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    Hank Azaria Says He’d Be Willing to “Step Aside” From ‘Simpsons’ Apu Role Following Controversy


    “The idea that anyone young or old, past or present, being bullied based on Apu really makes me sad,” the actor told Stephen Colbert on Tuesday’s ‘Late Show.’

    Hank Azaria dropped by the Late Show on Tuesday night to promote the new season of his IFC comedy Brockmire, and also address the recent controversy surrounding one of the characters he voices on The Simpsons, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. 

    The character, an Indian immigrant who runs Springfield’s local convenient store, was the subject of the recent documentary, The Problem With Apu, which criticized Azaria’s voice portrayal as portraying a stereotype.

    When asked about the controversy surrounding his character, Azaria said, “Of course I understand. Its come to my attention more and more over the past couple years.”

    “The idea that anyone young or old, past or present, being bullied based on Apu really makes me sad,” the actor went on. “It certainly was not my intention. I wanted to bring joy and laughter to people.”

    The long-running Fox show addressed the controversy in a recent episode, receiving further criticism from some for brushing it off. In response, showrunner Al Jean vowed to make it “right.”

    Speaking to the Simpsons response on the issue, Azaria said, “I had nothing to do with the writing or the voicing [in that episode]. I think if anyone came away from that segment thinking they need to lighten up…that’s definitely not the message that I want to send.”

    When asked by Colbert about the future of the character, Azaria was open to change. “I’ve given this a lot of thought, and as I say my eyes have been opened,” he said. “I think the most important thing is to listen to Indian people and their experience with it. I really want to see Indian, South Asian writers in the writers room…including how [Apu] is voiced or not voiced. I’m perfectly willing to step aside. It just feels like the right thing to do to me.”



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    Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Danai Gurira Play “Guess the Avenger” With Jimmy Kimmel


    Tom Hiddleston and Dave Bautista also tried their hands at the game.

    Avengers: Infinity War stars Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Danai Gurira and Dave Bautista tested their knowledge of their fellow cast members on Tuesday night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! while playing “Guess the Avenger.”

    Responding to the first prompt, answering which actor flashed a stranger in an airplane bathroom, Ruffalo and Gurira guessed Bautista, while Hiddleston guessed Ruffalo and Dave guessed Johansson. Johansson then revealed it was herself, but told the audience the lfashing was “unintentional.”

    The next prompt asked which Avenger uprooted half a dozen trees with classmates and replanted them on high school’s 50-yard line. Gurira and Johansson guessed Ruffalo, who then guessed Bautista along with Hiddleston. Bautista then revealed it was him. Bautista said that the prank got him suspended ”

    Another question asked which Avenger learned to play spoons at a bar and has become proficient at “spoonplay.” Gurira, Ruffalo and Johansson guessed, correctly, Hiddleston — who then gave a demonstration for the crowd.

    Hiddleston eventually won the game.

    Kimmel has dedicated his entire week of shows to the upcoming Marvel film and hosted Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Zoe Saldana, Paul Bettany and Pom Klementieff on Monday’s episode. (ABC, of course, shares a parent company with Marvel Films.)

    Avengers: Infinity War premiered Monday night in Hollywood to generally positive reviews, including one by THR‘s own Todd McCarthy.

    Watch the video below.



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    ‘Walking Dead’: Lauren Cohan Returning for Season 9


    Still to be determined is if the actress behind Maggie will be a series regular or have a lesser role amid her contract standoff with AMC.

    Lauren Cohan’s days as Maggie on AMC’s The Walking Dead are not over.

    The actress has confirmed that she is returning for the AMC zombie drama’s upcoming ninth season, though it still remains to be determined if she will be a series regular or have a lesser role. Cohan put herself up for broadcast pilot season — booking the lead on ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier — as she battled AMC over a better salary for season nine.

    “I’m going back,” Cohan told EW late Tuesday at CinemaCon, where she appeared to support her upcoming feature, Mile 22 with Mark Wahlberg. “There’s a lot more Maggie story to tell.”

    The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to AMC for comment and will update this story if more information becomes immediately available.

     

    Cohan recently signed on as the female lead in the ABC action drama pilot Whiskey Cavalier, starring opposite Scandal‘s Scott Foley. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the network and Whiskey producers ABC Studios were amenable to allowing the actress to return to The Walking Dead in a limited capacity to potentially close out Maggie’s storyline. Cohan’s comments on Tuesday help solidify her return — in some capacity. Cohan’s deal for Whiskey Cavalier does leave the door open for her to return to the series on a more limited basis should she and AMC close the gap and agree to a new deal. Walking Dead typically begins production on new seasons in the spring, when most broadcast shows have already wrapped.

    Of course, things could change if Whiskey does not go to series and should Cohan and AMC come to terms on a deal for the actress to return. But given the months-long negotiation that promoted Cohan to make herself available for pilots, that seems unlikely at this point. Industry standard usually dictates that actors in series regular roles can do no more than three episodes of another show, unless another agreement is made in advance. This pilot season, many casting directors told THR that they’ve had to soften that policy in order to land top talent in a Peak TV era when many are juggling multiple projects. Of course, Whiskey could get picked up to series and held for midseason, which could allow Cohan to return in a larger capacity as the production schedules on both shows would be unlikely to overlap.  

    For his part, outgoing showrunner Scott M. Gimple told THR ahead the season eight finale that news on Cohan’s front would be coming “soon.” He also revealed that the zombie drama based on Robert Kirkman’s comics would never recast the role of Maggie and that it belonged only to Cohan. He previously told THR in March that he was “pretty positive” both sides could come to an agreement for Cohan to return in some capacity. “We’re talking; I’m pretty positive. We’re figuring it out. The timing could work well, so all good,” he said.

    Cohan emerged as one of the most in-demand actresses this pilot season. Sources told THR at the time that she has been actively looking for her next role as she battles AMC over her season nine salary. With Walking Dead already renewed for a ninth season, Cohan did not have a deal in place to return to the show. Sources say the actress and her agents were not happy with the offers that have been on the table from AMC. Although Cohan is not seeking salary parity with male leads Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus, her camp and AMC have been engaged in a months-long negotiation that remained far apart. Insiders suggested that she was actively looking for her next job and not trying to use the pilot casting process to force AMC’s hand as the actress’ camp remained frustrated by what some called AMC’s “lowball” offers. Other sources note AMC made “aggressive offers” to re-sign Cohan for season nine.

    Either way, it’s good news for The Walking Dead that one of its key comic book characters in Maggie and a fan favorite in Cohan will return for season nine — in some capacity — after the April 15 season eight finale teed up a larger story for Maggie. Furious that Rick (Lincoln) opted to not kill Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) — the man who murdered her husband, Glenn (Steven Yeun), before her eyes, the season ended with Maggie vowing to avenge Glenn’s death.



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    'The Voice': Top 11 Revealed




    The bottom two sang for the instant save.

    read more





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    ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Review | Hollywood Reporter


    Marvel’s biggest, most star-studded film yet brings together characters from all of its franchises, including ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘Black Panther.’

    “We’re in the endgame now,” Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange intones in the final stretch of the indisputably epic Avengers: Infinity War — and, more than in any other comics-derived superhero concoction one could mention, there’s a whiff of something resembling tragedy in a franchise that, for millions of fans, seems to play a role similar to what mythology did for the Greeks.

    This grand, bursting-at-the-seams wrap-up to one crowded realm of the Marvel superhero universe starts out as three parts jokes, two parts dramatic juggling act and one part deterministic action, an equation that’s been completely reversed by the time of the film’s startling climax. Huge is the operative word here —for budget, scope and size of the global audience.

    Back in Hollywood’s big studio heyday, the grandest company of them all, MGM, boasted of having “more stars than there are in heaven.” Marvel could arguably make that boast today, and it’s crammed almost all of them into this one densely packed superhero orgy, the first half of which is basically dedicated to finding a semi-coherent way of shuffling them into the same dramatic deck. How are ultra-egotists like Dr. Strange, Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and even Chadwick Boseman’s more even-keeled Black Panther going to like having to share the heroic spotlight with one another, while also allowing some derring-do and dazzling deeds to be performed by at least another dozen characters of some unusual talents?

    The sharp-witted answer delivered by writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and directors Anthony and Joe Russo, under the supervision of Marvel Films maestro Kevin Feige, is to acknowledge the traffic jam of egos and play it for laughs. The effect is both scatter-shot and precise, knowing and witty enough to be initially disarming and ultimately ingratiating. With more limited screen time than they’re used to and even more limited elbow room, the actors and characters (in what at least some knew would be their swan songs in these costumes) snap off one-liners and sharp remarks with an extra edge of sarcastic disdain. They don’t exactly send up their heroic characters, but there is more of a subtle commentary underneath it all (more than that in the case of Mark Ruffalo’s and Evans’ roles) about the frustrations of having two different personas in life.

    Even early on, however, one makes note of tragic forebodings that Dr. Strange articulates. For all the activity generated by the superheroes, the fellow driving the action here is the heretofore glimpsed but never central Thanos (Josh Brolin), a brooding tree-trunk of a man whose stated goal is to achieve universal dominance by acquiring all six infinity stones. Each of these variously colored gems is of a different color and confers distinct powers. As he acquires them, he becomes increasingly unbeatable, but along with his determination and brute force he’s a brooding figure with a calm, philosophical intelligence.

    Thanos has thoroughly thought through his ambition, as well as the moral and emotional toll it will take to achieve it. He’s utterly ruthless, but well aware of the price he must pay, which makes him much more than a thick stick figure of a super-villain. The character looks as though he’s been carved out of a massive tree trunk, but Brolin’s calm, considered reading of the character bestows this conquering beast with an unexpectedly resonant emotional dimension.

    The imposing and unquestionable danger Thanos represents, and the way it increases exponentially with each stone he acquires, becomes quite serious after a while. So what begins as a lark — with the vast assortment of comic book characters trotting out their costumes; middle-aged Bruce Banner humorously being so out of practice that he can no longer transform himself into the Hulk; Tony Stark bantering once again with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts; an extremely deep-voiced Peter Dinklage making his Marvel debut playing a giant; Holland’s Peter Parker looking so childish even he seems to wonder what he’s doing in this company; Dave Bautista stealing every scene he’s in; Scarlett Johansson and Don Cheadle being given absolutely nothing fresh or original to do; Evans trying to leave his Captain America persona behind him — transforms into something genuinely threatening and grim, something, in fact, that has to be taken seriously. That prospect is that evil can win.

    With so many ingredients to stir into this overflowing pot, you have to hand it to the two experienced teams of Marvel collaborators who had a feel for how to pull this magnum opus off. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely wrote all three Captain America entries and have a deft, jokey, sometimes glib touch that spreads the humor around and prevents this long film from ever getting stodgy. Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo directed the last two Captain America features and have a breezy approach that prevents the action here from sagging in any serious ways.

    The scale of that action is astonishing. Some of it is set in space or in different realms on assorted planets, while other scenes take place in New York and elsewhere. When the intergalactic conflict winds up in Wakanda, Black Panther’s African homeland, it provides a bit of a start: Wait, we were just there a few months ago, and here we are again already for another giant battle?

    Another major dramatic thread concerns the hitherto secondary figure of Vision (Paul Bettany), who crucially possesses the final stone sought by Thanos and hies to Scotland with Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch before being tracked down.

    But, after Thanos, the most significant figure of all, and the character who lends the tale much of its ultimately tragic stature, is Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, Thanos’ adopted daughter. This relationship and story strain emerges from the distant background to play a decisive role both in the plot and the work’s ultimate thematic resonance, and the way it plays out is both highly dramatic, upsetting and inevitable. By the time Thanos and Gamora’s relationship truly comes into focus, the film has rather remarkably shifted from a mood of larky fun to one of classical tragedy, not an inconsiderable feat in a comic book-derived entertainment.

    Without giving anything away, the climax is startling in its gravity and no Marvel fan will leave before the long final credits scroll gives way to the traditional kicker tease at the very end, which amplifies the ending by serving up even more questions, not answers. This will achieve the desired result of making millions of fans debate what it all means until the next installment. All we know for sure is that just one identified character will return.

    No question about it, barely two months after the release of Black Panther, Marvel (and Disney, of course) has returned with another of the most expensive films ever made that will pull off another of the biggest commercial hauls of all time. This franchise isn’t going away anytime soon.

    Production: Marvel Studios
    Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Tom Middleston, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Idris Elba, Danai Gurira,Peter Dinklage, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, William Hurt
    Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
    Screenwriters: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, based on the Marvel Comics by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
    Producer: Kevin Feige
    Executive producers: Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Trihn Tran, Jon Favreau, James Gunn, Stan Lee
    Director of photography: Trent Opaloch
    Production designer: Charles Wood
    Costume designer: Judianna Makovsky
    Editors: Jeffrey Ford, Matthew Schmidt
    Music: Alan Silvestri
    Visual effects supervisor: Dan DeLeeuw
    Casting: Sarah Finn
    PG-13 rating, 149 minutes



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    Emma Kenney on the Political Controversy Surrounding ‘Roseanne’


    “There’s a whole lot of different storylines that are going on other than politics,” Kenney told THR.

    The Roseanne reboot has been a hot topic ever since its debut last month for two reasons: its consistently high ratings and its Trump-supporting lead character. Emma Kenney, who plays Harris Conner-Healy (Darlene’s daughter), stopped by The Hollywood Reporter In Studio to talk about the political controversy surrounding the show.

    While she said the cast rarely discusses politics on set, she added, “The show is all about a family and family differences and how they bond together at the end of the day and end up having a nice family meal. And maybe it’s not so nice, maybe they’re screaming at each other, but it’s all in normal family fun.”

    Kenney added a message to viewers for the rest of the season, saying, “Something I want the viewers to know is we talk so much about things going on in [the] current day other than politics. There’s a whole lot of different storylines that are going on other than politics.”

    Politics aside, the 18-year-old actress feels honored to be able to call herself a part of the Conner family, saying, “I’m so excited to have been able to join this iconic ’90s family and be working with the class acts that have graced the covers of The Hollywood Reporter before. Just working with that level of talent is just a true blessing and an amazing experience.” 



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    ‘Jack Ryan,’ Starring John Krasinski, Scores Early Season 2 Renewal at Amazon


    The streamer is taking advantage of the actor’s hot streak with ‘A Quiet Place’ by picking up the series ahead of its August bow.

    Amazon Studios is taking advantage of the buzz around A Quiet Place star John Krasinski.

    Months ahead of its series debut, the streamer and retail giant has handed out an early second season renewal for Krasinski-fronted series Jack Ryan.

    Not set to premiere until Aug. 31, the eight-episode drama is based on Tom Clancy’s popular CIA books. Krasinski stars as the titular character in the drama that follows Ryan as he uncovers a pattern in terrorist communication that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit with a new breed of terrorism that threatens destruction on a global scale. 

    “With so much early anticipation for Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan from our customers and personally having the pleasure to preview the exhilarating, action-packed first season, we are excited to greenlight a second season of the series months ahead of its debut,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios.  “The new season will take our unexpected hero to a new, exciting and dangerous world.”

    Carlton Cuse (Bates Motel, The Strain) and Graham Roland (Almost Human) penned the script and developed the project together. The drama is a co-production between Paramount Television and Skydance Television. Platinum Dunes’ Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form exec produce alongside Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross, with Mace Neufeld and Lindsey Springer also on board.

    Jack Ryan was picked up to series in August 2016, with Amazon promoting the series earlier this year with its first Super Bowl ad. Amazon says they received a 400 percent increase in Prime members following the Super Bowl spot. Abbie Cornish and Wendell Pierce co-star.

    “We’re thrilled that the first season has generated so much enthusiasm,” said Cuse. “We couldn’t be happier to be working with Amazon and to be filming very near the Amazon to tell the next great Jack Ryan adventure.”

    The Amazon renewal comes on the heels of A Quiet Place, which has been a box office surprise after opening to an impressive $50.2 million. The Paramount feature, produced for a budget of a mere $17 million, revolves around a family trying to survive in a world where any sound attracts killer aliens. Krasinski co-wrote, directed and starred in A Quiet Place. Jack Ryan marks his first TV series regular role following his breakout gig in NBC’s The Office. 

    “From day one we only had one actor on our casting board for this series – John Krasinski,” said Amy Powell, president of Paramount Television. “We are so excited that he is our Jack Ryan and we get to make another season with this incredibly talented team. We have been blown away by what our whole team has delivered for season one and we can’t wait for everyone to see it this summer.”

     



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    ‘All About Nina’ Review | Hollywood Reporter


    Eva Vives’ feature debut stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a stand-up comic with a fear of intimacy.

    An emotionally damaged standup comic finds the catalyst she’s not looking for in Eva Vives’ All About Nina, a comedy world-set love story that’s definitely not a rom-com. Having gone to LA in part to escape an abusive lover, our protagonist winds up facing her demons in public at the least opportune moment. The premise offers plenty of room for yet another impressive performance by Mary Elizabeth Winstead; balancing its darker moments with humor and warmth, the picture has a broad enough appeal to — finally, movie gods? — get Winstead onto the first-choice lists of top-tier filmmakers. It also establishes Vives, making her directing debut after co-writing 2002’s Raising Victor Vargas, as a filmmaker to watch.

    We meet Winstead’s title character on stage, where she begins what is evidently a nightly ritual: Kill the crowd with sex-forward material; stress-vomit immediately after leaving the mic (a bartender already has mouthwash ready); and pick up the douchiest-seeming man she sees between the stage and the exit.

    Tonight’s routine is interrupted by Joe (Chace Crawford), the married cop who sometimes comes over to slap Nina around and sleep with her — another ritual she’s unwilling or unable to disrupt. Until now: The next day, she goes to Joe’s house to introduce herself to his wife, angrily suggesting that the woman should “get your husband in line, because I can’t stop f—ing him.”

    Deciding that a proffered audition is the surest way out of all this, she leaves New York for LA, moving in with her agent’s New Agey friend (Kate del Castillo). “I’m Lake, my pronouns are she/her,’ coos the water-spirit reiki practitioner — who surprises us soon by being more than a dippy la-la land caricature.

    At her first local gig, Nina meets Rafe (Common, in a deeply sympathetic performance), who comes on like the emotionally-available hunk Nina has never admitted she wants. After some amusing hiccups, the two embark on what promises to be the 32 year-old woman’s first actual relationship — even if Rafe’s first gestures of trust leave her in a hyperventilating heap, phoning for her shrink to talk her through the panic attack.

    Phobias and lousy decisions notwithstanding, Winstead is no typical rom-com neurotic in the role. The actress makes Nina self-aware and unapologetic, in command of her art if not her libido. She’s rock-solid in her audition for the career-making Comedy Prime (an obvious SNL stand-in whose producer, Beau Bridges’ Larry Michaels, practically shares Lorne Michaels’ name), even after learning that the tryout is something of a battle royale: The male-dominated show is opening up one slot for a new female cast member, and is pitting a handful of women against each other for it.

    For comedy fans who don’t hang out in the troll-ier parts of the web, it can be hard to believe there are still gatekeepers and audiences who think women are inherently less funny than men. But in interactions before and after this high-stakes laugh-off, the film depicts an uneasy blend of supportiveness and competition, with each of Nina’s peers understanding the zero-sum game despite the friendly banter.

    If the script’s imagining of Nina and Rafe’s first nights together should strike any viewer as a little too perfect, scenes from this audition onward will make Rafe credibly human, giving him opportunities to be threatened, insulted or repulsed by what he learns about Nina. Ditching the usual standup-comedy brick wall, Vives gives Nina the Bob Fosse treatment when she enters Lenny Bruce territory onstage, peeling artifice away under harsh spotlights and exposing her soul. Both onscreen and off, viewers hold their breaths as the performer justifies the anger she’s been carrying around for years; Winstead and Vives stretch the moment out so far the movie feels ready to snap. It doesn’t, and neither does Nina.

    Production company: Candela Films
    Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Common, Chace Crawford, Clea DuVall, Kate del Castillo, Beau Bridges
    Director-Screenwriter: Eva Vives
    Producers: Eric B. Fleischman, Sean Tabibian, Natalie Qasabian, Eva Vives
    Executive producers: Joshua Astrachan, Brian Kavanugh-Jones
    Director of photography: Thomas Scott Stanton
    Production designer: Kelly Fallon
    Costume designer: Olivia Carrano
    Editors: Saira Haider, Susan Littenberg
    Composer: John Dragonetti
    Casting director: Rich Delia
    Venue: Tribeca Film Festival (US Narrative Competition)
    Sales: Nick Ogiony, CAA

    99 minutes



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    Clayne Crawford Apologizes for Bad Behavior on ‘Lethal Weapon’ Set


    The Fox procedural remains on the bubble despite being one of the network’s better performing hours.

    Lethal Weapon star Clayne Crawford is making amends for his bad behavior on the set of the Fox reboot.

    The actor on Tuesday posted a lengthy apology on his verified Instagram page in which he detailed two incidents that occurred on the Warner Bros. Television procedural. Crawford admitted that he was “reprimanded twice” during the second season of the Fox procedural.

    He said the first incident came after he became angry after what he deemed were unsafe working conditions on the set. After the outburst, Crawford said he met with human resources, apologized for his role in the conflict and completed studio-appointed therapy, while also sharing a “sizable portion” of his paycheck with one of the parties involved — at Warners’ request. The second incident came during an episode he was directing when another actor on set felt unsafe after a piece of shrapnel from an effect hit him.

    “I absolutely love, respect and care for my crew and cast, and would never intentionally jeopardize so many jobs,” Crawford wrote. “I an incredibly sorry if my passion for doing good work has ever made anyone feel less than comfortable on our set, or feel less than celebrated for their efforts. Furthermore, I apologize to all the crew and cast for any negative attention Lethal Weapon is receiving because of these incidents.”

    Crawford’s behavior has left Lethal Weapon — one of Fox’s better-performing dramas — on the bubble as many connected with the series have said they would rather not work with the actor. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that producers Warner Bros. Television is considering recasting Crawford’s leading role — potentially with an actress — as the independent studio hopes to score a third-season renewal. Fox and Warner Bros. Television have until June 30 — when options on the cast expire — to make a decision on the future of the series.

    Loosely inspired by the film franchise starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, Fox’s Lethal Weapon  follows Riggs (Crawford), coming back to work after the loss of his wife and unborn child, and Murtaugh (Damon Wayans), recovering from a heart attack, as they partner up to work the beat in modern-day Los Angeles. Matt Miller serves as showrunner on the drama, which is exec produced by McG, Dan Lin and Jennifer Gwartz.

    Read Crawford’s full post, below.

    Keep track of all the latest renewals and cancellations with THR‘s scorecard and of all the pilot pickups with our handy guide. For complete coverage, bookmark THR.com/upfronts.





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    ‘The Path’ Canceled at Hulu After 3 Seasons


    The Jason Katims-produced drama starring Aaron Paul, Michelle Monaghan and Hugh Dancy will not return for a fourth season.

    It’s the end of the road for Hulu’s The Path.

    The streamer has opted to cancel the Jason Katims-produced drama after three seasons and 36 episodes.

    “While it’s sad that The Path is ending, I’m brimming with gratitude and pride,” creator Jessica Goldberg said in a statement. “It was a gift to be able to tell challenging and emotional stories for three seasons in this very strange and unique world. The caliber of talent and passion everyone who worked on this show brought — from my partners Jason Katims and Michelle Lee, the execs at Hulu, the writers, actors, directors, designers and crew — was something to behold, and for which I’m very thankful. Thanks Hulu and Universal Television for taking a shot on this show, it was a life changing experience.”

    The drama revolved around a family at the center of a controversial cult movement that, at the onset of the series, was briefly compared to Scientology. The series was produced by Universal Television, where Katims’ True Jack Productions banner is based. Goldberg served as showrunner on the drama, which starred Aaron Paul, Michelle Monaghan, Hugh Dancy, Kyle Allen, Emma Greenwell and Freida Pinto.

    For Hulu, which like fellow streamers Netflix and Amazon does not release viewership information, The Path had a brief wave of critical support early on but faded in the seasons since. The series has a 79 percent average on RottenTomatoes.com, and an 83 percent audience score.

    The decision to cancel The Path — which wrapped its third season March 28 — comes as Hulu has been refining its roster of scripted originals amid a new roster of executives at the top of the streamer. Gone are the series that helped launch the streaming platform — like East Los High, Chance, Shut Eye and comedies Quick Draw, Deadbeat, Difficult People and Casual. In their place are a roster of buzzy and high-end originals including Emmy winner The Handmaid’s Tale, The Looming Tower and upcoming entries Castle Rock and George Clooney’s Catch-22 limited series.



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    Stormy Daniels Lawyer Michael Avenatti Criticizes Fox News For Booking Flap


    The attorney is upset that Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum called him out for “abruptly” cancelling a planned Tuesday night interview.

    Michael Avenatti, the headline-making attorney of adult film star Stormy Daniels, is lashing out at Fox News for calling him out on Monday night after he canceled an interview planned for Tuesday night’s edition of The Story with Martha MacCallum.

    The interview was booked on Sunday morning, but at 7:08 a.m. ET on Monday morning, Avenatti texted a booker for MacCallum’s show and told her he had to cancel. He wrote: “Hate to do this on short notice but we will have to reschedule.” In text messages shared with The Hollywood Reporter, Avenatti blamed the cancellation on an important case meeting he needed to prepare for.

    The booker responded amicably, saying: “Thank you for letting me know. When do you think you might be able to resurface for an interview? Wednesday?”

    Avenatti, who was traveling and said he receives a high volume of TV interview requests, did not immediately respond.

    On The Story, which airs at 7 p.m. ET, MacCallum told her audience about the cancellation in language that Avenatti did not appreciate. She said: “Over the weekend, Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Trump told CNN that Fox News doesn’t seem to want him on our shows. That is not actually the case. In fact, Mr. Avenatti was scheduled to appear on this show tomorrow night, but this morning he abruptly cancelled the interview, despite his pledge to appear on Fox News this week. So there you go. That is our true story on that.”

    Avenatti responded to MacCallum’s comment on Twitter, calling her “classless” and “unprofessional.”

    He passed on his frustration to MacCallum’s booker in a text message, saying: “You and your team should be embarrassed and ashamed of what you did. Truly. This is how you want to live your life and what you want to be known for? Pathetic.” 

    The booker responded: “Wait, what happened? I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”  When he sent her the clip, she said she “truly had no idea” and then said, “I’m going to figure out who I can direct you to about this because I’m totally not looped in other than just trying to get you on the program!”

    While Avenatti told THR he would not appear on MacCallum’s show in the future, he’s interested in appearing on Sean Hannity’s primetime show. The two met at THR’s New York City Power List event on April 12.

    “We’re both street fighters and I think it would be very informative and entertaining for viewers,” he said of a potential appearance on Hannity. “I think that the interview could be handled in a professional manner.”

    Avenatti said he hasn’t heard back from Hannity about his interest in appearing on the show. He appeared on Shannon Bream’s 11 p.m. ET news show on March 20. On Sunday’s edition of the CNN media show Reliable Sources, Avenatti said, “I’m not avoiding Fox, but they don’t seem to want me to be on their shows much. I can’t understand that.”

    A Fox News spokesperson would not discuss the Avenatti-MacCallum tiff on the record. MacCallum is not expected to address the matter further. 



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    Nissa Diederich Promoted at Fox 21


    She will add oversight of production to her duties.

    Nissa Diederich has been promoted at Fox 21 Television Studios.

    Diederich has been upped from senior vp production to exec vp production. In her expanded role, she will take on oversight of all production matters for 20th Century Fox Television’s cable-focused arm. That includes American Crime Story, Homeland, Queen of the South, Genius, The Chi, Pose, Mayans, The Politician and Ratched.

    Diederich will continue to oversee productions of 20th TV’s American Horror Story and911, while working closely with the studio’s showrunners to secure stages and locations, hire crew, manage budgets and supervise the production process from pre- to postproduction.

    “Nissa has overseen some incredibly ambitious productions, from seasons of Homeland overseas in South Africa and Berlin and Genius in Budapest, to the multiple series of the prolific Ryan Murphy, and she is beloved by creators and executives alike. She has been enormously helpful to Mark Pearson and me as we’ve grown the Fox 21 TVS business, and we consider ourselves fortunate to have such a seasoned pro in this vital role,” said Fox 21 president Bert Salke, to whom she will report.

    Diederich joined the former Fox Television Studios 20 years ago, starting as manager of production finance. 



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