Will Smith, Billie Eilish, Others to Appear on Season Four of David Letterman Netflix Series (TV News Roundup)

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David Letterman’s Emmy-nominated talk show series “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman” is set to return on May 20, Netflix announced on Thursday.

The fourth season of the Netflix original series will feature six episodes and a new selection of guests, including Cardi B, Kevin Durant, Billie Eilish, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ryan Reynolds and Will Smith.

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The show features one-on-one conversations with the legendary talk show host and the celebrity guest inside and outside a studio setting. Season four comes after a long absence from the series, as season three premiered almost 18 months ago in October of 2020.

Notably, the streamer has announced that all of the episodes were filmed prior to March 2022; that means that there will be no talk of the infamous Will Smith-Chris Rock Oscars slap that occurred on March 27.

Letterman, who is renowned for his 33 years as a late night host at NBC and CBS, is the host of the show. “My Next Guest” is executive produced by Tom Keaney and Mary Barclay for Worldwide Pants alongside Tony Hernandez, Lilly Burns, Brooke Posch and John Skidmore for Jax Media. Justin Wilkes and Michael Steed also serve as executive producers.

Also in today’s TV news:

DEVELOPMENT

“Rainn Wilson and the Geography of Bliss,” a new original docuseries starring “The Office” star Rainn Wilson, has been ordered at Peacock. The six-episode travel docuseries, which is based on Eric Weiner’s New York Times best seller “The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World,” will follow Wilson as he traverses the globe searching for the secrets to the world’s happiest and least happiest places on earth. Each episode will feature a different country, showcasing how changing location and perspective can change someone’s life. The series is produced by RadicalMedia. Executive producers include Rainn Wilson, Dave Sirulnick, Jen Isaacson, Jon Kamen, Evan Rosenfeld, Casey Scharf and showrunner Melissa Wood with co-executive producer Eric Weiner.

The new original animated series titled “Cookies & Milk” is in development at Disney Branded Television’s animation studio, Disney Television Animation. The series is based on the semi-autobiographical forthcoming middle grade novel of the same name by Shawn Amos. The novel is inspired by Amos’ childhood, following middle-schooler Ellis Johnson as he helps his father open the world’s first cookie shop in 1970s Hollywood, California. Amos is a blues musician and son of iconic Wally “Famous” Amos, founder of the Famous Amos chocolate chip cookie brand. Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland of Cinema Gypsy Productions are set to executive produce alongside Shawn Amos. Jesse Murphy and James Sears Bryant of Jesse James Films also executive produce. Brian Egeston is set to serve as co-executive producer and story editor.

EVENTS

The National Association of Television Program Executives announced the full agenda for its first-ever NATPE Hollywood conference. The conference takes place all day on June 1 at the W Hollywood Hotel. The event will open with a conversation with Lionsgate Television Group chair Kevin Beggs, Candle Media Co-CEO Kevin Mayer and BofA Securities Global Research managing director and senior media & entertainment analyst Jessica Reif Ehrlich. Other panels and conversations announced for the event include: Former chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment Bob Greenblatt interviewed by Universal Studio Group chairman Pearlena Igbokwe; ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group president Dan Cohen; Eagle Equity investment partner Jeff Sagansky interviewed by Bungalow Media CEO Robert Friedman; Center for the Digital Future founder and director Jeffrey Cole; and Kathleen Finch, chairman and chief content officer, U.S. Networks Group for Warner Bros. Discovery, in conversation with Variety television editor Michael Schneider.

HusslUp will debut its mobile app for media and entertainment talent discovery on the opening night of SeriesFest, which will take place May 5 to May 11 in Denver. The rollout will offer television industry creatives the opportunity to access the invite-only talent network. In the first 12 weeks since the app’s Beta launch in February, more than 1,200 creative members have signed up. HusslUp’s app is backed by Techstars and Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs. The app targets a network of 50 million creatives worldwide, to each other and to the companies that need them. The app says its “mission is to democratize and diversify access to the industry.”

PREMIERE DATES

TBS’s scripted comedy series “Chad” will premiere its second season on July 11 at 10 p.m. ET. Starring creator and showrunner Nasim Pedrad (“Saturday Night Live”), Season 2 picks up after the end of summer break for newly elected class president, Chad Amani (Pedrad). In Season 2, Chad balances a new love interest, a scandal that ends his presidency, and a visit from his Iranian grandmother. Returning cast members include Jake Ryan as Peter; Paul Chahidi as Uncle Hamid; Saba Homayoon as Naz, Chad’s mother; Ella Mika as Chad’s sister, Niki; Alexa Loo as Denise; and Thomas Barbusca as Reid. Sara Malal Rowe has been added to the cast. Max Searle serves as co-showrunner with Pedrad, while Rob Rossell executive produced and co-developed “Chad.” Oly Obst (3 Arts) is also an executive producer.

AWARD SHOWS

Taraji P. Henson, star of “Empire” and “Hidden Figures,” will return to host the BET Awards live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The show airs live on BET on Sunday, June 26 at 8 p.m. Connie Orlando, executive vice president of specials, music programming and music strategy, will oversee the annual show alongside co-executive producer Jamal Noisette, vice president of specials, music programming and music strategy. The show is produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment with Jesse Collins, Dionne Harmon and Jeannae Rouzan-Clay serving as executive producers.

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