Let's try this again
October 14, 2020

Showtime will evidently be taking another stab at ending Dexter.

The network on Wednesday announced it has ordered a limited series revival of Dexter, which will consist of 10 episodes scheduled to air in fall 2021, per The Hollywood Reporter. Clyde Phillips, showrunner for Dexter's first four seasons, is on board for the limited series, as is star Michael C. Hall.

"Dexter is such a special series, both for its millions of fans and for Showtime, as this breakthrough show helped put our network on the map many years ago," Showtime Entertainment president Gary Levine said in a statement. "We would only revisit this unique character if we could find a creative take that was truly worthy of the brilliant, original series. Well, I am happy to report that Clyde Phillips and Michael C. Hall have found it, and we can't wait to shoot it and show it to the world."

Dexter, which stars Hall as a vigilante serial killer, aired on Showtime for eight seasons, and it wrapped its run in 2013. The show's series finale saw Dexter taking up a new life as a lumberjack and was infamously disliked among fans; it's regularly brought up as among the most reviled TV endings of all time. Then again, the existence of this limited series means that will no longer be the ending at all. If at first you don't succeed, Showtime has apparently decided, try, try again. Brendan Morrow

September 18, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is walking back its controversial COVID-19 testing guidance change, which was reportedly not written by the agency's scientists and was published against their objections.

The CDC on Friday updated its website to recommend testing "all close contacts" of anyone infected with COVID-19, CNN reports. In August, the CDC's recommendation had been controversially tweaked to say that not everyone exposed to the coronavirus "necessarily" needs to be tested if they don't have symptoms.

This reversal on Friday comes after The New York Times reported that the controversial guidance change last month was "not written by CDC scientists and was posted to the agency's website despite their serious objections." A federal official told the Times a new testing guidance was expected on Friday.

The updated August guidance from the CDC had told those who were in close contact with someone with COVID-19 that if they don't have symptoms, "you do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or state or local public health officials recommend you take one." But experts quickly decried this recommendation, noting the importance of testing anyone exposed to COVID-19 given the number of asymptomatic carriers.

This was emphasized in the CDC latest's guidance, as the agency now says "due to the significance of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, this guidance further reinforces the need to test asymptomatic persons." Additionally, the updated guidance, the Times notes, now explicitly tells those who have been exposed to COVID-19 and don't have symptoms, "You need a test."

Infectious Diseases Society of America President Thomas File Jr. expressed approval of the Friday guidance change, saying, "The return to a science-based approach to testing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is good news for public health and for our united fight against this pandemic." Brendan Morrow

July 27, 2020

Warner Bros. is taking another stab at releasing Tenet.

The company, which previously aimed to open Christopher Nolan's Tenet in July and have it be the first big blockbuster movie back in theaters when they widely reopen, on Monday announced that the film will now be released internationally on Aug. 26 and then play in "select" cities in the United States on Sept. 3, Variety reports. This news came a week after the film's U.S. release, which had most recently been Aug. 12, was postponed for the third time amid rising COVID-19 cases in the country.

Over 70 countries will now get the new Nolan film starting in August, including Australia, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom. That will be followed by the film's limited debut in the United States, which would put it in at least some theaters for Labor Day weekend. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, though, the movie may end up having to launch without being in major cities where it's not clear that theaters will be permitted to reopen by then, including Los Angeles and New York City.

A previous report from Vulture suggested Nolan was hesitant about releasing Tenet overseas first, wanting to "help support American theaters in their time of need." That report also noted that releasing the film internationally before its domestic launch would be a "risky strategy in an era of rampant overseas movie piracy."

But when announcing Tenet's latest delay, Warner Bros. had hinted it might opt for this strategy, saying it was no longer treating the film as a "traditional global day-and-date release." Meanwhile, Disney last week announced it would indefinitely postpone the August debut of Mulan, while Paramount pushed its upcoming movies Top Gun: Maverick and A Quiet Place Part II all the way to next year. AMC Theatres, the largest theater chain in the U.S., is as of now planning to begin reopening in "mid-to-late August." Brendan Morrow

February 21, 2020

Will another caucus catastrophe unfold this weekend in Nevada?

Democrats sure hope not, with a Nevada Democratic Party spokesperson telling NBC News that
"we have been working around the clock to ensure that what happened in Iowa will not happen here," also saying the party will be "taking no chances when it comes to reporting."

To that end, Nevada Democrats, NBC reports, have hired a call center with 200 paid operators to take in results on Saturday, with the party spokesperson saying steps like these should "ensure that our precinct chairs and site leads will be able to successfully report results on caucus day." In Iowa, problems arose both due to technical issues with an app and due to clogged phone lines that made it difficult to report results.

In a memo distributed to the 2020 campaigns, the Nevada state party's executive director said that a dedicated phone hotline will be the "primary source of the precinct caucus results," The New York Times reports. Precinct chairs, the memo said, will "call a hotline to securely report their results to a trained operator, will submit via text a photo of their caucus reporting sheet to state party staff through an established MMS reporting hub, and then they will return their caucus reporting sheet and other materials to their Site Lead."

The plan was originally for the Nevada caucus to use an app developed by the same company behind the disastrous Iowa app, but those plans, obviously, were ditched. Still, DNC Chair Tom Perez, who NBC reports will actually be on the ground for the caucus this time, earlier this week couldn't commit to the same-day release of the results, telling The Associated Press, "We're going to do our best to release results as soon as possible, but our North Star, again, is accuracy." Brendan Morrow

June 7, 2019

Walmart is hoping to one-up Amazon in the battle to dominate in-home delivery services — by bringing in groceries.

Starting this fall, Walmart customers in select cities will have the option to have their groceries delivered directly into their fridges after ordering online, The Verge reported on Friday. The company previously tested a similar service, using smarthome accessories to allow users to monitor the delivery. Only 1 in 5 shoppers said they'd be interested in the service, reports CBS News, but Walmart, undeterred, is revamping its test service. While Amazon delivers packages to homes, garages, and trunks, groceries are an untapped market for the two competitors.

Walmart's InHome will use the company's own vehicles and workers equipped with wearable cameras, allowing customers to watch the deliveries remotely. While Walmart employees will be able to enter homes to make deliveries, the retail giant still hasn't revealed how employees will gain access to homes or the exact price of the delivery fees.

Only Walmart workers who've been at the company for at least a year will be qualified to apply for the in-home delivery position and if accepted, they will go through extensive training — from how to pick out the best groceries to how to organize them properly in the fridge, Fox Business reports. Through the new service, employees will also pick up returns for items purchased on Walmart.com.

Walmart InHome will launch this fall and will only be available in three cities: Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Vero Beach, Florida. Marina Pedrosa

See More Speed Reads