TV Talk

Saturday Night Live Airing Remote Edition on Saturday

Plus, Tiger King spawns related projects, Disney+ reboots Doogie Howser M.D., Space Force adds another star, and more in the biggest TV and streaming stories of the week.

by | April 9, 2020 | Comments

NBC’s sketch-comedy show will air live from the players’ living rooms as Saturday Night Live produces new episode while social-distancing. Select Apple TV+ originals are free for a limited time; Tiger King is officially now the docuseries that won’t die, as more related projects are put into production; Doogie Howser, M.D. gets a reboot; and more of the week’s top news in TV and streaming.


TOP STORY

Saturday Night Live Returns for an At-Home Episode This Weekend

Live from New York living rooms, it’s Saturday Night!

Never a show to miss cultural phenomenon, Saturday Night Live will go live (or something like it) on Easter eve from the homes of the sketch-comedy show’s cast members in its first episode since March 7. Here are the details from NBC:

  • Saturday Night Live will air original content on Saturday, April 11 at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
  • Material will be produced remotely as SNL practices social distancing.
  • Show elements will include “Weekend Update” and other original content from SNL cast members.

Originally scheduled to return on March 28 with A Quiet Place Part II star, writer, director, and executive producer John Krasinski as host and Dua Lipa as musical guest, the show instead went on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several talk-show hosts have been broadcasting from home while self-quarantining with family, including The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Jimmy Kimmel and Live (From His House), and The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert.

No word yet on whether the SNL episode will be a one-off or have special guest stars or a musical guest.


Apple TV+ Offers Originals for Free

Dickinson season 1 keyart (Apple TV+)

Joining the fight against your family’s stay-at-home stir-crazy, Apple TV+ is offering several originals for free for a limited time. Head to apple.co/FreeForEveryone to access the following series and films for free in the Apple TV app:

The Elephant Queen (2019) 91% [movie]
Little America: Season 1 (2020) 95%
Servant: Season 1 (2019) 84%
For All Mankind: Season 1 (2019) 73%
Dickinson: Season 1 (2019) 75%
Helpsters: Season 1 (2019) 80%
Ghostwriter: Part 1 (2019) 100%
Snoopy in Space: Season 1 (2019) 100%

Customers in the U.S. in over 100 countries can start watching free Apple Originals from Apple TV+ now on the Apple TV app. The Apple Originals will join other free premium content from channels partners available in the Apple TV app.

The Apple TV app is available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, and Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices.


West Wing Alum Rob Lowe and Ryan Murphy Mull Teaming for Joe Exotic Scripted Drama


For a guy stuck in a Texas jail cell, Joe Exotic is sure enjoying more than a quick moment in the Hollywood spotlight. The eccentric star of Netflix’s wildly popular docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is at the center of an ever-growing list of official and unofficial Netflix spin-offs, including a potential scripted adaptation of Exotic’s story that would star Rob Lowe as the infamous tiger park proprietor and be produced by Ryan Murphy, Deadline reports.

Lowe, who currently stars in the Murphy-created and produced Fox drama 9-1-1: Lone Star, tossed out a teaser about the series in an Instagram post in which he also included a spot-on photo of himself dressed as Joseph “Exotic” Maldonado-Passage. Additional details on the series were not provided, but Deadline says the talks are in the preliminary stages. The series would presumably be set up at Netflix, where Murphy has a nine-figure deal.

The Lowe-Murphy project would also be the second scripted spin on the story about the one-time Oklahoma tiger zoo owner who is now serving a 22-year sentence for his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot of his tiger park rival, and Tiger King co-star, Carole Baskin. Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon is executive producing, and will star as Baskin, in the currently-in-development Joe Exotic series that’s based on season 2 of the Over My Dead Body podcast from Wondery.

In other Tiger King News:

  • Joel McHale will host The Tiger King and I, a Netflix aftershow that will premiere on April 12. The special will include new interviews with show stars John Reinke, Joshua Dial, John Finlay, Saff, Erik Cowie, Rick Kirkman, and Jeff and Lauren Lowe, and was announced by Netflix via Twitter, with McHale in an Tiger King-y getup.
  • In the midst of the pandemic-boosted streaming viewership, the series drew 34 million viewers in the first 10 days of its release, besting the ratings for Stranger Things 2 by more than three million viewers, as per Nielsen.
  • On April 13 (9 p.m.), Harvey Levin will host the Fox special TMZ Investigates: Tiger King – What Really Went Down? The hour-long episode will see Levin tackle Joe Exotic’s legal woes and “whether or not (he) is guilty,” with interviews, an “inside” look into the disappearance of Carole Baskin’s husband (the one, as per suggestions floated in the Netflix docuseries, may have been fed to a tiger), and an update on the current status of all the Tiger King dramas.
  • Investigation Discovery is getting in on the Joe Exotic game with a new special called Investigating the Strange World of Joe Exotic. The episode will reportedly include exclusive footage, and will also delve deeper into the death of Carole Baskin’s husband, as well as Tiger King’s other colorful characters, Myrtle Beach animal park owner Doc Antle, and Joe Exotic friend-turned-enemy Jeff Lowe.

Meanwhile, even as Donald Trump has commented on the Tiger King fun, might we suggest Lifetime get in on the story? Because we really want to know more about Joe and his five husbands, especially after seeing the full YouTube footage of Exotic’s three-groom wedding with John Finlay and Travis Maldonado.


New Trailers: Chris Hemsworth Tries to Rescue a Crime Lord’s Son in the Netflix Thriller Extraction

More trailers:

  • Homecomingseason 2, starring Janelle Monáe and Chris Cooper (Prime Video)
  • Mrs. America, a miniseries about the movement to ratify the Equal Right Amendment, starring Cate Blanchett and Rose Byrne (FX)
  • After Life, season 2, starring Ricky Gervais (Netflix)
  • Selah and the Spades, a teen drama film starring Lovie Simone, Jharrel Jerome, Gina Torres, and Celeste O’Connor (Prime Video)
  • Betty, a teen skateboarding drama, starring Dede Lovelace (HBO)
  • The Half of It, a teen romantic comedy starring Leah Lewis (Netflix)
  • Stargirl, season 1, starring Brec Bassinger (DC Universe)
  • Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind, documentary (HBO)
  • In the Dark, season 2, starring Perry Mattfeld (The CW)
  • The Midnight Gospel, an animated series co-created by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward (Netflix)
  • Snowpiercer, season 1, an adaptation of the movie of the same name by Parasite Oscar winner Bong Joon-ho (TNT)

For all the latest TV and streaming trailers, subscribe to the Rotten Tomatoes TV YouTube channel.


Disney+ Revives Doogie Howser, M.D.

DOOGIE HOWSER, M.D., Neil Patrick Harris
(Photo by ABC/courtesy Everett Collection)

Disney+ now has 50 million subscribers, which is nearly double the amount it had in early February, Disney announced this week. The streaming service launched in November.

One of Disney+’s next big things: a reboot of Doogie Howser, M.D. The new series will be called Doogie Kealoha, M.D., and it will revolve around a 16-year-old Asian-American girl who, like Neil Patrick Harris’ Doogie in the original series, is a genius who graduated college and med school and is now working as a doctor in a Hawaiian hospital. The series is created by Emmy-nominated How I Met Your Mother and Fresh Off the Boat producer Kourtney Kang.


Casting News: Lisa Kudrow Playing Steve Carell’s Wife in Netflix Comedy Space Force

Steve Carell stars in Netflix series SPACE FORCE
(Photo by Netflix)

Lisa Kudrow has signed on to play Steve Carell’s wife in the Netflix comedy Space Force. Created by Carell and The Office producer Greg Daniels, the series revolves around four-star general Mark R. Naird (Carell), who wants to lead the Air Force, but is instead assigned to lead the new sixth brand of the Armed Forces, the Space Force. Emmy winner Kudrow will play Maggie Naird, who has spent two decades put her own dreams on the back burner to support Mark’s career. But with his new job, she decides to take her own future in a different direction.

Entourage alum Emmanuelle Chriqui has joined the cast of The CW’s Superman & Lois, where she will play Clark Kent’s (Tyler Hoechlin) childhood BFF.


Development News: Paul McCartney, Elton John, Lady Gaga, and Lizzo Among One World Concert Performers Who Will Honor Pandemic Health Care Workers

Paul McCartney, Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Lady Gaga are among the performers for One World: Together at Home, the April 18 two-hour concert that will air on ABC, CBS, NBC, and various other platforms, to honor the health care and other workers on the front lines of the global pandemic. Lady Gaga has worked with Global Citizen and the World Health Organization to raise $35 million for WHO and its pandemic initiatives ahead of the show, so the concert will focus on celebrating and thanking those who are working so tirelessly on the behalf of citizens around the world. John Legend, Chris Martin, Eddie Vedder, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Alanis Morissette, and Andrea Bocelli will also perform, and the special will also be carried via iHeartMedia, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yahoo, Twitch, Amazon Prime Video, Apple Music, Bravo, E!, MSNBC, SYFY, USA, Freeform, Nat Geo, BET, MTV, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, Paramount Network, Pop, TV Land and VH1, among many others. Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon will co-host the event. (Variety)

Starz has greenlit Black Mafia Family, a new drama series from Power executive producer and star 50 Cent and Power writer and producer Randy Huggins. A story about “love, family, and capitalism in the pursuit of the American dream,” the series tells the story of the real-life Flenory brothers, Detroit siblings Demetrius and Terry, whose loyalty helped make them one of the most successful and influential crime families in the country in the 1980s, as well as influential producers in the hip-hop industry, before they were prosecuted and sent to prison.

Beginning with the April 22 episode, The Masked Singer will get an aftershow, hosted by Nick Cannon on a “virtual stage.” Celebrity guests will join Cannon remote on The Masked Singer: After the Mask for the rest of season 3.

How much are sports fans missing new televised sporting events? So much that they’ll be willing to tune in for a game of H-O-R-S-E, ESPN hopes. Make that, pro H-O-R-S-E. On April 12, ESPN and its streaming app will air Horse Challenge, in which NBA and WNBA players will compete, remotely, in a game of the playground classic shootaround game. Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder), Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks), Tamika Catchings (retired WNBA all-star and MVP from the Indiana Fever, and a four-time Olympic gold medalist), Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls), Allie Quigley (Chicago Sky), Mike Conley Jr. (Utah Jazz), Paul Pierce (retired Boston Celtics all-star), and Chauncey Billups (a retired, five-time NBA All-Star) will compete, with four quarterfinal games on April 12, and semifinals and a championship game on April 16.

The Sopranos stars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa have launched the first two episodes of their Sopranos rewatch podcast Talking Sopranos.

Amazon Video has picked up the Dave Bautista action-comedy My Spy, which was set to be released in theaters on April 17. The film, which features Bautista playing a CIA agent who has to deal with a precocious 9-year-old girl when he’s assigned to investigate her family, had already been released in some countries and made $4 million at the international box office.

ABC will air a two-hour special to honor late, great producer, director, writer, and actor Garry Marshall on May 12. The Happy Days of Garry Marshall will include footage from Marshall’s many projects, as well as interviews with friends and people he worked with, including Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Don Most, Marion Ross, and Anson Williams from Happy Days; Cindy Williams, David Lander, and Michael McKean from Laverne & Shirley (which also starred Marshall’s sister, Penny Marshall); Richard Gere, Hector Elizondo, and Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman; Pam Dawber from Mork & Mindy; and Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, and Chris Pine from The Princess Diaries.

EPIX has greenlit a six-part docuseries, Helter Skelter, about the Charles Manson and the Manson Family murders. From Lesley Chilcott, a producer on the Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth documentary, the series will include never-before-seen interviews with members of the Manson Family and journalists on the scene. It premieres on the cable network on June 14.


Austin TV Fest Adapts for Stay-at-Home Contingent

The ninth annual ATX Festival, celebrating television each year in Austin, will be a virtual event this year. Retitled “ATX TV … from the Couch!,” the event will run from June 4-7.

Organizers will announce a new lineup of virtual panels at the ATX website.


Full Quarantine Ahead

The Full House cast filmed – remotely, as if it needed to be said at this point – a do-over of their opening credits sequence, to remind fans to stay at home during the pandemic.

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