Net­flix new­com­ers

Stream­ing gi­ant un­veils am­bi­tious lineup for TV crit­ics

The Province - - ENTERTAINMENT - LYNN ELBER and PABLO ARAUZ PENA

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — A roundup of news from the Tele­vi­sion Crit­ics As­so­ci­a­tion sum­mer meet­ing, at which TV net­works and stream­ing ser­vices are pre­sent­ing de­tails on up­com­ing pro­grams. SUC­CESS STORY

Oc­tavia Spencer is bring­ing the re­mark­able saga of black hair care mogul Madam C.J. Walker to tele­vi­sion.

Net­flix said Spencer will pro­duce and star in a lim­ited se­ries about the out­sized life of Sarah Breedlove, who was known pro­fes­sion­ally as Walker.

The eight-episode drama is based on the book On Her Own Ground by A’Lelia Bun­dles and in­cludes bas­ket­ball star LeBron James as a pro­ducer.

Walker be­came one of Amer­ica’s first self-made fe­male mil­lion­aires by cre­at­ing and mar­ket­ing hair prod­ucts for African-Amer­i­cans at the turn of the 20th cen­tury.

Net­flix said the se­ries will de­tail the hos­til­ity, ri­val­ries and tu­mul­tuous per­sonal life that marked Walker’s life.

Spencer is an Os­car-win­ning ac­tress whose cred­its in­clude The Shape of Wa­ter, Hid­den Fig­ures and The Help.

A re­lease date for Madam C.J. Walker was not an­nounced. A PRINCESS, GROEN­ING STYLE

Matt Groen­ing said his new adult car­toon se­ries Disen­chant­ment has a fem­i­nist com­po­nent that sets it apart from his pre­vi­ous shows.

Groen­ing spoke to re­porters about bring­ing fresh tal­ent to the Net­flix show that in­cluded voice ac­tors Abbi Jacobson and Eric An­dre.

He also high­lighted the dif­fer­ences be­tween the new project and his pre­vi­ous work, the long-run­ning Fox se­ries The Simp­sons.

“One of the rea­sons that The Simp­sons is what it is, is be­cause of the time con­straints,” he said. “In this show, we’re able to let it breathe a lit­tle more which I find grat­i­fy­ing.”

The se­ries notably stands out as an adult car­toon with a fe­male lead. It fol­lows the misad­ven­tures of an al­co­holic slacker princess named Princess Bean, voiced by Broad City star Abbi Jacobson, who has ev­ery­thing but a sense of pur­pose.

Joined by a per­sonal de­mon named Luci, played by An­dre, and a scruffy elf named Elfo (voiced by Nat Faxon), Bean cre­ates mis­chief in the king­dom of Dream­land where she’s in­fa­mous for her care­less an­tics.

Both Jacobson and An­dre have built a fol­low­ing with the hard-to-win young adult au­di­ence in their shows Broad City and The Eric An­dre Show. The stars shared their sto­ries of grow­ing up watch­ing The Simp­sons and find­ing their place with Groen­ing and Josh We­in­stein, cre­ators and pro­duc­ers of Disen­chant­ment.

Disen­chant­ment pre­mieres Aug. 17 on Net­flix. MORE MAS­TER?

Net­flix is stand­ing by Mas­ter of None and Aziz An­sari de­spite a sex­ual-mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tion against him ear­lier this year.

Cindy Hol­land, a pro­gram­ming ex­ec­u­tive for the stream­ing ser­vice, said there’s been thought given to a third sea­son for the com­edy star­ring and co-cre­ated by An­sari.

She added that Net­flix would “cer­tainly be happy” to make an­other Mas­ter of None sea­son with An­sari, but didn’t com­mit to it or in­di­cate what the pro­duc­tion or re­lease time­line might be. The show about a young, sin­gle ac­tor in New York last aired in 2017.

The al­le­ga­tion that An­sari acted im­prop­erly on a date was pub­lished in Jan­uary of this year by web­site Babe.net, which didn’t iden­tify the ac­cuser. The re­port sparked a pub­lic de­bate, with some say­ing the claim shed light on ag­gres­sive sex­ual be­hav­iour and oth­ers dis­miss­ing it as a bad date that should have re­mained pri­vate.

In a Jan­uary state­ment, An­sari ac­knowl­edged that he apol­o­gized to a woman in 2017 when she told him about her dis­com­fort dur­ing a sex­ual en­counter in his apart­ment that he be­lieved to be con­sen­sual. THEIR BRAINS ON DRUGS

Jonah Hill and Emma Stone are star­ring in a new TV se­ries that tack­les sen­si­tive is­sues of men­tal ill­ness and the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try.

The Net­flix se­ries, a black com­edy ti­tled Ma­niac, fol­lows two par­tic­i­pants of a murky late-stage phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal drug trial.

Hill plays a man di­ag­nosed with schizophre­nia, while Stone plays a woman fix­ated on bro­ken re­la­tion­ships.

Both sign up to test a mys­te­ri­ous pill be­lieved to cure any­thing about the mind, but things do not go as planned.

Cindy Hol­land, vicepres­i­dent of Net­flix orig­i­nal se­ries, an­nounced that it would de­but Sept. 21.

Hol­land called Ma­niac a “thought-pro­vok­ing, fever dream of a show.”

The ac­tors starred op­po­site each other in the 2007 teen com­edy Su­per­bad.

The stream­ing gi­ant also an­nounced the Chill­ing Ad­ven­tures of Sab­rina (a darker spinoff of Sab­rina the Teenage Witch) will cast its spell on Net­flix just in time for Hal­loween, while Michael Dou­glas is set to star in The Komin­sky Method be­gin­ning Nov. 16.

Matt Groen­ing (far right) poses with the voice cast of his new adult car­toon se­ries Disen­chant­ment — (from left) Josh We­in­stein, Abbi Jacobson and Eric An­dre — which will de­but Aug. 17 on Net­flix.

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