [Neil Gaiman's writing] is it always makes you believe in magic because he holds your hand in the transition. You can see that in any of his books.

    That's even harder to do visually because people are filtering. Their bulls--- meter is up, and they're looking at it like "What type of magic do you want us to believe in?" People are constantly [thinking] "So is it Harry Potter type of magic? Is it X-Men type of magic?" The answer is neither. It's its own tone. It doesn't really compare.

    I remember an outline for a potential episode four and it [had] a magical ship that exploded out of Wednesday's pocket and erupted into a parking lot. At the time, it was "Yeah, it'll be amazing." That day, the writers we were working with got very excited about "What if we went Harry Potter with this? What if we went Middle Earth with this?"

    You kind of have to wiggle the loose tooth to see, but when you've wiggled the tooth the wrong way — it hurts.

    Fuller: Everything about that particular episode ultimately went away.

    Green: We kept trying to bridge a gap that was really just a short step.

    Fuller: We really had a nine-episode arc in the show and the season. We crammed in a tenth episode for episode four and ended up cutting out half of it and half of episode three and sewing them together. That was mostly because we went too big. We revealed things too early. Our original instinct was not to expand that story, but to tell it more efficiently. We needed that extra episode. We ended up completely removing all the things we were forcing into an arc.

    Green: We had a similar experience at the very end. We were just having production overextending and budget overextending. We took our nine-episode arc and realized we can end it at episode eight in a really interesting way. It's funny for writers who write so hard and fret so much over putting things down and creating things from whole cloth so that you can work on them. It's incommensurate the sense of relief you get when you jettison large chucks.

    I don't know. I remember when we talked about cutting that episode even when we talked about—

    Fuller: The last episode?

    Green: The last episode especially. The weight that came off. I remember breathing and going—

    Fuller: I remember your exhale because that was when I was pacing on the lawn.

    Green: I was in my living room. And you said "We can end on this moment."

    Fuller: [And I said]: "To reiterate, we do this, this, this, and this, and then we don't need to do this." There was a long pause. I heard you breath, and you said, "I think that works."

    Green: It's like canceling a wedding [...] It's funny how much relief that gives us. Same thing with we don't have to try to fix what's broken in that episode. We can just get rid of it. We're lucky enough our network and studio — studio especially stands to lose a lot by having significantly less product — wanted the better show.

    Just going back to showrunning as more of an abstract concept, whenever you're trying to do something that isn't replicating things that have worked in the past on other shows, the only way it can be done is if all your benefactors, your network, your studio, your person, partners, your home base, have to agree on the same thing. If you have a show where the studio wants one thing and the network wants one thing and you want a third, you're f---ed before you even start.

    Sometimes, especially in the early stages, the showrunner's job is [to have] the clear vision articulated calmly. Sometimes it's articulated rapidly. If you walk out of your series or season pitch meeting with the clear understanding that the people in that room want different things, then you're not done. You have to go back in the room. If you leave and go "Oh, they'll see it on the page, and they'll come to understand and they'll finally back me," you need to go back in there.

    Mr. World American Gods

    You're much better off if you can just get that wind at your back because then those same people can be your backstop. They can be your first line of defense. They can be the ones you trust to tell you, "Hey, you know that thing you told us you wanted to do that we agreed was awesome? You're missing it. Or you can do it better, or you've done it." If you've told them what you're after early on, they can actually be the good guys.

    When you find the home for your show, you're picking who you're going to fight with, and ideally, how you're going to fight with them. You're going to argue, but you want it to be familial. You want it to be like "rawr rawr rawr rawr" while you're having dinner.

    To a large degree, that's what we have with "American Gods" with Fremantle and Starz. They knew the show that we wanted to make and could let us know when we missed and when we hit. That's not to say we haven't fought, but we all fought to make the show great.

    When we came in and said we're going to course correct, in a big way, or what seems like a big way, ultimately it's not that big a deal for them to agree. [That] meant they had to understand what the common goals were for the show as described a year and a half before. It was us being able to say we need to stick the landing better. We're admitting our own misstep or what did you say, chewing wrong.

    INSIDER: The chunk you've jettisoned, is that on the back burner for a potential season two?

    Green: No. It's dead. One of the early lessons of such a big production was sometimes the standard things are impossible to do when there's so much else you have to accomplish in getting things to the screen. We had a completely overburdened production design department. The stuff that we jettisoned, a lot of the reason that we jettisoned it was that it was not up to our cinematic standards of how this show should look and feel.

    We just cut it out. It's nothing that any of us are proud of to the point that we would want anybody to ever see it, even on deleted footage. That's the hysterical thing. For the DVDs, [Starz] is like "Oh, can we show that for deleted footage?" I'm like "No, it's terrible."

    The $2 million mistake Fuller and Green made

    Green: It's interesting. You also learn when to push back to your own ambitions. One of the reasons that stuff wasn't up to our standards is we tried to shoot an episode of "American Gods," which takes a certain number of days, in a smaller number of days. We had a director, who's brilliant—

    Fuller: Guillermo Navarro.

    Green: He had done amazing work for Bryan on "Hannibal." I've been a fan of his for a very, very long time, and he—

    Fuller: He had less days than anybody.

    Green: We asked him to do [something that] really couldn't have been done. It was a standard "American Gods" episode, which is enormous, and we were trying to do it on a less enormous number of days. By accommodating our demand, we put him in an impossible situation. He's someone we owe an apology to, but at the same time, some of the stuff he did shoot is some of the best stuff in the series and was allocated elsewhere.

    Mr. Nancy American Gods

    Fuller: Salim and the Jinn and Mr. Nancy's coming to America were all beautifully shot by Guillermo Navarro. The stuff that didn't work was not by any stretch of the imagination his fault. In the effort to save $500,000, we ended up spending $2 million to fix it.

    Green: It's learning how to make your own show. This all goes back to something we've been talking about, the idea of the straight-to-series show. It's something that everyone thinks is the greatest thing in the world, and it's not.

    Fuller: It's stupid.

    Green: It's really stupid.

    INSIDER: There's that word again.

    Fuller: Stupid.

    Green: We did something incredibly stupid in our production that we regretted instantly. Everyone did. Our original production plan was that we were going to be shooting our first three episodes with one director, David Slade. We were going to shoot the first episode first, take two weeks off, then assemble it, look at it, and just breathe. Then we were going to shoot the second and third episode after.

    Fuller: Giving him a chance to prep the third episode —

    Green: And seeing if we needed to replace any crew, or seeing if any cast was an issue. Just giving ourselves a "pilot moment," as it were. We realized that our budget was astronomically over, and one of the things that was put on the table that we decided to pull out was that two-week break.

    Cross-boarding two episodes is herculean. It's nearly impossible. Most television directors can barely pull off that. We started trying to pull off cross-boarding three. We knew it was a problem.

    Fuller: One of those episodes had no prep time because it was completely taken away from our poor director. [He] was going into an episode that he wasn't given time to prepare to shoot. Every time we showed up on set, he was scrambling because we put him in that situation in order to try to save money. It ended up costing us so much more in re-shooting.

    Fuller: Once again, we are responsible for that situation because we agreed that we would have to cut those things in order to save money, but once again, in order to save this amount of money, we're spending four times more later to fix it.

    Green: That falls to the showrunners because it's the studio's obligation to suggest those things. It's on us to filter this is a good way of saving things, this is a bad way.

    Fuller: We made a lot of bad way decisions to save money. It ended up costing us a lot more

    Green: We make mistakes, even two people. Constantly.

    Fuller: It does help sort of to turn to Michael and say "We f---ed up" as opposed to "I f---ed up." Everybody is trying to do the show as efficiently as possible. Everyone is aware that it's a big-budget show. No matter how big your budget is, it is never enough. You have to make cuts. You have to try to find solutions to issues that you couldn't ever anticipate.

    Green: You're also learning the crew you have and what they're capable of. Every crew is different.

    Fuller: [Like] how long it takes them to do something. When we got into the physical production of this show, which has very particular demands in terms of aesthetic qualities, they would say, "This is what we'd do on a standard seven-day shoot in order to get it done, but it will not be up to your standards."

    We kept on flirting with those issues. I think we were well aware of what was coming, but we just had no choice but to try to save that money. There were many aspects of it.

    Mad Sweeney Crocodile Bar American Gods pilot

    The Crocodile Bar, the story that Michael referenced earlier, we completely rebuilt that set after we had built it and shot a couple of scenes in it. When we arrived on set, the paint was still wet. We had only seen it the day before because everything was under tarps. They couldn't show us because nothing was done.

    The day before, it was like "Oh my god, what can you do in the next twenty-four hours to fix this?" When we arrived the next day, and it wasn't fixed enough, we were in the situation of knowing full well that none of this was going to make it to air because it looked terrible.

    Green: By terrible, [he means] it didn't feel believable in the world that we were trying to create. It had a much more amusement park feel.

    Fuller: It looked like a children's show.

    INSIDER: I feel like that could be something like a Pee-wee Golf.

    Green: We said it was Pee-wee Herman. It's funny — a picture of that set was one of our first leaked pictures, in Entertainment Weekly. We were looking for something that was much more bayou-chic. A real destination where we want to serve beer there.

    Fuller: That was something that we both felt very strongly [about]. I remember when we sat down to talk about the show, I sketched out the Crocodile Bar set in terms of what we wanted to see. We worked on it together, then we worked with illustrators to bring it to life. Then that didn't happen. It was all about trying to get it back to the original illustration that Michael and I created.

    Green: I think our final note when it was rebuilt was "These illustrations. We want you to build the illustration. Just build this picture."

    Fuller: Which we'd been saying for months.

    Green: It was a process.

    INSIDER: Well, on that note, I think—

    Fuller: We b----d enough.

    INSIDER: We talked about how stupid being a showrunner is.

    Green: You got us when we're not done with the season. In like three weeks after we've had a chance to take a bath ...

    Fuller: I also realized, I was like "Why do I feel hungover when I didn't drink last night? Oh yeah, we were on visual effects calls at 2 a.m. and I had four hours of sleep." 

    INSIDER: Well, I hope you guys get lots of rest in the weeks ahead, as well as actually getting to watch and experience the show.

    Green: Thank you.

    Fuller: Thank you. We hope everybody enjoys the show. We're definitely very proud of everyone's work on it. From cast to crew and our fantastic post team that is working every waking moment to try to land the plane on a finale that has more visual effects shots in it than "The Titanic."

    INSIDER: Wow.

    Green: Every single one of them could be working on an easier show. Everyone production, post-production, they've all been working that hard because they want to see this come to life. They've decided to trust us with what we're trying to do. Most of the job is gratitude. 

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    Stephen Colbert called for President Donald Trump to step down after a report said Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats.

    "The good news? Trump found the leaker," Colbert said during the opening monologue of Monday's "Late Show" of the president's search for those who have leaked information to the media.

    On Monday, The Washington Post reported that Trump last week revealed classified information about an "Islamic State terrorist threat" while meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador.

    White House officials have since pushed back on the report. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement: "During that exchange, the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods, or military operations."

    Meanwhile, the reaction to the reported sharing of classified information has been swift and harsh. Alan Dershowitz, a legal expert, said it was "the most serious charge ever made against a sitting president."

    One US official told The Post that the leaked details were considered "code-word information."

    In an effort to explain to his audience what that means, Colbert offered some examples: "The package has been delivered. The squirrel is in the basket. The idiot is in the Oval. It could mean anything. We don't know what that means."

    Colbert then pivoted to the ongoing controversy surrounding the president's firing of FBI Director James Comey. The host focused on Trump's recent tweet, a vague threat suggesting he would release tapes of conversations he had with Comey if he leaked anything to the media.

    "That would be huge. It would be the first time a leaked tape made Donald Trump look good," Colbert said, alluding to the video that leaked before the 2016 election showing Trump boasting lewdly about making aggressive sexual advances toward women.

    Amid the fallout over Comey, Trump has reportedly been unhappy with his staff and considering replacing key members in what has been called a "reboot." But Colbert made a plea to keep White House press secretary Sean Spicer, a frequent source of entertainment for the host.

    "I have something to say here. Donald Trump, if you're watching, first of all: You're a bad president. Please resign," Colbert said. "Second: Please, please, please don't take Sean Spicer from us! Where am I going to get my daily dose of veiled anger and condescension?"

    Watch Colbert's monologue:

    SEE ALSO: Seth Meyers: Trump 'just admitted everything the White House has been saying is a lie'

    DON'T MISS: Stephen Colbert gleefully fires back at Trump calling him a 'filthy,' 'no-talent guy': 'I won!'

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    NOW WATCH: Here are the major events leading up to Comey's abrupt firing


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    “We’re at a point now in the Trump presidency that feels very much like a pivotal moment for our democracy,” “Late Night” host Seth Meyers said on Monday night's show.

    Meyers explained that just before Monday’s show started taping, The Washington Post reported that Trump had revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats last week.

    As usual, Meyers was not easy on Trump in his “A Closer Look" segment. He compared Trump’s behavior to “a sh--ty high school student who always gets a pass because his parents are wealthy.”

    He also shared that, according to Time, Trump requests extra sauce with his chicken, and more scoops of ice cream than anyone else at his White House dining table. Meyers went on to compare the president to Richard Nixon.

    “Trump is worse than Nixon. He’s shameless Nixon,” Meyers said. “Nixon famously said, ‘I am not a crook.’ Trump’s basically saying, ‘I am a crook and there’s nothing you can do about it and, in fact, I’m having three scoops of ice cream.'”

    Meyers also said that it’s “disorienting how blatant Trump is about all the shady stuff he does. Trump just admits to wrongdoing and then dares the rest of us to do something about it.”

    The host finished his blunt look at the scandal by imploring other politicians to do their jobs.

    “Our democracy only works if both parties choose to exercise the checks on presidential power that our Constitution prescribes," Meyers said. “Republicans can’t just abdicate their responsibility.”

    You can watch the segment below:

     

    SEE ALSO: Kevin Bacon gets real about nudity and being a male sex object: 'It's not the worst thing'

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    ROME – Lenny Belardo, the tormented American pontiff played by Jude Law in Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Young Pope,” is pope no more.

    HBO and Sky have teamed up on “The New Pope,” a new limited series to be directed by Sorrentino that will not be a second season of “The Young Pope.” The show will be “set in the world of the modern papacy,” but HBO and Sky declined to release further details of the story.

    The screenplay for “The New Pope” is being written by Sorrentino (pictured) and his frequent Italian co-writer Umberto Contarello, who was also a co-writer on “Young Pope,” according to a brief statement issued by HBO and Sky.

    Plans are for “The New Pope” to go into production in Italy in late 2018. Casting for the show, including the title role, will start soon, the statement said.

    “Just like ‘The Young Pope,’ Sorrentino is writing the script for the new show, but it will have a different twist than what would be expected,” Sky Italia chief of content Andrea Scrosati told Variety.

    A rep for Sorrentino, who is a member of the Cannes Film Festival jury, said the director did not wish to add comment at this time.

    The HBO and Sky joint production will be produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for FremantleMedia-owned Wildside in co-production with Spain’s Mediapro Group. FremantleMedia International will be handling international sales. “The Young Pope” was sold to more than 110 territories.

    Sorrentino, who won a foreign-language Oscar for “The Great Beauty,” will next shoot his announced film “Loro,” about Silvio Berlusconi, with actor Toni Servillo (“The Great Beauty”) cast in role of the Italian media tycoon-turned-prime minister. Shooting is tentatively scheduled to start in Italy this summer. “Loro” translates as “Them” and is a homonym with “L’oro,” which means “gold.”

    Although Sky, HBO and Sorrentino have clearly decided to keep things under wraps, it’s clear that “The New Pope” is conceived somewhat similarly to anthology series such as “Fargo” and “True Detective,” which changed casts in their second seasons but retained elements of the first season’s original world. Sources say there will be certainly be elements in “The New Pope” that refer strongly back to “The Young Pope,” and some of the characters from the earlier show will return for the new series.

    The big question, of course, is whether Lenny Belardo is dead. Sources say that a reappearance by Law in “The New Pope,” albeit in a much smaller role, has not been ruled out.

    It’s also safe to say that the show will be primarily in English, as was “The Young Pope.” English-language writers are expected to be involved in the screenplay at a later stage.

    “The Young Pope,” which was originated by Sorrentino, marked the first truly pan-European production for Rupert Murdoch-controlled Sky, and entailed a unique production model led editorially by Sorrentino and the Wildside team, with all the production done in Europe. HBO, Sky and France’s Canal Plus all teamed as co-producers on “Young Pope”

    Canal Plus is not involved in “The New Pope” at this stage, but it is possible that the French paybox may come on board once the screenplay is completed.

    SEE ALSO: 43 TV shows that have been canceled

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    Dave Chappelle regrets suggesting that Americans should give Donald Trump a chance while hosting the first post-2016 election episode of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in November.

    The comedian made the apology during a dinner benefiting Robin Hood, the nonprofit organization that fights poverty in New York City, on Monday.

    "I was the first guy on TV to say, 'Give Trump a chance.' I f---ed up. Sorry," Chappelle said, according to MSNBC and "Today" cohost Willie Geist, who was also at the event.

    On "SNL," Chappelle, who was making his hosting debut on the sketch show, approached Trump's win with hope.

    Chappelle recalled being at the White House for an event held by BET while former President Barack Obama was in office and acknowledged that black visitors to the White House weren't always so welcome.

    "I thought about that and I looked at that room and saw all those black faces," Chappelle said, "and I saw how happy everyone was, these people who have been historically disenfranchised. And it made me feel hopeful, and it made me feel proud to be an American, and it made me very happy about the prospects of our country."

    He then concluded his monologue, "So, in that spirit, I'm wishing Donald Trump luck and I'm going to give him a chance. And we, the historically disenfranchised, demand that he give us one, too."

    SEE ALSO: Stephen Colbert fires away at Trump: 'You're a bad president. Please resign.'

    DON'T MISS: Seth Meyers: Trump 'just admitted everything the White House has been saying is a lie'

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    NOW WATCH: Here are the major events leading up to Comey's abrupt firing


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    Full House

    While we might be in a golden age for TV creatively, we're nowhere close to the appointment viewing of an older era.

    Modern technology like DVRs has made it so people can watch several shows that air at the same time whenever they want. Before that, fans had to make hard choices about what to watch and make sure they got home in time for it.

    And TV ratings don't come in the huge numbers of yesteryear. When they do, they tabulate viewing over several days. The 1990 series finale of alien comedy "Alf" brought 21.7 million viewers to their TV sets all at the same time. For comparison, last year's season finale for the most-watched show on TV, CBS's "The Big Bang Theory," had 14.73 million viewers.

    Since we're in that time of year when dozens of shows are ending their runs, we compiled the finales that had the most Americans gathered around to watch ever.

    Here are the 20 most-watched scripted TV series finales of all time:

    SEE ALSO: All the TV shows that were just canceled

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    20. "L.A. Law" (NBC) — 22.1 million viewers

    After eight seasons, "L.A. Law" made its final closing argument on May 19, 1994. On the series finale, Becker (Corbin Bernsen) is feeling his best days are behind him at the ripe old age of 42. At the same time, the firm plans to celebrate senior partner Mckenzie's (Richard Dysart) 65th birthday, but he has a surprise for them: He's retiring. That throws the firm into chaos and forces the partners to look for new jobs.

    Source: The Quad City Times



    19. "MacGyver" (ABC) — 22.3 million viewers

    The adventures of a young MacGyver are currently airing on CBS, but it's tough to live up to the success of the original crafty secret agent. The "MacGyver" series finale, which aired on May 21, 1992, in its seventh season, revealed that Sam — a cool, young biker, who helped out on a tough case — was actually MacGyver's son!

    Source: World Heritage Encyclopedia



    18. "St. Elsewhere" (NBC) — 22.5 million viewers

    "St. Elsewhere" was a groundbreaking urban medical drama that aired on NBC from 1982 to 1988. Its alumni include Denzel Washington, Ed Begley Jr., Howie Mandel, and Mark Harmon. Viewers tuned into its May 25, 1988, series finale to find out that the whole series took place in the very active imagination of a young autistic boy! 

    Source: Star-News



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jordan Peele will executive produce the new series “Lovecraft Country,” which has been ordered straight-to-series at HBOVariety has confirmed.

    Based on the book of the same name by Matt Ruff, the anthology horror series follows 25-year-old Atticus Black, who joins up with his friend Letitia and his Uncle George to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America to find his missing father. They must survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the malevolent spirits that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.

    “Underground” co-creator  and showrunner Misha Green will write and executive produce the series, with Peele executive producing through his Monkeypaw Productions banner. J.J. Abrams and Ben Stephenson will also executive produce through Bad Robot, with Warner Bros. Television producing.

    Peele, who broke out on the Comedy Central series “Key & Peele,” has been in high demand ever since the success of his low-budget horror film “Get Out.” The film, about a black man who discovers a dark secret at his Caucasian girlfriend’s family estate, has grossed almost $215 million worldwide on a $4.5 million budget.

    He recently signed a first-look deal with Universal Pictures based on the success of “Get Out.” Under the deal, Universal will develop Peele’s next film, an untitled social thriller, which he will write, direct, and produce based on his original idea. In addition, Peele will also produce a wide range of movies for the studio through Monkeypaw Productions, including several micro-budget projects with Jason Blum, as he did with “Get Out.”

    For Green, the new series comes along as the fate of “Underground” remains uncertain. Despite critical praise, the WGN America show saw a drop in the live-plus-same day ratings during its sophomore season. In addition, Sinclair Broadcasting recently announced they will acquire WGN parent company Tribune Media, with plans to shift focus away from producing original series. To that end, WGN recently canceled their other original, “Outsiders,” which enjoyed higher ratings than “Underground.”

    Deadline first reported this news.

    SEE ALSO: The 20 most-watched TV show finales of all time, ranked

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    Stephen Colbert took a moment to empathize with — but really, make fun of — officials at the White House, following the barrage of scandals surrounding President Donald Trump in the past week.

    "I do not envy those people at the White House," Colbert said on Tuesday night's "Late Show.""I would not want to be working there right now, and apparently, neither would the people who work at the White House."

    The Daily Beast reported on Tuesday that White House communications staff and senior officials were "hiding in offices" as reporters gathered in the hallways, waiting for a statement about a report that Trump shared highly classified information with Russian diplomats.

    "Do not ask me about how this looks, we all know how this looks," one senior aide told The Daily Beast.

    "Fine, forget how it looks. Do you know how it ends? Because the tension is killing me," Colbert joked.

    To get an "insider's perspective," Colbert then cut to a Trump "staffer" hiding in her office, who said that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's assistant "just keeps stapling her hand."

    After blasting Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know," the "staffer" eventually came out, hiding behind a bush.

    "I'm not here," she said.

    Watch Stephen Colbert mock the White House staffers who are in hiding below:

     

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    There's been breaking news about President Donald Trump just about every day for the past week. And on Tuesday night, Seth Meyers rushed to tackle the latest development in another “Closer Look” segment on "Late Night."

    “Let’s just take a second to think about how insane the last eight days have been,” Meyers said, before rounding up all the events that have transpired over that time and explaining why he believes they make Trump "deeply unfit."

    On top of the news on Monday that Trump reportedly shared classified information with Russians at the Oval office, The New York Times reported on Tuesday that James Comey wrote memos that reveal Trump asked the former FBI director, before he was fired by Trump, to stop the investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

    During the segment, Meyers quoted a Trump adviser who spoke to Politico: "He [Trump] doesn’t really know any boundaries. He doesn’t think in those terms. He doesn’t sometimes realize the implications of what he’s saying."

    Then Meyers said, “He doesn’t know boundaries, he doesn’t know the implications of what he says. When a ball rolls behind the couch, he thinks it’s gone forever. You know, president stuff.”

    Showing clips of Trump throughout his presidential campaign, Meyers pointed out how seriously Trump took the handling of confidential and classified information — especially when it came to Hillary Clinton’s emails.

    “Of course, it turns out the Russians didn’t need to hack Hillary’s email server,” Meyers said. “They were able to hack Trump’s mouth.”

    Then Meyers showed the clip of Trump saying, “Hillary Clinton is unfit and unqualified to be president of the United States. If Hillary is elected, she would be under protracted criminal investigation likely followed by the trial of a sitting president.”

    “It’s amazing,” Meyers said. “The only thing he got wrong was the president’s name. This whole thing is like a horror movie where the police call Trump and say, ‘The killer is calling from inside the house. And also, we’re pretty sure you’re the killer.’”

    The host then demanded action from Washington.

    “We need Republicans to stand up and do something,“ Meyers said. “Because right now, we got a president who is deeply unfit for the office.”

    You can watch the entire segment below:

     

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    arrested development season 5 netflix

    It’s official: “Arrested Development” is coming back for Season 5 at NetflixVariety has learned.

    The streaming service has greenlit a much-anticipated fifth season of the family comedy, which is set to launch in 2018. Original creator Mitchell Hurwitz is back, along with the entire series regular cast, including Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross and Alia Shawkat.

    The fifth season news comes after much teasing from Netflix, Hurwitz and various cast members over the past few years, saying that a new season would be coming, but talent scheduling was delaying the renewal. After airing for three seasons on Fox from 2004-2006, the sitcom went to Netflix for a fourth season in 2013. The show never had significant broadcast ratings, but garnered widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for 25 Emmy Awards, winning six.

    “In talks with Netflix we all felt that that stories about a narcissistic, erratically behaving family in the building business — and their desperate abuses of power — are really underrepresented on TV these days,” said Hurwitz in a comical statement on Wednesday. “I am so grateful to them and to 20th TV for making this dream of mine come true in bringing the Bluths, George Sr., Lucille and the kids; Michael, Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric, George-Michael, and who am I forgetting, oh Tiffany. Did I say Tiffany? — back to the glorious stream of life.”

    “‘Arrested Development’ brings us structures, outerwear and choreography like no other comedy in history,” mused Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, leafing through photos of the banana stand, never nudes and Chicken Dances. “Season 4 marked the first foray by Netflix into original comedy programming and this time, the Bluths will collectively be spending more quality time with their millions of fans around the world.”

    Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman commented, “‘Arrested Development’ remains one of the iconic franchises we, Ron and Brian are asked about most. It’s a testament to the brilliance of Mitch’s creation, the passion of his audience, and the love his cast holds in their hearts for his writing and characters that we have been able to ‘get the band back together ‘ not once but twice since the Emmy-winning original run. Get ready, America. The Bluths are coming back.”

    Hurwitz will serve as executive producer with Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Jim Vallely and Richie Rosenstock. Imagine TV and 20th Century Fox Television are producing for Netflix.

    “I love working with Mitch. He is a genius and the rarest of original thinkers. He brings a richness to the characters and the storylines that makes the series memorably fun,” Grazer said.

    Howard added, “Whew! I can finally answer the question … Hell yes! Warming up my uncredited narrator vocal chords. Now the only thing I will have to be coy about is all the craziness the Bluths are going to face this season.”

    “Arrested Development” centers around Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) and his eccentric family comprised of his son George-Michael (Michael Cera), his father George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor), his mother Lucille (Jessica Walter), his brothers George Oscar Bluth II (Will Arnett), Buster Bluth (Tony Hale) and sister Lindsay Funke (Portia de Rossi), and Lindsay’s husband Tobias (David Cross) and their daughter Maeby (Alia Shawkat).

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    jimmy fallon messed up trumps hair tonight show nbc.JPG

    Jimmy Fallon addressed the outrage over what many called his "softball" interview with Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign on NBC's "Tonight Show."

    "They have a right to be mad,” Fallon said in a new interview with The New York Times. “If I let anyone down, it hurt my feelings that they didn’t like it. I got it."

    Fallon's critics, which included former "Late Show" host David Letterman, complained that Fallon wasn't aggressive enough with the then-presidential candidate. Given that "The Tonight Show" was one of the few talk shows granted an interview with Trump, many viewers ridiculed Fallon's playful tone, including wrapping the inteview by messing up Trump's uniquely styled hair.

    “I’m a people pleaser. If there’s one bad thing on Twitter about me, it will make me upset. So, after this happened, I was devastated. I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just trying to have fun," Fallon said of the fallout from the interview.

    In particular, the host didn't seem to realize in the moment how tousling Trump's hair would be seen.

    "I didn’t do it to humanize him," Fallon said. "I almost did it to minimize him."

    Fallon didn't just suffer hurt feelings following the incident. In the wake of the interview, Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" began closing the ratings gap between it and Fallon's show. As of May 12, Colbert has enjoyed a 15-week streak of beating Fallon in total viewers, according to Nielsen. While losing that metric, Fallon has been able to hold on to the No. 1 spot for the audience advertisers want most, adults under 50 years old.

    NBC executives told The Times that they're not worried about the ratings losses and support whatever Fallon wants to do creatively. Best known for convincing his guests to participate in comedy sketches and off-the-wall games, Fallon does acknowledge that today's political climate dictates some changes for the show.

    “Of course the show has to change,” he said. “It’s a different environment. I don’t know what bits we’re going to do, but we’re trying everything.”

    Regardless, he doesn't want the show to be all about the president.

    “There’s only so many bits you can do,” he said. “I’m happy that only 50% of my monologue is about Trump.”

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