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PUT THOSE MICHELLE OBAMA WIGS DOWN, JAY PHAROAH AND KENAN THOMPSON

... Saturday Night Live has hired a black female cast member! And it only took the outrage of a nation to make it happen. Brooklynite Sasheer Zamata, who's just three years out of college and a member of Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, will make her debut on the sketch show in the January 18 episode. Thus ends the nightmare of a country that late last year suddenly realized there hadn't been a black female cast member on SNL since Maya Rudolph left, so now Saturday Night Live gets to pat itself on the back for diversifying beyond the white male. This was a terrible mess for all parties involved. Thank the Lorne it's over. (And I wish you luck, Zamata.) [NBC via press release]

Also, here she is performing standup!


BUSINESS TIME

... Downton Abbey kicked off its fourth season in America yesterday, and the ratings were strong enough to knock the monocle out of your eye and right into your tea! 10.2 million viewers tuned in to the period drama to set a PBS record, up 22 percent from last year's tally. [EW]

... Oh yeah, British fogeys? You are NO MATCH for American football! 47 million people watched the Santa Clara San Francisco 49ers defeat the Green Bay Packers in the Really Cold Bowl on Sunday. That's a lot of people, and good enough for Fox's seventh-highest broadcast (not including Super Bowls) in history. [Deadline Hollywood]

... ABC Family is riding the success of its original comedies Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy (yep) and has ordered a pair of new sitcoms to series. Mystery Girls stars ex-90210 frenemies Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth as two former child actors who once starred on a mystery kids show and who end up starting their own detective agency as adults. Young & Hungry stars Hannah Montana's Emily Osment as a food blogger who's trying to become a personal chef for a young internet entrepreneur. Both shows will premiere this year. I can't wait. [ABC Family via press release]

... On the exact opposite end of the spectrum, HBO is in the process remaking a French porn comedy. Men in Trees' Jenny Bicks will adapt Hard for U.S. audiences, and it will follow a Brentwood housewife who inherits her husband's porn business. [Variety]

... Sundance Channel has finally put a premiere date on its upcoming original series The Red Road. The drama, about a sheriff who's caught between two warring communities—one of which is a group of Native Americans, will debut February 27 at 9pm. Considering Sundance's flawless track record so far, this is something to keep an eye on. Plus, it stars Khal Drogo! Apparently a trailer was released in December but Sundance didn't say anything about it, so I've embedded it below. [Deadline Hollywood]

... The passed-over comedy pilot starring The Office's Craig Robinson as a music teacher in high school... remember that? Well it is back! Mr. Robinson—starring Mr. Robinson as a music teacher who's too cool for school rules—has been ordered to series by NBC less than a year after the network passed on it to (presumably) make way for such acclaimed comedies such as Welcome to the Family and Sean Saves the World. No word on when it will air. [Variety]

... Do you own an Xbox One but all you have is that crap game Ryse? Sucks to be you, then. But now you can do something else with it: Watch FX's Chozen before the rest of the Xbone-less population! The animated comedy, about a gay rapper who's fresh out of prison, is now available on Xbox One's FXNOW app to preview before its January 13 premiere on FX. [FX via press release]

... Queen Latifah's talk show (Queen Latifah has a talk show!) The Queen Latifah Show has been renewed for a second season. [Deadline Hollywood]


CASTING NEWS


... Game of Thrones will see a THIRD actor—Hafthor Julius Bjornsson (and that's his real name, not a Game of Thrones name)—play Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, and he's posted a picture of himself in the role. [Instagram]

... Jonah Hill will host the January 25 episode of Saturday Night Live, with musical guest Bastiell. It'll be Hill's third time hosting. (Drake will host and play music when the show returns from its winter break on January 18.) [NBC via press release]


THE AD THAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT 

... This weekend, Old Spice unveiled its newest commercial, and now we all need to gather 'round and decide whether we like it or not:


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/21/2016

Season 41 : Episode 22

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... I don't know how I feel about this SNL hire. Oh no, I have no issue with them hiring a black woman, it is about time they did that again, and I hope she turns out to be really funny. I guess I'm just a little uncomfortable that it's in direct response to this "outage" (seriously, if not for the aptly funny sketch they did last fall pointing it out, I wasn't even aware it was a news worthy story).

So I guess it just feels weird that, mid season no less, and after they already hired a lot of new people and are getting kinks worked out, to stuff a relatively fresh new person (overall) in there on top of that, merely because she's a black woman (ok the funniest black woman among those they auditioned presumably, but still, her being black was the most important part).

I guess it's just a bit odd to me. It would be similar if they went that much out of their way to hire a fat guy because they lost their token one. Mind you, I understand that this has far further reaching civil implications than that, I just think it's odd when a hire's main feature takes a back seat to simply how funny they are (actually, Keenan Thomspon was recently quoted in an interview saying they would have probably hired a black female again sooner, but they just hadn't been terribly lucky finding someone qualified and seasoned enough).
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Wow, that ad makes me think of my mom... probably not their intention.
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Wait, is Maya Rudolph black??????
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She's interracial, making her genetically about as black as most who'd identify as such.
I like SNL but havent seen it in years. I always loved Debra Wilson, so I often chose Madtv over SNL. (Not to discount SNL, the show delivered some of the funniest moments in tv history.)
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"So now Saturday Night Live gets to pat itself on the back for diversifying beyond the white male."

I had know idea Tracy Morgan, Kenan Thompson, TIna Fey, Amy Poehler, and other such comedians were 'white men' for having appeared on SNL. I guess this makes Sasheer a white man now, too. Good to know.
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SNL gave us Eddie Murphy and Garret Morris (who was somewhat established prior to appearing on SNL. SNL was halfway decent for diversity, but not like some others. Mad tv seemed to have more female players.
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Now if SNL hired Richard Pryor, THAT would be controversial and interesting...primarily because it means they would now be hiring dead comedians as well, and I think it's about time we had one of those on the show.
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NEEDS MORE DEADVERSITY. Make it happen. :D
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Like, I'm sure she's a good actress and all. It's nice they have a (probably) funny actress who can cover impersonations on black female celebrities. I'm just not into sex-based or race-based attacks on anyone, no matter who they are.
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*Bastille
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Time to mute every single ad break on Adult Swim for the next two months.
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That ad is creepy.
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"Over"? They frustratingly only considered hiring someone like her as a token, it's not like the management at SNL has changed, they simply are putting a bandage on a serious mindset problem.

Good christ, make that Old Spice ad go away, that made me want to barf.
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That ad freaks me out. It's...wrong. I heard the audio on YouTube (wasn't watching videos, just using it for music) before I saw it and the visual just makes it worse. Yikes.
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I'm black and it really bothers me how this is being sprawled over headlines. Not because 'wow it's been that long since we've seen a BLACK WOMAN on SNL?(varying number of exclamation marks here)' or whatever, but because something just seems really off about the way the whole thing is being reported. Tim seems to be a bit more self aware than some of the other posters I've seen of this 'news' though.

It's good news for the performer (she doesn't seem bad, and she'll hopefully have good chemistry with the rest of the cast), I suppose, and the SNL executives' must be really patting themselves on the back with this one, but I'm only mostly indifferent/vaguely hopeful. Almost the entire season so far has veered on unwatchable, with the rare bright spots being the Lady Gaga, Kerry Washington and Jimmy Fallon hosted shows.

I still fondly watch clips of a far superior sketch show, MADtv on YouTube, and wish it was still on the air, or at least SNL could be a bit more like it. Fingers crossed that along with Zamata, they're hiring some more talented, sharper, wittier writers for the show's return, whether male, female, hermaphrodite, white or purple.
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I still fondly watch clips of a far superior sketch show, MADtv on YouTube, and wish it was still on the air,

Early MADtv was wonderful, the one with SPY vs SPY, the later MADtv was shit. And Second City, another brilliant show.

or at least SNL could be a bit more like it.

Not in a million, billion years.

the SNL executives' must be really patting themselves on the back with this one,

Of course, because they're rich white men who belong to the same country club.

Are we supposed to be jumping up and down about this? We here are NOT the Duck Dynasty crowd, we actually know how to string a sentence together.

Michaels is part of the good old boy's club, and this is just a token hire.
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I miss MADtv!
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It was seriously underrated and SNL had so many loyalist.
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I'm white and it bothers me too for the same reason.
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I don't care what color or gender the people on SNL are as long as they're funny. I was bored by the new girl's stand up, but it's possible that she'll do better performing someone else's material
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I feel like anyone can say that the snl cast isn't diverse enough. I mean....when was there ever an asian actor/actress on the show? You can say that for a lot of things...and just because you can doesn't make the show racist.
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I dont really get the uproar with SNL, they seem have a very diverse cast, why isn't the cast considered diverse?

The female cast they've hired in the last couple of years have been brilliant, Bayer, Bryant, McKinnon and Strong have some of the best sketchs on the show at the moment, so it's not like they've hired a dud female cast member.

Pedrad has been there a while and is also fantastic.
We haven't seen too much of the newest addition Noel Wells, but her impersonations have been brilliant.

Sasheers stand up in this page is funny, not fantastic though, and her character reel on YouTube, isn't great, many of the impersonations were similar to one another.

I think there will be a lot of pressure to be fantastic from the get go, since there's been so much in the press about it, but I dont think its great they've added someone from media pressure rather then finding someone so funny they had to have her, especially since the show is so rocky already and can be very hit or miss.

Hopefully she'll be great and just add to the already great female cast.

The male cast needs work more then the female, they've hired one dud each season for the last 3 seasons ( or last 3 additions, since they didn't add anyone in season 37 but Paul Brittain was still new from the season before)
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I thought we are all human, despite skincolor. ....or maybe most of us europeans are way ahead.
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News Briefs: Saturday Night Live Has Hired a Black Female Cast Member

That should be a BREAKING NEWS scrawl on the insane Fox News with insaner Bill O'Rawley, shouldn't it?

It only took them, what, 33 years on the air?

Lorne Michaels -------- the original Krusty and Kurmudgeonly Kraphead.

or

NBC ---- Never Bring in people of Color.
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It only took them 33 years to what?

If you're talking about having a black comedian on SNL, then you're wrong (see: Garrett Morris, from the original SNL cast). If you're talking about having a black, female comedian on SNL, then you're wrong on that front too (see: Maya Rudolph, Dimitra Vance, Ellen Cleghorne).

Get it together, buddy.
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Bastille? or a new band called Bastiell? I'm not in the US so it's entirely possible there's a new band called Bastiell.
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Waiting for Sherlock's 3rd episode now... poor you "tv.com" :D :D
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jennie garth and tori spelling werent frenimies. think you are mistaking one of them for shannon dorethy or one of the other ones .
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I still do not understand why ABC Family decided to make Mystery Girls a sitcom? The logline makes it sound like it has the makings of a great primetime soap-opera that would fit in well with other shows on the network like Pretty Little Liars and Twisted. And it stars two high-profile ex-90210 cast members! They've really missed an oppurtinuty here, I think.
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the new old spice commercial is really dumb, but funny at the same time.
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I'd rather suffer through Sean Saves The World than watch that Old Spice commercial again. I'd marathon both seasons of Whitney if it allowed me to forget I ever saw it.
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This guy better be the best goddam Mountain we've ever seen. This is the time to get it right. I liked the Season 1 guy (it helps that he was Australian) and was a bit underwhelmed with the Season 2 guy
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To be honest I don't know if I'd be okay with being hired just because I was a black woman (if I was a black woman), it's kind of like "we don't really care if you're talented, we just need you because of your chromosomes and pigment". I won't feel welcome at a job like that, especially when you add on the fact they didn't go "we need a black chick" everyone had to tell them and got all mad. Then even if she turns out to be great and they keep her on for a long time she'll never be able to say she got there on her talent, even if she did, it will always be in question. Not really a fair situation for the woman in question or the show if you ask me.
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Quotas, affirmative action, big issues, no easy answers.
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In what to do what to do news. Justified starts tomorrow at 10pm and is going up against Person of Interest. Honestly I don't know what to watch first.
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JUSTIFIED
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Poll

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Thanks Ben.
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I thought Zamata's stand-up was hilarious but that cameraman needs to be shot.
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I hope Sasheer Zamata's first sketch is her playing a white guy in full white face.
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Ha! My son uses Axe. No worries.
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After his absence last season, I thought the show had abandoned The Mountain. I enjoyed Conan Stevens from the 1st season, but did not like Ian Whyte from the 2nd season. I think Hafthor Julius Bjornsson (that's a mouth full) will do good. He looks like a bigger, whiter version of Ashur from Spartacus.
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I look forward to anyone potentially taking screen time away from kate mckinnon. also any skits where they utilize both kenan and jay will look a little more natural if they can add sasheer.

I wonder if mystery girls could possible be any good.

note to people working behind the scenes at Hard or whatever it is to be called: please do not cast women with fake boobs; they are a bummer. and yes I know torispelling has wonk boobs and it's probably the biggest reason I will likely not give mystery girls a try.

an advanced sneak peek at a cartoon about a legit gay rapper, them xbox one kiddies are sure living in the lap of luxury...

I look forward to jonah hill hosting, wonder if he'll be able to poke fun at himself after recent interviews and articles. also I'm dreading the upcoming drake episode, dude acts like a complete douche. also I'm fairly certain he doesn't play music. he raps sub-par of music he himself did not produce. so many sub-par rappers nowadays. bring back bone thugs! or get with the times and listen to independent label rap artists like those once at def jux who actually have something to say and are immensely more talented than your run of the mill drakes, macklemores and yes, jay-z's too.

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Nice to see SNL finally branch out a little with their casting. I saw that Old Spice ad the other day, it's incredibly creepy.
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Why do I keep getting the feeling that HBO is the tinniest bit obsessed with sex? I'm no prude, but it just seems like they jump on any opportunity to show people bumping uglies you know.
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Maybe SNL will be a little more funnier this year (they need lots of help).
The Old Spice ad made me snicker. It's slightly funnier than most of the rest of their ads.
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nothing that interests me on news today, but that old spice ad was the worst one yet by them, and they were all horrible.
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