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CBS seems to have offered mixed signals over whether it ever bought the rights to the “Judge Judy” library.
The Hollywood Reporter reported on Wednesday about an ongoing lawsuit between CBS and former “Judge Judy” producers Kaye Switzer and Sandi Spreckman, who were fired shortly after the show launched in 1996 even though they supposedly convinced its star, Judge Judith Sheindlin, to take her judicial talents to television.
Back in 2015, CBS signaled it wanted to extend “Judge Judy” for additional seasons, the report said. At the time, Sheindlin would agree to continue starring in the courtroom TV show only if she had rights to the show’s library. However, a 2017 press release from CBS announced that the network acquired the library back.
“I’m overjoyed that CBS will continue to shepherd my program and be the custodian of the library,” Sheindlin said in the press release. “They are the gold standard in television, and I’m fortunate to be in business with such talented people.”
But in the latest twist, according to court documents from the lawsuit obtained by THR, the sale may never have taken place after all.
“A review of the 2015 and 2017 agreements reflects that no such sale to Sheindlin ever occurred, and so no sale back to the CBS defendants occurred either,” CBS attorneys said in the court files this month. “The written contracts reflect that a sale to Sheindlin was contemplated, but never consummated.”
The lawyers also claimed the 2017 deal “canceled” the “contemplated transfer” of rights to the library.
Despite the new questions over its accuracy, the press release was still active on CBS’s website as of Wednesday.
In the lawsuit, Switzer and Spreckman were demanding all relevant documents from CBS and Sheindlin regarding the 2015 and 2017 negotiations, including emails exchanged between Sheindlin and former CBS attorney David Theodosopoulos. The network claimed the messages were protected under attorney-client privilege.
Both sides are scheduled to appear in court this Thursday to discuss the documents.
CBS declined to comment.
I really am not one to fangirl over reboots of my favorite 90s TV shows and movies simply because of the nostalgia factor. Time and time again, the reboot proves to not even come close to the original (and that’s why I don’t talk to my exes). BH90210 was a meta-clusterf*ck. Baywatch was a total disaster that even The Rock and Zac Efron couldn’t save. We don’t even talk about Mean Girls 2. And yet history does nothing to stop Hollywood from insisting on making reboot after reboot, demanding us millennials to get excited and watch it, even though we can still watch the original on repeat on Netflix. And what do we do? We play right into the narrative, with our “OMG A ‘GREASE’ REBOOT IS COMING” articles and our Twitter hype, never stopping to question if we should do something just because we technically can. And so today’s reboot that probably some people asked for, but I was definitely not one of them is Clueless. And, while we don’t know a whole lot about the Clueless reboot, what we do know is… concerning.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Clueless is in talks to be remade into a TV series by CBS Television Studios, and it apparently already has multiple bidders. Deadline reports that multiple streaming services as well as the CW are interested. (My personal vote would be the CW since, as you’ll see in the description, this new Clueless would fit right in with the likes of Riverdale.) Again, we do not know much about what this Clueless reboot will entail, but we do know that it’s going to be executive produced by Corinne Brinkerhoff, who created American Gothic and No Tomorrow, and it’s going to be written by Jordan Reddout and Gus Hickey, who wrote Will and Grace. These are some interesting choices, but not nearly as interesting as the description of the TV show Entertainment Weekly provided.
This Clueless reboot TV show is actually going to be centered around Dionne, and I sincerely hope that they are not even considering bringing Stacey Dash into this—not even as the new Dionne’s mom—because her problematic behavior does not need to be brought back into the public consciousness. In any case, Dionne is the main character, as Cher Horowitz disappears, and Dionne is forced to step into her role as Queen Bee. Or, as the unofficial description puts it, “a baby pink and bisexual blue-tinted, tiny sunglasses-wearing, oat milk latté, and Adderall-fueled look at what happens when the high school Queen Bee (Cher) disappears and her life-long No. 2 (Dionne) steps into Cher’s vacant Air Jordans. How does Dionne deal with the pressures of being the new most popular girl in school, while also unraveling the mystery of what happened to her best friend, all in a setting that is uniquely 2020 L.A.?”
First, in what world does Cher Horowitz wear Air Jordans? I don’t know about you guys, but I just took an Adderall, and that description still gave me a headache. (Just kidding mom, it was only a Sudafed!) This kind of reminds me of Euphoria, and I’m bregrudgingly into the idea that the creators are making their Clueless reboot grittier and darker. However, this whole description reads like these writers Googled “millennial buzzwords” and threw them all together in a word salad. Or, if you’re looking for a visual description:
If this all sounds familiar, that’s because Clueless was already adapted into a TV show. It aired from 1996-1999 and starred Amy Heckerling as Cher (since Alicia Silverstone wasn’t available) and Stacey Dash as Dionne. However, while the ’90s TV show was not much of a departure from the original movie, this 2020 adaptation is going to be markedly different. For all my complaining, I actually think that if you’re going to revive a 90s classic, you need to go in a totally different direction with it. So that I support. The thing is, though, this could have been a totally new TV show and it would have still been compelling. There was no real reason to bring Cher and Dionne into this. That said, I did watch and enjoy Riverdale season one, so if the Clueless TV series is in the same vein, it might actually be good… until it jumps the shark in season 2.
Images: Giphy (2)
This is a preview of our pop culture newsletterThe Daily Beasts Obsessed,written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week,sign up for it here.
Remember when everyone was like, Whats going to happen to HBO when Game of Thrones ends? And, like, Is TV dead as we know it?
I mean, I guess its understandable to want to stage a funeral for great television while watching that final season of Thrones. (Burn!) But two drama series have aired on the network in the time since Kings Landing fell, each of which I would rank leagues above Thrones on any year-end Best of TV list: Years and Years and the second season of Succession.
The former found a near-miraculous way to be topical about todays rabies-ridden sociopolitical discourse, while the latter took the mantle when it comes to watercooler buzz and, especially, with media and Twitter obsession. In addition to those two, the second season of Big Little Lies was a major ratings and press boon.
But with Watchmen, theres not just a third drama series of excellence entering the mix, but one that I think will, if not quite have the same reach as Thrones, fuel a fanbase of people who just will not stop talking about it.
Watchmen premieres Sunday and shares two unmistakable characteristics with that show: It is visually astonishing, with each frame more ambitious, stunning, and remarkable than the one before. You also have no idea what the hell is going on at any given moment. If you liked that about Game of Thrones, youll LOVE it about Watchmen.
That a series which poses such a fascinating narrative conundrum would count Damon Lindelof as its creator should come as no surprise; as the man behind Lost and The Leftovers, hes proven a penchant for a certain kind of dazzling befuddlement that evolves into brilliance. The series is an adaptation inspired by the revered DC Comics 12-part series from writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, but which the HBO creative team involved refers to as more of a remix.
I have not read the comic series, so I have no idea what that means, but I can say that I didnt feel like I needed to have read it to enjoy the episodes of the HBO show that I watched. I also saw the notoriously maligned 2009 Zack Snyder film adaptation, but dont remember anything about it besides its insane sex scene: as Patrick Wilsons legendary bottom thrusts and a fully-nude Malin Ackerman gyrates, Leonard Cohens Hallelujah plays.
Anyway, what I am getting at is that you dont need to be familiar with these things to watch the show.
The show itself presents a sort of sci-fi alt-history, set in a contemporary America where Robert Redford is serving the longest presidential term in history. He has signed into law reparations for black Americans. Vietnam is a state. Things are…different. But as a jolting reminder of how not-different things are, or at least have been through history, the series starts with a violent, brutal dramatization of the very real 1921 Tulsa massacre, in which as many as 300 black citizens were killed.
That real history haunts the shows alt-history, where, in the present day, white supremacists are hunting down police officers. These officers now wear masks to conceal their identities for their own safety, and are working alongside masked vigilantes, like Regina Kings Sister Night, who is a former cop named Angela.
Theres a lot to say and untangle about the ties between white supremacy and institutions like the police force, as well as the very ideas of policing and justice in general, which are coming untethered among escalating racial tensions. What lands and what doesnt land is subjective in Watchmen, and you cant shake the feeling that you need to watch the series unfold entirely before ruling one way or the other.
Of course, the journalists and critics (hi!) telling you to watch this because its really damn good have had the luxury of seeing six full episodes. Id go ahead and comfort you by saying if youre intrigued enough by all of the huh? in episode one, you get many answers in episode twothough, my god, not all, not even close. Quote Kings Angela after a particularly baffling, though thrilling, moment: What the fuck?
Same, girl. And often. But by the time Jean Smart enters in episode three, you know I was on board, full-stop. She gives one of my favorite performances of the year as a former superhero-turned-FBI agent, a perfect complement to my nightly bingeing of her work as Charlene Frasier on Designing Womena TV series I have mentioned in this newsletter far more often than I really should.
Former Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell has died at the age of 55, her manager has confirmed.
Bracknell, who played Zoe Tate in the soap for 16 years, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2016.
A statement on behalf of her family confirmed “with the deepest sadness” that Bracknell died last month.
“Leah had an energy and enthusiasm for life, a kind heart and much love to give to those around her,” it read.
“Leah continued to embrace life and faced her illness with positivity.”
Bracknell also had television roles in Judge John Deed, A Touch of Frost, The Royal Today and DCI Banks, as well as performing on stage and in pantomime.
In February, the actress spoke of the debilitating effects terminal cancer had had on her, leaving her feeling like she was “trapped in a cage”.
“If only you could find the door and step out to freedom and life as it was before,” she wrote.
“If only you could wake from the nightmare: dawn breaks and you realise that it was all just a bad dream. And life is wonderfully normal again. Yes, if only.”
Her family have asked for privacy, but said “many aspects of Leah’s journey can be found on her blog.”
ITV drama boss John Whiston paid tribute to a “much-loved” former colleague, noting how her gay on-screen character blazed a trail.
“Everyone on Emmerdale is very sad to hear of the death of Leah Bracknell,” he said in a statement.
“Leah was a hugely popular member of the Emmerdale cast for over 16 years. During that time she featured in some of the show’s most high profile and explosive plots and always delivered a pitch perfect performance.”
He added: “Zoe Tate was one of soap’s first lesbian characters and Leah made sure the character was both exciting and credible. Leah herself was a very generous and caring colleague, much loved by cast and crew alike.”
Bracknell left the series in 2005 in an episode voted the best exit at the British Soap Awards the following year.
The multi-talented mother-of-two was also known for her work teaching at the British School of Yoga and for creating her own line of jewellery.
Her battle with cancer came to light when her partner launched a Go Fund Me page to raise money for her to undergo treatment overseas, due to a lack of options available to them on the NHS.
More than 2,500 fans joined together to raise £50,000 to help pay for her treatment in Germany.
She thanked everyone involved, adding: “I really did not expect or feel deserving of such interest and kindness.”
Speaking on ITV’s Loose Women in February , she said she had a positive outlook on life and was not fearful despite being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
However, in August she revealed her cancer treatment had stopped working.
She appeared on ITV again in December on Lorraine Kelly’s show, where she revealed how much she hated people taking pity on her due to her condition.
“I think I just decided, it’s still my life, but other people were writing me off quicker and even people close to me, they’d come and – I don’t mean to be unkind – but people were embarrassed, or didn’t know what to say.
“They come in and they’re feeling very sorry and very pitiful, and actually it’s the worst – the one thing that nobody wants is pity.
“It’s obviously part of one’s life, whether it’s cancer or another disease or chronic condition, but the point is, it’s life. It’s living. I’m alive until the point I am not. And that to me is the key, not to surrender to something else.”
(CNN)Many heads turned when the moderators of the fourth Democratic debate ended the three-hour extravaganza with this: “…we’d like you to tell us about a friendship that you’ve had that would surprise us and what impact it’s had on you and your beliefs.” The question, it was explained, stemmed from a recent controversy that arose when some objected to Ellen DeGeneres sitting and laughing with former President George W. Bush, whose policies while president were anti-LGBTQ. The question was designed to use a high-profile current event to take the measure of the candidates’ values.