WATCH MY SHOW: ‘Girls5Eva’s’ Meredith Scardino Fills Out Our Showrunner Seven
I’ve had the “Girls5eva” songs in my head for days, and I can’t stop thinking about how enjoyable this Peacock show has been. Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Paula Pell and Busy Philipps star in the series, which comes from creator and EP Meredith Scardino. Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, David Miner, Eric Gurian and Jeff Richmond also serve as executive producers. Scardino filled out our Showrunner Seven to explain why “Girls5eva” is gonna be famous 5-eva.
Sum up your show’s pitch on one sentence. A girl-group from 1999 reunites to give their dreams another shot after their only hit is sampled by a young rapper.
What’s an alternate title for your show? I have been waiting for someone to ask me this since I sold this series. Throughout production, I kept expecting a call, “So we did focus group testing, and we need to change the name, ‘Girls5eva’ is a nonsense word, we can’t translate it internationally, the 5 and S look too similar next to each other… But good news, the group came up with ‘Sisterhood USA’, how about that?”
What do we need to know before tuning in? Just that it’s a comedy filled with jokes, flashbacks to the early aughts, and original music, though it’s not a musical. But pro-tip, a song featured in each episode is blown out into a full version over the credits. And that, at its core, “Girls5eva” is a show about four women who weren’t given the fairest shake back in the day trying again on their own terms and making each other better along the way.
Give us an equation for your show. Well, I can share our casting equation: Tina Fey + Phone Calls = Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Phillips and Paula Pell.
What’s the best thing someone said about your show? Paula Pell calls it a “joy bomb”; I like that.
If you could work on any other series in TV, what would it be? “The Righteous Gemstones.” I’m obsessed with Judy Gemstone (Edi Patterson). I would have loved to pitch on her Outback Steakhouse monologue.
Finish this sentence, ‘If you like, you’ll love our show.’ Roller skating. To be clear, there is no roller skating in the show. But if you like roller skating, you’re probably the kind of person who lives by your own rules, and “Girls5eva” has a similar joie de vivre. To be even clearer, this only applies to people who like roller skating. If you love roller skating, I don’t think you’ll love our show. Because for people who love roller skating, few things come between them and roller skating. They have a single purpose in life, and that’s to roller skate in a park to music they brought from home.
AWARDS CIRCUIT PODCAST: Cristin Milioti on How ‘Made For Love’ and ‘Palm Springs’ Accidentally Mirrored Pandemic Life
Cristin Milioti knows there’s a weird coincidental feel that her 2020 film “Palm Springs” and her 2021 series “Made For Love” both felt very timely as bookends to the pandemic. “Palm Springs” was about living the same day over and over again — something that felt very familiar during quarantine times — while “Made for Love” is all about feeling trapped and confined by your surroundings.
“I feel astronomically grateful and blessed that I was able to shoot anything during this time, and that I was able to put anything out,” Milioti tells Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast. “The fact that ‘Palm Springs’ came out when it did, and sort of resonated in this different way that we had no idea it would do. And the way that ‘Made for Love,’ weirdly, has resonated within like all of us being trapped and a slave to our technology… I can’t believe it.”
Mostly by coincidence, Milioti has found herself appearing in several projects with a sci-fi bent. And between “Palm Springs” and “Made for Love,” she’s also been hanging out in the desert quite a bit. We spoke with her about all of that, about the wild ride that is “Made for Love,” and her heartbreak at the lengthy shut down of Broadway. We began by discussing the string of success she has had over the past year, even in the midst of the pandemic.
Listen by clicking below!
Later in the episode: Later on, Jazz Tangcay chats with Catherine Zeta-Jones about her time on Fox’s “Prodigal Son,” which we just learned this week would not be moving forward with a third season. But first, on the Variety Awards Circuit roundtable, Clayton Davis joins us to dissect the huge Hollywood Foreign Press Association implosion and the news that 2022’s Golden Globes will not be moving forward. And we look at his first round of Emmy predictions.
Variety’s Emmy edition of the “Awards Circuit” podcast is hosted by Michael Schneider, Jazz Tangcay and Danielle Turchiano and is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in television. Each week during Emmy season, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Thursday.
Clearing Up Emmy Eligibility: ‘An American Pickle’ Is Not a Contender, But ‘Euphoria’ Is — Until It Isn’t
Seth Rogen‘s HBO Max film “An American Pickle” recently began appearing on lists of Emmy TV movie contenders, and why not — it’s a category bereft of many obvious frontrunners, and Seth Rogen is a known commodity. But one problem: “An American Pickle” had already been on the Oscar campaign trail.
“It was a film that was always on a theatrical track and one that was never planned to be submitted to Emmys,” one insider notes. But it’s also a function of these confusing platform times. The streamers are starting to place more of their original movies on the Emmy track, but the vast majority are still considered theatricals.
Then there’s the unique situation for “Euphoria,” which ran two special episodes during the Emmy eligibility season. That’s not enough for series consideration, but “Euphoria” is still an ongoing series, so it also can’t be thrown into the TV movie categories. As a result, the episodes are not eligible for program or acting categories, but they are eligible for categories such as writing and below-the-line fields.
The second special episode, titled “F*ck Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob,” which follows Jules (played by Hunter Schafer, above) over the Christmas holiday as she reflects on the year, was also co-written by Schafer, along with Sam Levinson. So she will be entered for writing there.
Here are how the “Euphoria” episodes will be entered:
“Trouble Don’t Last Always” (special episode 1): directing, single-camera picture editing, cinematography, music composition, production design and sound mixing.
“F**k Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob” (special episode 2): writing in a drama series, guest actress (Lauren Weedman), costumes, hair, makeup, music supervision, original music, sound editing, visual effects.
Study: Yes, Perhaps the Golden Globes Did Lead to Increased Viewership for Winners
It’s the age-old question: Do awards wins really translate to viewership for nominated and winning TV shows? The jury’s still out, but a new study from Reelgood suggests that the awareness and halo for winning series does have some sort of impact on audiences then tuning in.
Reelgood looked at both the Globes and Oscars, but we’ll just focus on the Globes and its TV categories here.
“Significant spikes in streaming activity for nominees and winners were observed via Reelgood’s panel of 2M+ monthly users in the United States,” the company reports.
“We took a look at the nominated movies and TV shows that were available via SVOD platforms and analyzed how great an effect the award shows had on each title’s viewership (i.e how much more streams and engagement did X movie/TV show garner after getting nominated, having won vs. its daily average).
“For TV, we looked at the lift for shows that were not as popular as the biggest nominated series such as ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ ‘The Queen’s Gambit,’ and ‘The Crown.’
“‘I Know This Much Is True’ and ‘Small Axe’ saw the biggest increase in streaming a day after they each won a Golden Globe. ‘Ted Lasso,’ which earned Apple TV Plus its first-ever Golden Globe (Jason Sudeikis won Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy Series) also saw 2.1x its typical daily streams the day after.
“The controversial ‘Emily in Paris’ from Netflix, despite not winning in the end, also got a significant rise in viewership on the days leading up to as well as after the Golden Globes.”
TV PICKS: ‘Snowfall’ Star Damson Idris Shares His Guilty Pleasures and More
We asked Damson Idris, who plays 1980s-era crack cocaine dealer Franklin Saint in FX’s “Snowfall,” to share his TV guilty TV pleasure (Can be of all time, or currently. Cheesy reality show? Campy sitcom? Obscure public access show? Anything applies!); his “deep cut” (the show he recommends that isn’t as well known, past or present); and “show mate” (the show that, if you were stuck on a desert island with only one DVD, you’d choose to be the most important/most influential/best TV show in your life). Here are his answers:
GUILTY TV PLEASURE: I used to love this Irish-British comedy show called “Mrs. Brown’s Boys.” It starred Brendan O’ Carroll who played this loud-mouthed garish Irish matriarch Agnes Brown. O’Carroll’s character would make me laugh to the point of tears. It was silly comedy but you couldn’t help indulging in the madness. It definitely was my guilty pleasure. My friends thought I was crazy.
DEEP CUT: It has to be “Peaky Blinders.” It has a really strong cast, great story telling and plot twists that just make it classic TV. It’s set in the 1900’s and is about a gang in Birmingham, UK. Cillian Murphy is brilliant as Tommy Shelby, the leader of this family gang. I can’t forget Tom Hardy who also stars in this epic as Alfie Solomons. I learnt Hardy’s characters ‘what line have I crossed’ monologue just so I could say it in the mirror. That show is fantastic and the late great Helen McCrory made it even more special.
SHOW MATE:“Luther” is a show I watch again and again and again. You know you love a show when you start to dress like the character. I couldn’t stop wearing trench coats. I was fully addicted and engrossed in the story. When it aired you had to watch it in real time, unless you wanted to be hanging around your friends with ear plugs in all day, as they shared all the spoilers after each episode. Every episode felt like a movie, the acting is superb and Idris Elba has always been an inspiration for me. Not just as an actor but as a black man out of London. We are now friends and I’m just waiting for my moment to beg him to cast me as an extra in an episode.
How the Finales of Long-Running Sitcoms ‘Last Man Standing’ and ‘Mom’ Signal the Fade of a TV Era
As long-running multicam sitcoms “Last Man Standing” and “Mom” wrap up their runs this month, it might very well also be the end of another chapter in TV history. Even as the broadcast networks prepare to order a crop of new series and announce their fall schedules next week, the idea that a new sitcom might make it to the once-vaunted threshold of 100 episodes — let alone more than that — seems antiquated.
For one thing, the big-bucks syndication marketplace of yore is mostly gone, making that four-season, 100-episode mark less necessary to reach. (Warner Bros. TV’s “Young Sheldon” was recently sold into syndication with 83 episodes, for example.) And in this age of primetime erosion and viewer migration to the streaming world, season orders are short — usually 10 episodes, a far cry from the once-common 22- or 24-episode count — and many comedies are wrapping up within a few years of launch. Or they take long hiatuses, keeping their episodic tally to a minimum.
While the two longest-running scripted series in U.S. history are still on the air (“The Simpsons” and “Law & Order: SVU”), as the comedy stalwarts of primetime disappear, it’s unclear whether new ones will ever match that longevity. “Last Man Standing” exits on May 20 with 194 episodes (over nine seasons and on two networks), while “Mom” ends its run on May 13 with 170 episodes over eight seasons.
WATCH MY SHOW: Rachel Lee Goldenberg (‘Unpregnant’) Fills Out Our Showrunner Seven
Based on the 2019 novel of the same name by Ted Caplan and Jenni Hendriks, HBO Max’s “Unpregnant” follows a pregnant teen whose decision to get an abortion leads her on a 1000-mile road trip to New Mexico over three days with her ex-best friend. The film was produced by Greg Berlanti,Sarah Schechter and Erik Feig and comes from director and writer Rachel Lee Goldenberg. Goldenberg, who won a Primetime Emmy award for short-format live-action entertainment program for producing ”Between Two Ferns” with President Obama in 2014, filled out our “Watch My Show” survey to share why we should tune in.
Sum up your show’s pitch on one sentence. Due to oppressive abortion laws, two ex-best friends must embark on a thousand mile road trip to get the procedure…what could go wrong?
What’s an alternate title for your show? “Dude, Where’s My Reproductive Rights?”
What do we need to know before tuning in? Haley and Barbie had to ride that insane carnival ride eight times in a row.
Give us an equation for your show. Thelma & Louise + Planes, Trains & Automobiles + a broken condom.
What’s the best thing someone said about your show? While I appreciated the positive response from critics and was profoundly moved by the many women who reached out to share their own experiences, I’ll never forget how CrypticLight2 posited “Wow great movie concept…..NOT!!😡”
If you could work on any other series in TV, what would it be? Would die for “Fleabag.”
Finish this sentence, ‘If you like, you’ll love our show.’ “If you like queer stuff, 1977 Pontiac Firebirds, Giancarlo Esposito, you’ll love our show.”
What’s Canceled? What’s Renewed? Here’s the Latest at the Broadcast Networks
Here’s the latest, according to Variety’s Kate Aurthur (see her whole list here):
Renewed “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “American Idol,” “Big Sky,” “Black-ish,” “The Conners,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Goldbergs,” “The Good Doctor,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Holy Moley,” “Home Economics” “A Million Little Things,” “The Rookie,” “Shark Tank,” “Station 19,” “Supermarket Sweep”
Renewed “B Positive,” “Bob Hearts Abishola,” “Blue Bloods,” “Bull,” “The Equalizer,” “FBI,” “FBI: Most Wanted,” “Magnum P.I.,” “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “The Neighborhood,” “Survivor,” “S.W.A.T.,” “Tough as Nails” (for two seasons), “United States of Al,” “Young Sheldon” (for three seasons!)
Ending “Mom,” “NCIS: New Orleans”
Canceled “All Rise,” “MacGyver,” “The Unicorn”
Renewed “All American,” “Batwoman,” “Charmed,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” (for Season 7) “Dynasty” (for Season 5), “The Flash,” “In the Dark” (for Season 4), “Killer Camp,” Kung Fu,” “Legacies,” “Nancy Drew,” “The Outpost,” “Penn & Teller: Fool Us,” “Riverdale,” “Roswell, New Mexico,” “Stargirl,” “Superman & Lois,” “Two Sentence Horror Stories,” “Walker”
Ending “The 100,” “Black Lightning,” “Burden of Truth,” “Pandora,” “Supergirl,” “Supernatural”
Renewed “9-1-1,” “9-1-1: Lone Star,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Call Me Kat,” “Duncanville,” “Family Guy,” “Friday Night Smackdown,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “The Great North,” “LEGO Masters,” “The Masked Dancer,” “The Masked Singer,” “The Resident,” “The Simpsons”
Ending “Last Man Standing”
Canceled “Bless the Harts,” “Filthy Rich,” “NeXt,” “Prodigal Son”
Renewed “The Blacklist,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Kenan,” “Law & Order: Organized Crime,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Mr. Mayor,” “New Amsterdam,” “This Is Us,” “Transplant,” “The Voice,” “The Weakest Link,” “Young Rock”
Canceled “Connecting,” “World of Dance”
The Week Ahead
Monday, May 17, 9 a.m. PT: NBCUniversal upfront presentation.
Monday, May 17, 1 p.m. PT: Fox Entertainment upfront presentation.
Monday, May 17, 5 p.m. PT: Variety Streaming Room presents An Exclusive Screening & Q&A With the Actors & Executive Producers of “The Conners.” Actor / executive producer Sara Gilbert, actor Lecy Goranson, actor Laurie Metcalf, executive producers Bruce Helford, Bruce Rasmussen and Dave Caplan of “The Conners” join Variety’s Michael Schneider in the Variety Streaming Room presented by ABC for an exclusive episode screening and Q&A.
In ABC’s “The Conners,” after a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. The Conners – Dan, Jackie, Darlene, Becky and D.J. – grapple with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. The family prevails through it all – the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance. Register for the panel here.
Monday, May 17, 5 p.m. PT: CBS Studios and MGM Television invite Television Academy National Active members to “Clarice” FYC event. Click here to watch the event on the Television Academy’s Viewing Platform.
Monday, May 17, 7 p.m. PT: Netflix invites Television Academy National Active members to “The Upshaws” FYC event. Click here to watch the event.
Monday, May 17, 8 p.m. PT: HBO invites Television Academy National Active members to “I May Destroy You” FYC event, at the HBO | HBO Max Drive-In Theatre at the Rose Bowl. Click here to register for the lottery to attend.
Tuesday, May 18, 7 a.m. PT: Discovery upfront presentation. (Watch David Zaslav do a victory dance in his fleece jacket vest!)
Tuesday, May 18, 10:30 a.m. Univision upfront presentation.
Tuesday, May 18, 1 p.m. PT: Disney Ad Sales upfront presentation.
Tuesday, May 18, 5 p.m. PT: Paramount Network invites Television Academy National Active members to “Younger” FYC event. Click here to watch the event on the Television Academy’s Viewing Platform.
Tuesday, May 18, 7 p.m. PT: 20th Television invites Television Academy National Active members to “Big Sky” FYC event. Click here to watch the event on the Television Academy’s Viewing Platform.
Tuesday, May 18, 7 p.m. PT: FX invites Television Academy National Active members to a virtual screening and panel discussion for “Archer.” Click here to watch the event.
Tuesday, May 18, 8 p.m. PT: HBO invites Television Academy National Active members to “Lovecraft Country” FYC event, moderated by Variety’s Angelique Jackson, at the HBO | HBO Max Drive-In Theatre at the Rose Bowl. Click here to register for the RSVP Lottery.
Wednesday, May 19, 8:30 a.m. PT: WarnerMedia upfront presentation. (Gonna be awkward!)
Wednesday, May 19, 1 p.m. PT: ViacomCBS upfront presentation.
Wednesday, May 19, 5 p.m. PT: Showtime invites Television Academy National Active members to “The Comey Rule” FYC event. James Comey, former FBI Director, will attend the panel, to be moderated by Nicolle Wallace, host of Deadline: White House on MSNBC. Click here to register for the event.
Wednesday, May 19, 5 p.m. PT: FX invites Television Academy National Active members to “Snowfall” FYC event. Click here to watch the event.
Wednesday, May 19, 8 p.m. PT: HBO invites Television Academy National Active members to “The Undoing” FYC event at the HBO | HBO Max Drive-In Theatre at the Rose Bowl. Click here to register for the RSVP Lottery.
Thursday, May 20, 5 p.m.: Variety Streaming Room presents: An Exclusive Q&A With the Creator, Actor, Director of Photography & Editor of “The Girlfriend Experience.” Executive producer, director and writer Anja Marquardt, actor Julia Goldani Telles, director of photography Zachary Galler and editor Nick Carew of “The Girlfriend Experience” join Variety’s Jenelle Riley in the Variety Streaming Room presented by Starz for an exclusive Q&A discussing clips from the show. Go here to register.
Thursday, May 20, 5 p.m. PT: MTV Documentary Films and Paramount Plus invite Television Academy National Active members to “76 Days” FYC event. Click here to watch the event on the Television Academy’s Viewing Platform.
Thursday, May 20, 8 p.m. PT: HBO MAX invites Television Academy National Active members to “Hacks” FYC event at the HBO | HBO Max Drive-In Theatre at the Rose Bowl. Click here to register for the RSVP lottery.
Friday, May 21, 5 p.m. PT: Netflix invites Television Academy National Active members to “Queer Eye” FYC event. Click here to register for the RSVP lottery.
Friday, May 21, 7 p.m. PT: FX invites Television Academy National Active members to “Mayans M.C.” FYC event. Click here to register for the event. Friday, May 21, 8 p.m. PT: HBO invites Television Academy National Active members to “A Black Lady Sketch Show” drive-in FYC event at the Rose Bowl. Click here to register for the RSVP Lottery.
Saturday, May 22, 2 p.m. PT: Amazon Studios invites Television Academy National Active members to “Sylvie’s Love” FYC event. Click here to watch the event.
Saturday, May 22, 7 p.m. PT: Amazon Studios invites Television Academy National Active members to “Solos” FYC event. Click here to register for the event.
Premiere dates:FRIDAY, MAY 21: “1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything” (Apple TV Plus), “The Bite” (Spectrum), “Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.” (Hulu); “Pause with Sam Jay” (HBO); “Solos” (Amazon Prime); “Trying” (returning/Apple TV Plus). SUNDAY, MAY 23: “Black Monday” (returning/Showtime), “The Chi” (returning/Showtime); “Flatbush Misdemeanors” (Showtime); “Duncanville” (returning/Fox); “In Treatment” (returning/HBO); “Master of None” (returning/Netflix)
Feel free to send your burning Emmy questions and suggestions to email@example.com, and your hot tips as well! Thanks for reading.