The Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour has begun. Twice a year, the TCA meets in Los Angeles, including over 200 journalists from across America and Canada, to interview the stars and creators of television shows. Rotten Tomatoes is attending panels and snagging interviews between now and January 18 to cover the daily news revealed in these sessions. Beginning Thursday with Audience Network’s reception, and continuing in a series of visits to Hollywood sound stages on Friday, Rotten Tomatoes has the latest news on Star Trek: Discovery, the upcoming Honeymooners reboot, a new Stephen King miniseries, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Good Place, and more.
CBS Television Studios president David Stapf told Rotten Tomatoes that writers of Star Trek: Discovery have completed “a few” scripts, readying for production later this month. Bryan Fuller had stepped down as show runner with Akiva Goldsman stepping up, but Stapf assures us that Discovery is still the same show Fuller described at Comic-Con and TCA presentations in the summer.
Stapf also told Rotten Tomatoes the proposed reboot of the classic sitcom The Honeymooners puts a feminist wrinkle in the Ralph Kramden–Edward Norton friendship. Ed and Trixie Norton are back together after a five-year separation, which gives him a different perspective on marriage than Ralph. “Ed is much more of a newfound feminist because he has come to appreciate what he didn’t have and didn’t appreciate in Trixie,” Stapf said. The pilot has yet to be picked up by a network or to be cast.
Audience Network head Chris Long told Rotten Tomatoes that the Stephen King miniseries Mr. Mercedes could only air on a pay service. While broadcast networks have done King’s It, The Stand, The Shining, and more as miniseries, Mr. Mercedes would still be taboo.
In King’s novel, the serial killer has a sexual relationship with his mother. It won’t be gratuitous, but Long said the descriptions King wrote will be presented faithfully in ways that would not pass broadcast standards and practices.
“I don’t think you’re ready for the mother making out with her son on broadcast television,” Long told us. “You’d get a lot of issues with your advertising.”
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend returned with a double episode Friday night. That morning, star Rachel Bloom and producer Aline Brosh McKenna spoke to Rotten Tomatoes about upcoming episodes. The preview shows musical legend Patti LuPone guest starring, and Bloom assured fans she sings. Bloom added there will be a ’70s number and hard rock song akin to AC/DC in future episodes.
McKenna also revealed plans to release an extended cut of the song “Period Sex” online.
“It’s actually one of the filthiest things ever so it can’t go on the show,” McKenna said.
On the set of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen explained that the current season is divided into three sections. Ghost Rider was the first section, and the second part is dealing with Melinda May as a Life Model Decoy, but they would not reveal the subject of the third.
They added, however, that Ghost Rider could return.
“That chapter is not closed,” Tancharoen said. “He slipped away for a moment but it’s not closed.”
In this week’s return of The Good Place, Tahani (Jameela Jamil) said she had an idea to allow Eleanor (Kristen Bell) to remain in The Good Place. Series creator Mike Schur revealed her plan is to apply the points system (positive for good deeds, negative for bad) to the afterlife. Next week’s episode will start to show how that idea falls apart.
“That episode ends with essentially certain people for certain reasons deciding to just go on the lam,” Schur said.
Judy Becker, production designer on the FX series Feud gave reporters a tour of the sets. The series stars Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford and Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis making the movie What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Becker said they found the original piano, sofa, and birdcage from the Crawford-Davis movie in Hollywood prop houses, and they are featured on their recreation of the movie set.
The cast of NBC’s The Carmichael Show performed a table read in front of reporters. The comedy series, which frequently addresses hot-button issues, deals with rape in an episode called “Yes Means Yes.” Characters debate what constitutes consent, discussing recent examples like Nate Parker, Casey Affleck, and Ben Roethlisberger.
Other season 3 episodes will address gun violence and mass shootings, body image, rules within the African-American community, Nekeisha (Tiffany Haddish)’s backstory in foster care, and the return of Marla Gibbs as Frances, dealing with Alzheimer’s. NBC has not announced a premiere date for season 3 of the series.