Cortlandt Alley in Manhattan is the perfect NYC alleyway as far as location experts are concerned - more TV shows and movies are filmed there than you’d expect.
Despite all the changes to the surrounding neighborhood, filming still occurs at the location three to four times a week. "There are five cinematic alleys in New York City — Broadway, Franklin Place, St. Jones and Staple Street— but Cortlandt Alley has all the requisite trash, fire escapes, enormous old shutters from decades ago and, of course, rats," says location scout Nick Carr
But, like any alleyway, filming there has its challenges:
"Whenever we film in the alley, it gets pressure washed, as we don't want people stepping on hypodermic needles, and then it has to be made dirty again. Ironically, we take something already perfect and [re]make it for the movie version." Adds Bill Milling, head of American Movie Company, who works with many productions looking to shoot in New York City,
Just weeks after Broadway play American Son closed its run in January, the cast reassembled to film the play for Netflix. Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale, Jeremy Jordan, and Eugene Lee will all feature in the movie, which, based on the trailer released today, looks more cinematic than I expected. As services like Netflix seek out events to drive viewers to its platforms, I wonder if we’ll see more plays like this adapted quickly for the screen.
The first selection in the revamped Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club has been announced - The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The show will debut on Apple TV+ when the platform launches in November. New episodes will be released every two months, giving viewers just enough time to read the books.
Of course, viewers will be immediately able to purchase the books digitally through Apple…
For every Oprah’s Book Club selection sold on Apple Books, Apple said it will make a contribution to the American Library Association to support local libraries, fund programs that give access to everyone and create lifelong readers at an early age.
“Few people in the world can bring us together like Oprah, whose compassion and grace celebrating the power of books are unmatched,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “It’s our honor to provide a new platform for Oprah’s Book Club and support the American Library Association in opening hearts and minds to the joy of reading.”
A fun read for West Wing fans is this oral history of sorts about key aspects of the show. Timed for the show’s 20th anniversary over the weekend.
Aaron Sorkin: The most surreal moment involved Prince Andrew. He was in LA and he’d requested a tour of our set, so the British consulate set it up. In one part of the West Wing, the walls are decorated with framed photos of the president with world leaders and heads of state – the president with the pope etc. I was leading Prince Andrew down one of our hallways when I saw that he’d stopped and was staring at a picture he couldn’t figure out. It was Martin Sheen as President Bartlet engaged in a conversation with the prince’s mother, the Queen. I got to tell him what Photoshop is.
Particularly in the comedy categories, which saw Fleabag sweep it, beating both Veep and Marvelous Mrs Maisel. There was a sense of a generational shift at work - not so much in age, but in the mindset of Emmy voters. Fleabag is a show that is perfect for the current age of watching via streaming. Watching the show beat-out prestige 7-season Veep with sitcom legend Julia Louis-Dreyfus suggests that the old way of looking at TV has shifted. Similarly, the Academy’s former attitude of repeatedly awarding the same shows year in/year out has come to an end.
Which isn’t to say that the show was entirely radical. There was a good write-up by Daniel D’Addario at Variety who juxtaposed it nicely:
The night — but for a lull when HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” took home their honors — seemed to roil with dangerous possibility in precisely the way TV itself has been doing for years now.
But if the Emmys have a future at all in a world where TV fans could spend a Sunday night in September watching, well, “Fleabag” or whatever is the next “Fleabag,” it’s in keeping loyal those fans who are tuned into what is new, and what is next. This year, they accomplished that.
Emmy’s By The Numbers:
This year’s Emmy Awards were both without a host and without many viewers. It reached a new low of 6.9 million viewers in the US tuning in. That is -32% from last year. [The Wrap]
US broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, NBC and PBS) won just 18 out of 132 Emmy Awards. It has been 14 years since a network won Best Drama (awarded to 24 in 2006) and it has been 8 years since two broadcast shows were even nominated in the category - Friday Night Lights and The Good Wife. From 2012 to 2016, zero broadcast shows were nominated for Best Drama. [TV Line]
Number of Prime-time Emmy wins:
HBO 9 Netflix 4 Prime Video 7 NBC 2 FX Networks 2
Emmy wins by show (Prime-time and Creative Arts Emmys):
Game Of Thrones 12 Chernobyl 10 The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 8 Free Solo 7 Fleabag 6 Love, Death & Robots 5 Saturday Night Live 5 Fosse/Verdon 4 Last Week Tonight With John Oliver 4 Queer Eye 4
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.