Showtime

Daniels: a rust-raised actor at his peak

Sure, there are roles that Jeff Daniels has had to stretch for.
In real life, he’s never been painted blue; he’s never been a gay man mourning lost love. He hasn’t been a president, good (George Washington) or bad (Warren Harding); he hasn’t been dumb or dumber.
He handled those roles easily. Still, he’s at his best playing rock-solid guys with a Midwestern vibe. That peaks as Del Harris in “American Rust” (shown hee), debuting at 10 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 12) on Showtime. Read more…

Surprise: Some networks have more shows than ever

Yes, supply-chain issues keep confounding businesses.
But some TV networks now have more new shows than ever. A prime example is Showtime, with one-fourth more new hours this year than it had pre-pandemic.
“That was part of the intent to grow,” Jana Winograde said. Viewers will see that quickly when:
– “Billions” (shown here) returns Sunday, Sept. 5, to start the final five episodes of its fifth season. It will then “make up for lost time by premiering Season Six in January,” Gary Levine said. He and Winograde, co-presidents of programming, had a virtual press conference with the Television Critics Association. Read more…

Bacon masters a verbal volcano of schemes and hate

Jackie Rohr is a verbal volcano. Words spill out – sometimes clever, often caustic and conniving.
He’s racist, misogynist and nasty; he’s also an FBI agent in 1993 Boston. As played by Kevin Bacon (shown here with Aldis Hodge) in “City on a Hill” – which starts its second season at 10 p.m. Sunday (March 28) on Showtime – he’s one of TV’s most memorable characters.
And yes, there are viewers who admire the fact that he gets things done.
“These are not things I personally feel about the man,” Bacon told the Television Critics Association. “He’s not really a person (I would) like or respect or want to spend time with. He’s a (feces), really.” Read more…

Comedy Store has launched generations of stars

For a generation of comedians, the challenge was the same:
Do an open-mike set at the Comedy Store. Do your best; hope club-owner Mitzi Shore (shown here with Jay Leno and Garry Shandling) like you.
For Bill Burr, that went one way: “She (said), ‘He’s not ready,’” he told the Television Critics Association last month. “I heard her say it in the m the middle of my set.” Burr soon moved to New York. Years later, he returned while building a vibrant comedy career.
For Mike Bender – who has made a documentary series about the club – it went the other way. He was just 18, a boyish-looking redhead from near Detroit, when he tried the Comedy Store. Read more…

Daniels towers over his “Comey Rule” role

It’s a problem Jeff Daniels rarely faces – being too short for a role.
But this was a role anyone in Hollywood – well, anyone except Brad Garrett or John Salley – would fall short of. Daniels was playing James Comey, the 6-foot-8 former FBI director.
“I put two-inch lifts in my shoes,” Daniels said, “which got me to 6-foot-5 …. I could act the other three inches.”  (He’s shown here with Comey towering over Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, played by  Holly Hunter, who’s 5-foot-2.)  
That’s part of the towering persona of someone who exudes authority. Comey confirmed that, Daniels said, during the only day he visited the set of “The Comey Rule,” the Showtime mini-series. “He said, ‘You’ve got my posture, the uprightness.’” Read more…

More virus news: Streamers extend, Showtime delays

For TV viewers, the coronavirus impact brings some good news, plus more bad.
The good: Two screening services – Acorn (including a flashy new “Miss Fisher” mystery, shown here) and Sundance Now – have extended their free trial period from seven days to 30.
And the bad: Some shows are being delayed. FX is pushing back “Fargo”; Showtime has some shows going ahead and others not.
There have beenother virus-related TVnews lately, which you can find by hitting “news and quick comments.” The new ones are : Read more…

Showtime has shameless, homeless, dreadful plans

PASADENA, Cal. – “Shameless” is the latest TV series to know its endgame
.Showtime announced today that the series (shown here) will be back this summer for an 11th and final season.
That follows another Showtime series ending its run. On Feb. 9, “Homeland” starts its eighth and last season with a characteristically tough hour: Carrie (Claire Danes), back from imprisonment and torture, is plunged into a new mission, amid doubts about her memories and sanity.
Her show ends its run on April 28 … the same night that a once-dead show returns to life. Read more…