The Television Critics Association press tour arrived in Beverly Hills on July 25 and will continue through Aug. 9. Each day, Variety will publish a roundup of the most essential news items to come out of the day’s panels.
In today’s roundup, Hulu hopes to tap into nostalgia by licensing a series of 1980s-’90s Warner Bros. TV shows, and Mindy Kaling teased her series’ sixth and final season.
Hulu decided to license the shows — originally marketed by ABC as the “TGIF” block — as a group, including “Full House,” “Family Matters,” “Step by Step,” “Perfect Strangers,” and “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” as part of a bid to curate the library offerings in its vast archive of shows. By bringing viewers a mix of originals, newer off-network hits, and vintage favorites, Hulu hopes to out-compete Netflix as audiences’ preferred streaming service. This will be the first time the original “Full House” series has been available on any streaming service.
TNT and TBS president Kevin Reilly told reporters on Thursday morning that the two networks are being revamped to ensure their preservation as economic forces and viewing habits pare down the number of networks on air in the next few years. TNT’s current originals slate includes four shows tonally diametric from its past offerings, and TBS’ current lineup of half-hour comedies also marks a change from the networks’ traditional sitcoms. Reilly also highlighted staff changes at the networks to focus more on digital strategy and operations. He spoke about Conan O’Brien’s status as well, sharing that the network is hoping to transition him into a weekly or special-oriented program.
“The Last O.G.” star Tiffany Haddish clarified comments made during an interview last week in which she stated that she wants to work with Bill Cosby. Haddish said that she meant to jokingly explain that she can take on any role and isn’t afraid of “the big bad wolf.” She added that doing seemingly endless interviews resulted in an unfunny joke, and went on to say that she does not condone the comedian’s actions.
Headly was honored at the TCA press tour by her castmates and crew of the Hulu series “Future Man,” starring Josh Hutcherson. The actress died unexpectedly after she had begun filming her role as Hutcherson’s grandmother. “We were reeling emotionally,” showrunner Ben Karlin said. “She was a big part of the show. … We didn’t have to do that much rewriting. It was less of a production challenge and more of an emotional challenge to deal with something like that.” Headly’s role will not be recast and she will remain in the episodes completed thus far.
Mindy Kaling attended TCA as she prepares to kick off the farewell tour of “The Mindy Project.” Kaling, who teased lots of guest stars for the show’s sixth and final season, said she wasn’t interested in writing a “perfect” ending.
“That side of things, we’re trying to avoid,” she said, “While also making the audience feel like it was about something … and like she’s had some growth in the end.”
Meanwhile her costar Ike Barinholtz showed up in a full neck brace after breaking his neck on the set of his new film.
Sarah Silverman told audiences that she wants to help bridge the cultural divide in America with “aggressively dumb” humor in the form of her new Hulu series “I Love You, America.” “A mission statement for the show could be exposing the fact that we’re actually the same,” Silverman said Thursday.