‘The Last of Us’ gave Tess a backstory and it’s heartbreaking



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♬ Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler

Here’s A BUNCH OF TV News

I hate to begin this post this way again, but yesterday evening, there was a third mass shooting in California in as many days. Seven people were shot, one killed, at an Oakland Valero gas station where a music video was being shot. This shooting took place mere hours after a different gunman killed seven people at two different locations in Half Moon Bay, California. My heart just breaks for all of the victims, their families and friends, and the state of California in general.

Now, apologies for the shift in tone, but here are your Oscar nominees!

And here are your obligatory lists of snubs and surprises:

Deadline; Variety; The Hollywood Reporter; Collider; and IndieWire

The Last of Us‘s viewership gained another million viewers in its second episode, making it the largest week two growth in the history of HBO, which is a huge deal. And when you consider it was up against NFL playoff games, both in its premiere and last Sunday, it’s even more impressive.

Unsurprisingly, the game is selling like hotcakes, too.

Here are some easter eggs for the second episode. I am not a gamer, but even I appreciate the show using the original actors from the game where they can. (Spoilers abound obviously.)

The Last of Us wrote a tragic backstory for Tess but didn’t use it in the show: 

“We wrote it, we never shot it… It was a little bit of a backstory for Tess, and the fact that Tess had a kid,” Mazin revealed. “She had a husband and she had a son, and they were infected and she had to kill them. She killed her husband, but she could not kill the son. She couldn’t do it… She locked him in the basement, where theoretically he’s still a clicker.”

… Druckmann adds that they had planned a cold open based on Tess’ story but decided to cut it as well: “We had a cold open where we just, where the camera pushed on this door and you just hear this pounding coming from this basement, and then we cut out. And then later, Tess would tell the story of how she couldn’t kill her son,” he said. “It just didn’t fit. But it was fun to think about.”

Fox’s Accused had the highest-rated and most-watched debuts on network TV in three years, though viewers in 13 markets missed the ending of the episode when their stations cut to commercial, causing them to miss the resolution of the story. (Readers of my old Lost blog might remember this being “Hellered.” IYKYK.) If you missed the ending, you can stream the episode on Hulu and Fox Now.

Sharon Stone has clarified her response to the news that Lisa Rinna has left The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

A three-time champion of Jeopardy! has some choice words for the show for some reason.

The best part of Saturday Night Live — the pre-tapes — are being threatened. GIVE THE EDITORS ANYTHING THEY WANT, YOU MONSTERS.

Here is a much-deserved appreciation for the genius that was Chappelle’s Show. I may not like the transphobic curmudgeon he’s become, but that show was brilliant. (And no, Dave, being called a “transphobe” is not the same thing as being called the N-word, and you know that.)

My kid’s school is honoring Sarah Michelle Gellar with an Icon Award at their TV Fest.

George Santos is out of his depth:


Pamela Anderson has accused Tim Allen of flashing her on her first day on the set of Home Improvement: “On the first day of filming, I walked out of my dressing room, and Tim was in the hallway in his robe. He opened his robe and flashed me quickly — completely naked underneath. He said it was only fair, because he had seen me naked. Now we’re even. I laughed uncomfortably.”

Tim Allen denies doing this.

Sarah Michelle Gellar has made it clear she will not be telling her full story of working on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. “I’ll never tell my full story because I don’t get anything out of it. I’ve said all I’m going to say because nobody wins. Everybody loses.”

However her husband Freddie Prinze Jr. is talking: “She had to deal with a lot of bullshit on that show for all seven years it was on,” says Prinze. “The stuff they pressed upon her, without any credit or real salary, while she was often the only one doing 15-hour days … yet she was still able to get the message of that character out every single week and do it with pride and do it professionally.”

And co-star Emma Caufield added: “It was obvious that Sarah lacked the support to be the leader she needed and wanted to be. There was a tremendous amount of resentment and animosity [toward her] from a certain someone — and I suppose now we can all guess who.” 

T.J. Holmes continues to be revealed to be a creep. (If I had to guess, ABC is the one who released this story in response to Holmes’s legal threats.)

Why isn’t Hyde on or even mentioned on That 90s Show? Because Danny Masterson has been accused of raping multiple women, that’s why.

Anthony Rapp, who lost his case against Kevin Spacey, will host Surviving Hollywood, a new docuseries that exposes the dark underbelly of the business.

And Doug Liman released a surprise documentary about Brett Kavanaugh, with new allegations against him and allegations that the FBI suppressed evidence against him.

Marie Osmond revealed she was body shamed by a producer of Donnie & Marie, calling her fat when she weighed all of 103 pounds.

Having lost his gig at Prime Video for being a pig, Jeremy Clarkson will not be landing a job on ITV.

Ron Jeremy will not stand trial on multiple rape and sexual assault charges due to an “incurable neurocognitive decline.”

Gabrielle Union opened up about being a sexual abuse survivor on the press tour for Truth Be Told, saying that her experience made her the best person to tell this story. She also admits filming the series left her triggered for months.

Former Monday Night Football reporter Lisa Guerrero revealed that she had a miscarriage while on air: “Guerrero then pushed through her ‘excruciating’ pain to deliver her live report, though she felt ‘dizzy and nauseated.’ She even reminded herself to stand up straight as MNF’s executive producer Freddie Gaudelli would reprimand her for bad posture on their Wednesday phone calls.”

Antonio Brown is now claiming his phone was hacked and that’s why sexually explicit material featuring his ex was posted on Snapchat. OK.

In a deposition in the E. Jean Carroll case, Former President Grab Them By The Pussy confused the woman who claims he raped her with his second wife.

Jinger Duggar Vuolo has come forward to talk about her cult-like childhood, and the harmful beliefs she was raised on. Good for her. I hope she continues to heal.

Time’s Up is shutting down at the end of the month.

George Foreman is countersuing the woman who has accused him of sexual assault for defamation.

Tucker Carlson is going to lose his mind:



In Development

Casting News

Mark Your Calendars

  • Harley Quinn: A Very Problematic Valentine’s Day Special returns on HBO Max on February 9.
  • We Are Not Alone premieres on Roku on January 27.
  • Back to School with Gus Johnson premieres on Fox on February 18.
  • The Law According to Lidia Poet premieres on Netflix on February 15.
  • The Glory returns on Netflix on March 10.
  • Record of Ragnarok II will debut on Netflix on January 26.


Lloyd Morrisett, Co-founder of Sesame Workshop

Yoshiro Yoda, Actor from McHale’s Navy

Andrew Leynse, Off-Broadway artistic director

Polo Polo, Mexican comedian


The Winchesters: Mary and John keep an eye on the recently returned Samuel Campbell in the winter premiere. 8 p.m., The CW

American Auto: The company brings in a crisis manager to handle their crisis. Season premiere. 7:30 p.m., NBC

9-1-1 Lone Star: A series of thunderstorms ravage Austin in the season premiere. 7 p.m., Fox

How I Met Your Father: Season two. Hulu 

Late Night:

  • Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Natasha Lyonne, Nate Bargatze, Brianne Howey, Antonia Gentry, Stephen Sanchez
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers: Ana Gasteyer, Sam Morrison, Danny Carey
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Jason Segel, Chuck D
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden: Andie MacDowell, Billy Porter, Stacey Ryan
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale
  • The Daily Show: Guest host Wanda Sykes
  • Watch What Happens Live: Emma Roberts, Julie Bowen

TUES. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC The Rookie
The Rookie: Feds
Will Trent
FBI: International
FBI: Most Wanted
CW The Winchesters
The Winchesters
FOX 9-1-1: Lone Star
NBC Night Court
American Auto
America’s Got Talent: All-Stars

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