Summary of “Spotify’s grand plan for podcasts is taking shape”

In the month since Spotify announced plans to spend up to $500 million on podcasting, it’s homed in on exclusive content plans, hinted at ongoing work to improve discovery, and broadly started to construct a picture of how it views the future of podcasts.
Spotify spent more than $300 million to acquire Gimlet Media, the maker of Reply All and other popular shows, and Anchor, the company behind an app that allows anyone to easily create their own podcasts.
This much is clear: Spotify knows podcasts can generate ad revenue – podcasts are estimated to bring in $659 million in revenue by 2020 – and it’s willing to invest in exclusive content to make sure that people listen on its platform.
Helping a listener find a new show that they’re guaranteed to like is difficult, and no company has made a recommendation algorithm as successful for podcasts as Netflix has made for movies and TV. Spotify has been successful in this realm when it comes to music, with playlists like Discover Weekly, and it intends to create the same kind of feature for podcasts.
Gimlet Media as the Marvel to Spotify’s Disney Creating new podcasts and making Spotify the only place to find them is going to play a big part in Spotify’s podcast strategy.
Spotify isn’t the only company hoping that its exclusive podcasts will compel listeners to pay for access.
“The wider Spotify organization wanted to give Anchor superpowers.” Anchor CEO Michael Mignano tells The Verge’s Vergecast podcast that his company’s creation tools are what made it attractive to Spotify.
Spotify already builds ads into its listening platform for non-paying users, and certain Spotify shows, like the Dissect show with Sonos, have exclusive partnerships that its ad team negotiates on an individual basis.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bill Hader Kills”

In the aughts, when Hader was establishing himself as an actor, he gave a series of bravura performances: a yes-man studio executive in “Tropic Thunder,” a melancholy cop in “Superbad,” an Army private who smokes some experimental weed and loses all his inhibitions in “Pineapple Express.” Judd Apatow, who produced a number of films in which Hader appeared, recalls that, after Seth Rogen acted with him in the 2006 film “You, Me and Dupree,” he said, “I have found the guy who we all are going to want to work with forever.”
When Hader enthused about a cinematic detail-like how the flame in “Schindler’s List” is in color, but as it dies out the film becomes black-and-white-he’d say, “I love that you notice those things!” When Hader was seventeen, his grandfather died of pancreatic cancer.
John Mulaney, Hader’s writing partner on the show, said, “People flailing always made Bill laugh, and we both find many forms of masculinity very stupid.” He and Hader often exchange lionhearted Germanic nonsense in the voice of Werner Herzog, the “Grizzly Man” director.
Hader told me, “No matter what I do from now on, my obituary is going to say, ‘”Saturday Night Live” star Bill Hader is dead.’ ” When he left, in 2013, after eight seasons, Hollywood saw him not as an actor but as a performer.
“It’s one of those jobs, like dogcatcher, that exist in fiction but not in real life. Bill said, ‘It wouldn’t be a cool hit man-it’d be me.’ I added something I’m interested in: what if you have a gift, but you hate it? Bill was like that at ‘S.N.L.,’ so suddenly the story was personal. And that immediately got us into ‘What does he really want to do?’ I said, ‘What if he wanted to be an actor?'” As they wrote the pilot, in 2015, Berg realized that Hader, unlike Barry, didn’t aspire to present himself as an actor.
As Berg was driving home, the network called to ask whether Hader was up to the task, and he loyally replied, “It’s not an issue.” Hader wound up directing the first three episodes.
Hader noted, “But something in Barry has to hold on to this dream. Because the only other version is he kills himself.” In “Barry” ‘s first season, a legendary Chechen hit man named Stovka, faced with the prospect of killing yet more people, dully declares, “There is only one true way out,” and shoots himself.
Hader acknowledges, “We always saw Stovka as the ghost of Barry future.” In a sense, Hader is slowly rubbing out, onscreen, the actor part of himself.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Fox Rocked by $179M ‘Bones’ Ruling: Lying, Cheating and “Reprehensible” Studio Fraud”

The 66-page ruling by arbitrator Peter Lichtman, who concludes Fox executives lied, cheated and committed fraud at the expense of the show’s stars and executive producer Barry Josephson, is about a whole lot more.
In coming to a decision, Lichtman describes how some of Fox’s top executives, including 21st Century Fox president Peter Rice and Fox TV CEO Dana Walden plus Fox TV chairman Gary Newman “Appear to have given false testimony in an attempt to conceal their wrongful acts.” According to the ruling, Fox has taken a “Cavalier attitude toward its wrongdoing” and exhibits a “Company-wide culture and an accepted climate that enveloped an aversion for the truth.”
The complaints called out Fox’s “Leading role in the well-documented history of Hollywood accounting scandals,” referencing past litigation over M*A*S*H*, The X-Files, NYPD Blue and Cops, and took issue with “Sweetheart” self-dealing between Fox’s studio and network arms as well as Hulu, in which Fox had a 30 percent stake.
In arbitration, Fox attempted to justify the low license fees that Fox Broadcasting, Hulu and Fox’s foreign affiliates were paying its studio division for rights to air the series.
“We were not allowed to get that information from the network,” testified Walden, who at the time ran the Fox studio but not Fox Broadcasting, when asked about the possibility of finding out what the network paid for similar shows in their middle seasons.
The issues go beyond – far beyond – what Fox was paying Fox for rights to air the show and the company’s efforts to do so without legal consequence.
One Fox executive testified that it was his understanding that Fox Broadcasting got full-season “Stacking rights” for Bones – meaning that it could distribute all of the episodes of the current season to the show at a given time.
Despite protestations from Fox throughout the years and in arbitration that paying more for Bones would have resulted in its demise, the arbitrator finds there’s no evidence that the broadcaster ever canceled a Top 20 hit like this show, and with further word that Bones was driving significant profits for Fox’s parent company, Lichtman finds, “Had Fox performed its contractual obligations, it would have looked to House as the comparable program, negotiated fairly, and paid the license fee accordingly.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Julia Louis-Dreyfus Fought For Her Spot in Comedy”

Ask Julia Louis-Dreyfus how much of her is in Selina Meyer, the politician she plays on HBO’s Veep, and she grins.
In the noxious politician, Louis-Dreyfus finds a pressure valve for the anger and frustration many women bottle up in public.
The show has made Louis-Dreyfus, 58, arguably the most decorated television comedy actress in history.
Like Selina, Louis-Dreyfus has managed to navigate the catch-22 of a business in which likability is power-but power has a way of making women “Unlikable.” Selina is at once a ruthless satire of this kind of double standard and a testament to Louis-Dreyfus’ singular ability to defy it.
Louis-Dreyfus eventually found success with The New Adventures of Old Christine, a CBS comedy in which she played a divorced mom trying to navigate family and romance.
Louis-Dreyfus, Holofcener says, had a way of making men listen to her and a habit of sticking up for other women.
Louis-Dreyfus sees progress in the advances women have made in the entertainment industry.
Of Louis CK, who’s been trying to come back from his sexual-misconduct scandal by, of all things, mocking mass-shooting survivors, Louis-Dreyfus says she was “Offended by his most recent comments,” but also that he’s a talented comedian.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Tribute to Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano”

Falco’s performance as Carmela Soprano, the sharp, bejewelled wife of the mobster Tony Soprano, had a wholeness and an independence to it; it was never defined by Gandolfini and her other scene partners, however excellent they were.
Carmela could be both tactful and tacky, and her insights about other people-such as a flirty priest who chases the “Whiff of sexuality” through overinvolved emotional relationships with parish housewives, Carmela included-coexist with severe blind spots about morality and judgement.
Falco gave even Carmela’s hypocritical piety an affecting, robust texture.
Carmela employs her Catholicism selectively, extracting forgiveness for her misdeeds when she needs it, but here we see another thing that her faith has given her: the ability to gaze with a maudlin but sincere affection at a piece of religious art.
Falco plays the moment completely straight, and Carmela’s genuine connection to the painting is one that we can’t quite bring ourselves to deny her.
Carmela paces Tony’s hospital room, playing him CDs from her car and kissing his bald head, with the sound of his breathing machine going in the background.
Perhaps that’s why the scenes are so tender: we see Tony as only Carmela can make herself see him, as a kind of fantasy husband, devoid of brutishness, whose image is founded on her teen-age memories.
At one point, a doctor informs Carmela that Tony likely won’t make it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How ’30 Rock’ Made Tracy Morgan’s Fake Award Into a Real-Life Goal”

Part 1: Tracy Learns What an EGOT Is Kay Cannon: In the 30 Rock writers’ room, we had a group of people who really had their finger on the pulse of what was going on in pop culture and just things that have happened in the past.
Part 2: Tracy Gets His EGOT Necklace Cannon: Tracy already wore a lot of necklaces and chains and stuff like that in general, so it just seemed natural for him to put on the EGOT necklace.
Part 3: Tracy Meets Whoopi After purchasing the necklace, Tracy seeks advice from Whoopi Goldberg, a real-life EGOTer, about how to EGOT. On his way out, he attempts to steal her Oscar.
Part 5: Tracy Gets a Tony Tracy stages an improvised one-man Broadway show and receives rave reviews.
Ceraulo: The one-man show came from looking at it as, “OK, it’s Tracy Jordan, and he’s gonna try to win a Tony award. Again, he’s not gonna do it correctly. He’s gonna do it in a Tracy Jordan way, so what would he do?”.
Morgan: The phone book thing came from Chris Rock saying one time that Tracy Morgan could make the phone book sound funny.
Scardino: As unlikely as it is for Tracy to become an EGOT, then there was the additional problem of “Well, now you actually have a standard you are going to be held to and live up to.” And that was fun to shoot, because any time Tracy gets to act like a big baby and complain was funny.
I’ve got two Emmy awards, but ultimately, the truth is 30 Rock was a great, great, creative expression by so many people and made so many people laugh, and who cares if we won awards or not? That’s not really the point, so I think that’s what we’re finally saying with the Tracy story is like, it’s kind of baloney.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Yanxi Palace: Why China turned against its most popular show”

The story of Yanxi Palace, a drama about life in imperial China, broke records when it was released last year.
It was streamed more than 15 billion times on China Netflix-like iQiyi and became the most watched online drama in China for 39 consecutive days.
“It could be that the show became too popular outside China,” says Mr Rosen.
So if a show is popular outside China but carries the wrong values, authorities might think it’s better to not have it at all.
President Xi Jinping is promoting the idea of the rise of China as peaceful, and that China believes in harmony.
Yanxi Palace paints an image of a China of intrigue and backstabbing.
“Historical dramas have been popular in China since the 1990s,” says Ms Koetse.
Both movies were successful in China and have received international praise – but they don’t depict the version of China that Beijing wants to world to hear.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Pamela Adlon, the TV Auteur Hiding in Plain Sight”

After decades on the fringes of Hollywood, the showrunner, writer, and actor talks about “Better Things,” sudden success, and her relationship with Louis C.K. Each day, on the set of her show “Better Things,” the director and actor Pamela Adlon retreats to a small room while the cast and crew eat lunch.
Felicia Fasano, the show’s casting director, has known Adlon for almost fourteen years, but after reading the script of the “Better Things” pilot she called Adlon to apologize: “I’m so sorry for all those times I’ve made you have dinner with me! Oh, my God, I forget how busy you are.”
She befriended Lenny Kravitz in high school; he was a guest star in the first season of “Better Things.” As a teen-ager, Adlon was friendly with Katey Sagal, who played Peggy Bundy in “Married with Children” and who starred in the FX series “Sons of Anarchy.” Through Sagal, Adlon met Allee Willis, an eccentric artist and songwriter two decades her senior-she co-wrote the “Friends” theme song, plus hits for Earth, Wind & Fire.
Adlon and two friends made one that was chosen as a finalist, an achievement that she describes as “The most exciting thing in my life.” Around the same time, she helped direct a documentary called “Street Sweep.” Adlon and her friends would head to downtown Los Angeles to befriend and film people who had become homeless as a result of President Reagan’s federal housing-budget cuts.
Adlon married the movie producer Felix Adlon, in 1997.
In one of the many phone calls between Adlon and C.K. “To process,” Adlon told him that she, too, would need to sever ties.
“She was trying to promote her movie.” Even Gideon Adlon was asked about C.K., during the run-up to her d├ębut feature film, “Blockers.” At the Emmy Awards last September, where Adlon was one of the nominees for Best Actress, she avoided red-carpet interviews in order to dodge questions about C.K. Now every time his name pops up in the news-which is increasingly often, since he has made a foray back into standup comedy-she asks the people around her to refrain from talking about him.
Recommended StoriesCulture Desk”Better Things,” Pamela Adlon’s Unlikely Ode to Single MotherhoodOn her FX comedy, Adlon celebrates the special bonds that can develop in a household of only women.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Jennifer Aniston cried in my lap’: the inside story of Friends”

Twenty-five years on, Friends is still one of the most successful television shows of all time.
Before Friends became a cultural phenomenon, before the “Which friend are you?” quizzes, the layered haircuts and the cries of: “We were on a break!” – and before the show became a trusted companion on hungover days spent in bed – Friends was just another television pilot being tested for NBC executives in the hope of being picked up.
By the end of the 1994-1995 season, Friends is the eighth most-watched show on air.
In the two and a half decades since Friends first aired, the show has been continually rerun.
In recent years, critics have re-evaluated the show’s legacy, identifying problematic storylines and criticising Friends for its lack of diversity.
Now, 25 years since the show first aired, Friends is the most-streamed show in the UK, and perhaps even the most beloved TV show of all time.
Paget Brewster: A show like Friends was one in a million.
Aisha Tyler: There have been other shows that have advanced that concept of friends as chosen family, but Friends was just a perfect encapsulation of that idea.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Americans love the Great British Bake Off”

It’s the most British of shows, yet this world of Victoria sponges and Bakewell tarts has Americans transfixed.
What Americans often praise about the show is the lack of cut-throat competition or monetary incentives.
Incredulously, it continued: “That’s right: The winner of The Great British Baking Show wins a title and an engraved cake stand, and that’s it.”
“I’ve been so inspired by the show that I’ve just been using my time off in the kitchen to try new things,” she says.
The Great British Baking Show is now part of US culture.
Saturday Night Live has spoofed it; The Late Late Show has broadcast its staff bake-off; The Daily Show has used it to explain Brexit, calling it the Great British Break-Off.
Great British Bake Off contestant Val Stones is a regular visitor to the US, but says she started to get recognised a lot more this year, after the show went up on Netflix.
“The Great British Baking Show,” it concluded, has become “The perfect set of arms to run into”.

The orginal article.