R.I.P., Movie theaters. You’ll be missed. (I suppose.)

It’s Friday, and you know what? I’m going to skip the politics today, except for this terrific lip-sync because I could watch it all day long:

All Other TV News

Yesterday’s huge news was that Warner Brothers has decided to try to kill off movie theaters. Well, not literally, but their announcement that their entire 2021 slate of films, including Dune, The Matrix 4, and the Space Jam sequel would be released on HBO Max on the same day as they are released in the theater, is not a good omen for an already embattled movie theater industry.

A very brief and admittedly uninformed explainer: in the pre-pandemic days, studios had deals with cinemas in which movies would play in theaters exclusively for some period of time, usually 90 days or so. And then Netflix came along and started fraying this arrangement — but the theaters responded by refusing to show Netflix’s movies in theaters, thereby potentially keeping them from being eligible for awards. But then the pandemic came along, theaters had to close and studios had to make a difficult choice: wait to release their big blockbusters until this virus goes away, release them in empty theaters in the few places where theaters were allowed to be open, or release them on streamers. Warner Brothers made clear that they would not rely on the theater model through at least 2021, probably forever.

The announcement sent the surviving cinema chains reeling, their stocks tanking and left putting out statements that reeked of denial: “In a statement, Cineworld said the company believes that when cinemas make a comeback, Warners ‘will look to reach an agreement about the proper window and terms that will work for both sides.’” LOL, good luck with that. The studios have all the leverage here, and I don’t see them allowing themselves to be held hostage by the cinema side ever again.

Then there is the real reason Warner Brothers did this: to boost HBO Max. HBO Max is the most expensive streamer on the market at $15/month and was struggling to convince people to subscribe, especially when they are already shelling out for Disney+. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and whatever else. But thanks to this deal, HBO Max might have just become one of the best deals on the market, especially if you’re a movie fan.

And then there’s Roku: Roku was the last streaming device that hasn’t struck a deal with Warner Brothers to make HBO Max available. Christmas is coming, people are going to be buying streaming boxes, so it behooves Roku to make a deal sooner rather than later. 

I’m going to be honest: I hate going to the movies these days. I hate finding seats, I hate having to miss some part of the movie when I inevitably have to go to the bathroom because I’ve drunk a bucket of Diet Coke, I hate other people being near me, I hate other people playing with their phones and distracting me, I just have come to hate the experience in a theater. But I understand why people love it — I used to go to the movies at least once a week, and my husband remains a committed movie theater-goer. One of the most difficult parts of the pandemic for him has been not being able to go see a movie in a theater.

Tons of other people are split on this, too:

And I urge you to enjoy the replies to this tweet, celebrating the communal joy of being in a packed theater when someone yells something out. You’re not going to have that kind of joy while streaming Godzilla vs. King Kong on your couch.

Grey’s Anatomy had another bit of stunt casting reunion last night. This time George returned and apparently he was the first character the showrunner thought to bring back. People had feelings.

Shameless returns this weekend, and Showtime is making it free for the taking through the holiday season, along with 60 hours of other programming. As for the final season of Shameless, will Fiona return? (SHE BETTER.)

Disney is making some big moves: ABC News is about to start laying people off and Radio Disney is shutting down.

Byron Allen’s network Light TV will become TheGrio.TV on January 15. I dunno, Byron, that’s a clumsy name.

Limited Edition Conan Funko Pop! Vinyl Figures are coming, nerds.

The “woman yelling at cat” meme stemmed from an amazing episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (no cat was involved) and here is a collection of some amazing adaptations of the meme. I love them all so much.

Going Viral

There are currently 100,000 Americans hospitalized with COVID, and 218,000 tested positive yesterday. Nearly 3,000 Americans died. Just yesterday. And we haven’t hit the post-Thanksgiving peak yet. The CDC is warning that nearly 20,000 Americans could die the week of Christmas.

Joe Biden has asked Dr. Fauci to stay on as his “chief medical adviser.” President-elect Biden has also said he will ask the American people to spend his first 100 days in office masked up. It’s a lovely idea but half of this country would rather die and take us all with them than to do a simple thing to end this virus.

Gloria Estefan has tested positive for COVID.

Fox News’ Juan Williams also has the virus, forcing The Five to go back to remote taping.

You know what’s not helpful, Austin mayor Steve Adler? Filming a stay-at-home message to your citizens FROM YOUR VACATION IN MEXICO.

THAT AIN’T IT, LETITIA WRIGHT. ~sighs~ Letitia Wright, one of the stars of Black Panther, posted a YouTube video by anti-vaxxers, expressing skepticism about the upcoming vaccine in the United Kingdom. People called her out on it, and this was her dumbass, non-apologetic response:

More people piled on and she took down the original video with this, again, non-apology:


The Chinese filmmaker behind the COVID documentary 76 Days finds it  bizarre that half of the country believes that the virus is a hoax. YOU AND ME BOTH, BUDDY.

Before you click on the screamfest that happened on CNBC about COVID closures a couple of things: 1. the difference between a restaurant and a big box store is that one’s entire visit to a big box store can be and should be spent masked up, but in a restaurant, one has to take off one’s mask to eat and drink — you know, to do the thing that they are there to do in a restaurant — thereby putting them at more risk and 2. the spittle flying in this segment is exactly why TV shows have to tape remotely:

Grey’s Anatomy writer, executive producer, and medical expert Dr. Zoanne Clack discusses this season, why it is so important to accurately depict how this crisis is impacting health care professionals and the accuracy of Meredith’s COVID dreams.

The Grand Tour guys explain how they filmed in the time of COVID: $67,000 worth of tests, persnickety safety coordinators, “nuclear Chernobyl gear.”

Shameless will deal with the pandemic, because, as the showrunner explains: “Those living barely above the poverty line or below the poverty line have been the most impacted by the pandemic, and we just felt it was something that we really had to do — to show the impact it’s having on our characters. It would have felt criminal not to.”


  • Fear the Walking Dead has been renewed for a seventh season on AMC.

  • Blood of Zeus has been renewed for a second season on Netflix.

  • Big Cat Tales has been renewed for a second season on Animal Planet.


  • Superstore will end with this 6th season on NBC.

  • Wilmore ends on Peacock tonight after 11 episodes, which apparently was always the plan? Ok.

In Development

  • Gutsy Women, a docuseries based on Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s book, is in the works at ABC.
  • Shuggie Bain is being turned into a TV series.
  • Alma’s Way, an animated series, has been ordered at PBS Kids.
  • Moment of Truth, a true-crime docuseries, has been ordered at IMDb TV.

Casting News

Mark Your Calendar

  • The Equalizer will premiere on CBS after the Super Bowl on February 7.
  • American Gods returns on Starz on January 10.
  • The Dig will debut on Netflix on January 29.
  • Wendy Williams: The Movie will debut on Lifetime on January 30.

  • Firefly Lane will premiere on Netflix soon.
  • The Rookie will return on ABC on January 3.
  • Christmas Dilemma will premiere on TV One on December 6.
  • Beyond the Pole: Living Under Lockdown will premiere on WEt v on December 17.
  • LMN has released the titles and dates of 13 new movies including 5 new “The Wrong” films.
  • Hunted will premiere on Shudder on January 14.
  • Light Speedwill debut on YouTube on December 7.


Warren Berlinger, A character actor with over 115 credits to his name, spanning from Kraft Theatre all the way to Grace and Frankie. He appeared in Happy Days, Cannonball Run, The Joey Bishop Show, That Girl, The Dukes of Hazard, Too Close for Comfort, and Friends, among countless others



Selena: The Series: The story of Texas’ Tejano Queen. Series premiere. Netflix

Mank: The story of Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as told by David Fincher. Netflix

Big Mouth: Season premiere. Netflix

Mulan: If you’re a subscriber, now you can watch it without paying extra! Disney+

The Great British Baking Show: Holidays: Because we need it right now.  Netflix

MacGyver: The team infiltrates a glamourous hotel in the season premiere. 7 p.m., CBS

Magnum P.I.: Higgins is shot! Season premiere. 8 p.m., CBS

Blue Bloods: Frank goes head-to-head with the city council over police brutality in the season premiere.  9 p.m., CBS


Saturday Night Live: Jason Bateman and Morgan Wallen. 10:30 p.m., NBC

The Photograph: Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield try out drama for a change of pace in this romantic movie. 7 p.m., HBO

Kid of the Year: All kids are the kids of the year, as far as I’m concerned. 6:30 p.m., Nickelodeon, TV Land, Nicktoons


A Holly Dolly Christmas: It’s A Dolly holiday! 7:30 p.m., CBS

Shameless: The pandemic hits the Gallaghers in the final season premiere. 8 p.m., Showtime

Your Honor: Bryan Cranston stars as a New Orleans judge who is faced with an impossible decision when his son is involved in a terrible accident. 9 p.m., Showtime

Euphoria: Trouble Don’t Always Last: It’s a Euphoria Christmas special! And no, I am not even kidding. (This is the first of two special episodes.) 8 p.m., HBO

The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Season premiere. 7 p.m., Bravo

Late Night:

  • Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Friday): Barack Obama, Sienna Miller, Liam Gallagher
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: (Friday): Common, Andrea Bocelli

FRI. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC Shark Tank
CBS MacGyver
Magnum P.I.
Blue Bloods
CW The Hollywood Christmas Parade Greatest Moments
FOX Friday Night Smackdown Local
NBC The Voice

SAT. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30
ABC College Football
CBS College Football
FOX College Football
NBC Ellen’s Game of Games
Weakest Link
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
(Jason Bateman & Morgan Wallen)

SUN. 6:00 6:30 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC America’s Funniest Home Videos
Supermarket Sweep
Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?
Card Sharks
CBS NFL 60 Minutes A Holly Dolly Christmas
NCIS: Los Angeles
NCIS: Los Angeles
The CW Local Pandora
The Outpost
FOX The Simp-sons
Bob’s Burgers
The Simp-sons
Bless the Harts
Bob’s Burgers
Family Guy
NBC Sunday Night Football

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