TV

Oprah, "Neverland," and a Lot of Casting: This Week in TV

While you were still wiping up your sweat/drool from the "Shallow" performance, picking your jaw up off of the floor after Green Book won Best Picture, and humming along to the very classic songs from the "Co-Op" soundtrack, here's the TV news you may have missed.

While you were still wiping up your sweat/drool from the "Shallow" performance, picking your jaw up off of the floor after Green Book won Best Picture, and humming along to the very classic songs from the "Co-Op" soundtrack, here's the TV news you may have missed.

Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

Oprah to Calm us all Down after Leaving Neverland

Leaving Neverland, the documentary about Michael Jackson's alleged sexual abuse of two young boys in the 1990s is so harrowing that counselors were waiting in the lobby during intermission of the film's premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Because HBO can't provide counselors to all viewers when it airs the reportedly grueling, sexually-explicit 4-hour documentary on Sunday and Monday, they will air a special hosted by TV and entertainment's most comforting presence: Oprah. On Oprah Winfrey Presents: Leaving Neverland, Winfrey will host a Q&A with Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck. The special will be taped in front of an audience of sexual abuse survivors and will air at 10 pm on March 4, immediately following the conclusion of the 2-part series (part 1 airs March 3 at 8 pm). Jackson's estate and family have denied all allegations.

Nathan Congleton / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

JBH Replaces KLG

The Today Show officially announced that Kathie Lee Gifford would pass her wine glass along to Jenna Bush Hager. Gifford announced her departure from the fourth hour of Today with co-star Hoda Kotb last December. Hager, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, has been at Today since 2009 as a reporter and regular correspondent. Gifford, who herself claims to have "been in this business for 120 years," has co-hosted with Kotb for nearly 11 years. No word yet on who they will tap to record a new theme song.

90210.2

We are truly living in the era of Peak TV. Just when you think everything has been done, a new show jumps on the scene to provide an entirely new idea of what TV can achieve. The reboot of Beverly Hills, 90210 is not that show. Fox released a 10-second teaser announcing the return of the series, set for this summer. The gang is headed back to the Hills—stars Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green, and Tori Spelling are all confirmed, so far—only this time, the actors will be playing versions of themselves who get meet up to try to put a reboot together. Did you follow that? The reboot is about the reboot. Clever. Let's hope no one mentions the 2008 rebooted version or the universe will implode.

NBC's Got Love for the 99

After a slap-dash, 48-hour resuscitation following Fox's cancelation, NBC has once again given new life to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, this time renewing it for a seventh season. Nine-Nine has proven to be good business for NBC, and they recently expanded their sixth season order from 13 episodes to 18. Its dedicated and vocal fanbase took to Twitter to gif their excitement, but the best, most heartwarmingly on-brand tweet had to be the one in which the cast and crew learn the news.

Getty Images

Casting Calls

This week ushered in a slew of casting news. Brittany Snow will star in an untitled Fox drama based on the Australian Sisters, to be directed by Russian Doll's Leslye Headland. Jane the Virgin spinoff, Jane the Novela, has found its new Jane in East Los High's Jacqueline Grace Lopez. Showtime darling Damian Lewis (Homeland, Billions) will head to A+E with Damian Lewis: Spy Wars, a docu-drama look at real stories of global espionage. Goodfella Ray Liotta is said to be joining the cast of David Chase's Sopranos prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark. And, in casting that wasn't: George R. R. Martin will not be making a cameo in the final season of Game of Thrones.

And, Finally, Watch Steve Carell Jump Out of a Box for Jenna Fischer

He presented himself as a gift for his former co-star's birthday on Busy Tonight.


Rebecca Linde is a writer and cultural critic in NYC. She tweets about pop culture and television @rklinde.



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Slept On: New Releases from UnoTheActivist, SahBabii, and More

SahBabii, UnoTheActivist and more make up this weeks under appreciated releases

Juice WRLD's posthumous release, Legends Never Die, has already sold over 400,000 copies, putting it in the running for the biggest release of 2020.

Meanwhile, Summer Walker confidently returns with a sleek new E.P., Kid Cudi and Marshall Mathers unite for the first time, James Blake quietly dropped a shadowy new track, and H.E.R. added a splash of reggae flavor to her new track "Do To Me." While it was a big week for the mainstream, it was equally as massive for the underground. Upcoming mumble emcee SahBabii's released an infectious collection of wavy, levitative hip-hop, and the iconic Fresh Veggies duo of Casey Veggies and Rockie Fresh return for their second outing. Check out the latest underground releases below.

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AOC is Ready for Showtime

Freshman congressional representative and speaker of truth to power, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez made a very important public statement on Wednesday: she will be the first guest on Desus & Mero, the new late night talk show from Desus Nice and The Kid Mero. AOC joins her Bronx brethren, whose pop-culture commentary first made waves via their podcast before evolving into a Viceland weekly, for the first installment of their premium cable iteration. Desus & Mero premieres February 21 at 11pm on Showtime.

Breaking's Back

Aaron Paul is stepping back into the lab as Jesse Pinkman in an upcoming, feature-length sequel to Breaking Bad. In an unconventional move, the movie will premiere on Netflix before moving to the series original home on AMC. Details remain largely unknown, but sources say the movie will be written and directed by creator Vince Gilligan and "will follow the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom," according to The Hollywood Reporter. No word on whether or not there will be a Walter White appearance, but Bryan Cranston has signalled he'd be there in a heartbeat. Yeah, bitch!

Amazon to Stay Marvelous

While Amazon may have ditched its deal for NYC headquarters, it's production arm, Amazon Studios, has no plan to get rid of the Marvelous Sherman-Palladinos. The studio has signed an overall deal with Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, the team behind Gilmore Girls and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. "We celebrate the critical success...and our extended overall deal with them, which will allow our Amazon Prime audience to continue to enjoy their groundbreaking show and future original series from this incredible duo," said studio head Jennifer Salke at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Wednesday.

Eve & Villanelle Return

Addicted | Killing Eve Season 2 Teaser Trailer | BBC America youtu.be

Sandra Oh's killer hair will return in season 2 of Killing Eve, airing on both BBC America and AMC beginning April 7. The latest trailer, released on Thursday, promises more spiraling obsessions, knife porn, and Jodie Comer in comic-themed pjs. We're already obsessed.

And, Finally, Nick's Got Your Nostalgia Fix

Nickelodeon doesn't want their fans to outgrow them. The kids' network has announced plans to hang onto both Gen-Z and Millennial demos, according to Variety. New network president Brian Robbins revealed plans for a reboot of the '90s tween sketch comedy show, All That, to be executive produced by original cast member and current SNL staple Kenan Thompson, as well as potential spin-off shows that focus on Spongebob favorites Patrick, Sandy, or Plankton.


Rebecca Linde is a writer and cultural critic in NYC. She tweets about pop culture and television @rklinde.


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