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

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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While you were mourning the loss of Gina Linetti and wondering why Rent: Live wasn't live, here's the TV news you may have missed:

Bad Girls

LA's Finest, the series-spinoff of the Bad Boys films, has gotten an official premiere date and teaser trailer. The hour-long drama is the first foray into original programming from cable company Spectrum, and will premiere on May 13, 2019. The series stars Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba as Syd and Nancy (oh, clever), respectively, LAPD detectives with "complex" histories.

"L.A.'s Finest" - Premiere Date Announcement - May 13 on Spectrum Originals

They Awaken

In other, film-turned-series-spinoff getting the trailer and premiere treatment news: FX released an early look at writer Jemaine Clement and director Taika Waititi's What We Do in the Shadows, which will premiere on March 27, 2019. The series mirrors the mockumentary style of its predecessor, this time offering a glimpse at the lives of three vampire roommates in New York City. Check out the trailer to learn what an "energy vampire" is.

What We Do in the Shadows | Season 1: Official Trailer [HD] | FX

Helen Sloan / HBO

Winter's Still Coming

HBO released a new slate of stills from the upcoming final season of Game of Thrones, and your friends here at Popdust basically predicted everything that will happen.

Hair Got Chopped

Perhaps in response to seeing all of the changes Fox had to make to the already-earnest lyrics from Rent: Live, NBC has decided to forgo its previously-scheduled May musical event, Hair Live! Was it too difficult to find a way to eschew the full-frontal nudity, illicit drug use, and a song called "Sodomy?" According to a statement from NBC released to TVLine, which notes that the network is shifting its focus to "broad-based, family musicals," yes. Yes it was.

schitt's creek CBC

And, Finally, Meet Fun Ted

As Schitt's Creek continues its run as the most endearing series that's also bitingly hilarious, it ups its game with the introduction of Fun Ted, who is released when Alexis convinces Ted to let loose in last night's episode "Housewarming."


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

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Kevin Winter / Getty

A question for the producers of this year's Oscars ceremony: how dare you?

Last Friday, Deadline reported that the winners of last year's acting awards had yet to be contacted about presenting those same awards at the 2019 ceremony, a long-held Academy tradition. "It breaks my heart," wrote America's relentlessly cool and undeniably talented aunt, Allison Janney, in a now-deleted Instagram comment. On Wednesday evening, the Academy tweeted that Janney, who won Best Supporting Actress last year, will, in fact, be part of the telecast along with previous winners Frances McDormand (Best Actress), Sam Rockwell (Best Supporting Actor), and Gary Oldman (Best Actor). While we sincerely hope this helps mend Janney's wounds, it's unclear in what capacity she and the other acting honorees will be participating. Dave Karger, who covers the Oscars and the Academy for numerous outlets, tweeted in response to Mark Harris, another Oscar expert, that it "looks like" presenter duties will be shared among last year's winners and that they will not be presenting in the acting categories.

This is the latest in a series of hastily-made, announced, then retracted decisions by the Academy in preparation for this year's broadcast.

A brief timeline:

August 8, 2018: Academy announces new category for "popular" film

September 5, 2018: Academy announces it will not present "popular" film award

December 4, 2018: Kevin Hart announced as host of 91st Oscars

December 7, 2018: Kevin Hart drops out of 91st Oscars

January 24, 2019: Variety reports that only two of the five nominees for Best Original Song will be performed during the telecast

January 31, 2019: Academy announces that all five nominated songs will be featured (albeit, for only 90 seconds each)

February 1, 2019: Deadline reports a potential acting award-winner snub

February 6, 2019: Academy tweets that acting award-winners will present (likely not acting-related) awards

The high-level flip-floppery can all be traced back to that first August announcement. In addition to the potential popular film category, the Academy also announced a shorter version of the telecast (now a svelte three-hour event). Aside from the host situation, most of the decisions that followed appear to be an attempt to pare down the traditionally long ceremony. They also appear to be the Academy's effort at drawing in younger, perhaps less film-obsessed viewers. Producers are also relegating some award presentations to commercial breaks and pushing last year's honorees aside for bigger names. It's no secret that industry awards can feel staid and lay viewers are probably not as invested in the race for Best Sound Mixing as they are for Best Director. It makes perfect sense that Oscar producers would want to modernize a 91-year-old ceremony to appeal to the widest possible audience, but the Academy needs to decide who that audience is, and stop making decisions at the expense of the people they claim to celebrate.

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

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