In the Peak-TV Era, Nothing Ever Dies – Vanity Fair

Hello from New York! I have to go to the airport later today and I must say, I’m not thrilled. Then again, I take solace in knowing that even Rihanna has to go through the same trials and tribulations.

Yohana Desta here on this summery Friday, with the latest on the Academy’s Board of Governors, Netflix’s change of heart, and more.

AND THE GOVERNORS SEAT GOES TO

Welcome to the Board of Governors, Whoopi Goldberg! On Thursday, the Academy announced that the EGOT-winning actress and View co-host was elected to the Actors Branch alongside nine new first-time inductees to various branches of the board. Goldberg tweeted out an exclamation point-laden show of gratitude after the news was announced, saying, “I’m really thrilled!!! Thanks Academy, thanks voters!!” I’ll have to congratulate her the next time I see her, because she is the celebrity I see with the most alarming frequency in Manhattan, just going about her everyday life—New York, the other city of stars! Other newcomers to the 54-member board include director Kimberly Peirce, Participant Media C.E.O. David Linde, writer Larry Karaszewski, animator Thomas Sito, and former Academy marketing chief Christina Kounelias. As Rebecca Keegan notes in her write-up of the news, these new board members will have a say in picking the Academy’s next president (Laura Dern, perhaps?), planning next year’s Oscars ceremony, and guiding the building of the Academy Museum and the organization’s diversity initiatives.

FAR FROM AMIKABLE

Twenty-four hours after a tweet from President Trump attacked them directly, Morning Joe co-hosts (and engaged couple) Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski responded on the air as well as in an op-ed in The Washington Post, titled, “Donald Trump is not well.” “He attacks women because he fears women,” Scarborough said on MSNBC Friday morning before Brzezinski added her thoughts: “The president’s tweets, whether they’re personally aimed at me or aimed at me in some way, that doesn’t bother me one bit. It does worry me about the country . . . He appears to have a fragile, impetuous, child-like ego that we’ve seen over and over again, especially with women.” The president, as his is wont, chimed in with his own tweet in response, with at least one major inaccuracy—Morning Joe ratings are pretty high, actually.

NEXT UP FOR NAOMI

Just a few months after Nicole Kidman wowed with her vulnerable, complicated performance in Big Little Lies, the Aussie Oscar winner’s best friend Naomi Watts is pulling a similar trick in Netflix’s Gypsy, an erotically charged drama about a therapist who gets just a little (read: way) too close to her patients. V.F.’s Julie Miller explains how the bingeable series came to be in this interview with its creator, Lisa Rubin, a first-time TV writer who “gained a reputation for writing good sex scenes” back in her grad-school days. No wonder, then, that Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson signed on to executive produce the series, and directed its first two episodes to boot. “This is not a story about a woman with a mental illness,” Rubin explains. “We’re all capable of doing dark or bad things. And showing women [on screen] who are always nurturing, good, or likable is not being honest.”

FAN FERVOR

Where were you when you realized that in this era of #Peak #TV, shows never truly die? Perhaps it was somewhere between the X-Files reboot and all the earnest Gilmore Girls mania. Well, that old feeling is about to flare up again, because Lana Wachowski has announced that Netflix has decided to give Sense8—the wondrous, big-budget sci-fi series it recently canceled—a chance at a two-hour special. Wachowski tweeted the news on Thursday, excited to share that all the fan fury over the show’s cancellation had prompted the streaming service to reconsider its tactics, giving the creators a chance to say a proper goodbye. “The passionate letters, the petitions, the collective voice that rose up like the fist of Sun to fight for this show was beyond what anyone was expecting,” she writes in a long, heartfelt letter. Netflix loved the show as much as she did, despite the “challenging” numbers, and had a change of mind once it saw the outpour of support for the series.

That’s it for today! Send your tips and favorite New York celebrity sightings to yohanadesta@condenast.com. Follow me on Twitter @yohanadesta.

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