Fanatic Feed: Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino Talks Addiction, Game of Thrones Creators Confess Regrets & More

It’s a big day for unexpected TV news, including the return of some beloved stars, some unexpected remarks from the creators of Game of Thrones, an FX documentary that’s all about sperm.

Needless to say, today’s updates are all over the map.

Let’s begin with an exciting update about one of the most talented actors working today.

Forest Whitaker has appeared in shows as varied as The Shield, Andor, and Young Rock.

And now, he’ll be making his return to the small screen with a new MGM+ with the 10-episode limited series Emperor of Ocean Park.

An adaptation of the bestselling 2002 novel by Stephen L. Carter, the show will feature Whitaker as a prominent judge and the patriarch of a wealthy family.

“Forest Whitaker brings his unique gravitas and grace to every role he plays,” said Michael Wright, head of MGM+.

“We are beyond fortunate that Forest will inhabit the complex and layered role of Judge Oliver Garland and once again put his unparalleled stamp on an MGM+ Original Series.”

FROM Season 3: Everything We Know

We’d watch Whitaker read the phone book, so we’re excited to see him take on what sounds like a meaty, Logan Roy-esque role!

Emperor of Ocean Park is set to debut on MGM+ this summer.

Also returning to TV is Riverdale alum Camila Mendes.

Mendes stars in the rom-com Upgraded, which will debut on Amazon Prime on February 9. Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Helmed by actress Carlson Young in her directorial debut, Upgraded centers around Ana Santos, “a smart and ambitious art enthusiast with dreams of running her own gallery.”

Ana’s career takes off (see what we did there?) when she’s upgraded to a first-class flight and a debonair heir, played by Archie Renaux mistakes her for her wealthy boss (Marisa Tomei).

Check out the first trailer for Upgraded now:

In other TV news, after steering clear of the media spotlight for nearly five years (probably a smart move in the wake of that lackluster Game of Thrones series finale), David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are back in the news!

Yes, the showrunners who brought Westeros to life are back with a Netfliz sci-fi drama titled 3 Body Problem.

Weiss and Beniff are currently making the media rounds to promote the show, and as much as they’d probably prefer to avoid the topic of GoT, it’s sort of unavoidable.

In a recent conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, the duo were asked if they regret anything about the show that made them famous.

And we think it’s safe to say that no one saw this answer coming:

“One thing I know I wish we could have done is there’s the character Mord the Jailer,” Benioff said.

“It was a mistake not bringing Mord the Jailer back into it. We always talked about doing it,” Weiss chimed in.

House of the Dragon Season 2: Everything We Know

Yes, apparently, these guys were quite bullish on the character played by Ciaran Bermingham for about five seconds in FMW of Game of Thrones Season 1 when Tyrion Lannister was taken captive at the Eyrie.

They even had an expanded storyline in mind for this extremely esoteric guard.

Apparently, they’re racked with guilt over the fact that they didn’t bring Mord back as a tavern owner who crosses paths with the Hound.

“We could have had that actor in the background acting exactly the way he did as a jailer,” said Weiss. “Except now as a small business owner. It was just such an obvious, no-brainer, day-after idea.”

Well, there you have it.

If concerns about the fate of Mord the Jailer were keeping you up nights, you can rest easy in the knowledge that he enjoyed a fulfilling second life as a restaurateur.

Hopefully, Bran the Broken went easy on the small business taxes.

Speaking of comebacks, perhaps no reality TV star in history has been to hell and back quite like Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino of Jersey Shore fame.

The Sitch struggled with addiction throughout his initial rise to fame, and he hit rock bottom around the time that the first iteration of Shore came to a close.

In 2018, Sorrentino pled guilty to tax evasion.

He wound up serving eight months in prison, but with the help of wife, Lauren Sorrentino, Mike made it through that ordeal, and these days, he is a proudly sober father of two — with a third on the way in March!

Sorrentino is currently promoting his debut memoir, Reality Check: Making the Best of a Bad Situation, and he sat down with Tamron Hall this week to discuss the darkest chapter of his life.

“It was a ride that kept speeding up, to be honest with you. Almost like a rollercoaster that kept going faster and faster,” Sorrentino said of his early experiences with fame.

“And I did my best to hold on, but if you read the book, you’ll see that the shooting star that was ‘The Situation’ eventually crashed.”

During the interview, Sorrentino revealed for the first time that he struggled with heroin addiction.

He explained that he now credits his mother and wife with intervening and saving his life.

“I’ve had the millions, I’ve had the Ferraris, I’ve been at the celebrity parties,” Sorrentino said. “I think the most important thing is the man that you are – and I’m a sober dad and a loyal husband.”

Apple TV+ today unveiled the trailer for The New Look, a new, gripping historical drama series from Todd A. Kessler, starring Emmy Award winner Ben Mendelsohn as Christian Dior and Academy Award winner Juliette Binoche as Coco Chanel.

Kin Season 2: Everything We Know

Inspired by true events and filmed exclusively in Paris, The New Look centers on fashion designers Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and their contemporaries as they navigated the horrors of World War II and launched modern fashion.

The ten-episode drama series will make its global debut with the first three episodes on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 on Apple TV+, followed by one episode every Wednesday through April 3.

Set against the World War II Nazi occupation of Paris, The New Look focuses on the pivotal moment in the 20th century when the French city led the world back to life through its fashion icon Christian Dior.

As Dior rises to prominence with his groundbreaking, iconic imprint of beauty and influence, Chanel’s reign as the world’s most famous fashion designer is put into jeopardy.

The interwoven saga follows the surprising stories of Dior’s contemporaries and rivals from Chanel to Pierre Balmain, Cristóbal Balenciaga and more; and, provides a stunning view into the atelier, designs and clothing created by Christian Dior through collaboration with the House of Dior.

In addition to Mendelsohn and Binoche, the ensemble cast is led by Maisie Williams as Catherine Dior; John Malkovich as Lucien Lelong; Emily Mortimer as Elsa Lombardi; Claes Bang as Spatz; and, Glenn Close as Carmel Snow.

Paramount+ today announced that all ten episodes of the second season of the hit docuseries The Family Stallone will premiere exclusively on the service Wednesday, February 21 in the U.S. and Canada, and on Thursday, February 22 in the UK and Australia.

Episodes will premiere on a weekly basis in Latin America and Brazil beginning February 21, and in France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and South Korea beginning February 22.

This season, after four decades as one of Los Angeles’ most famous families, the Stallones are leaving Hollywood for good and moving east.

With daughters Sophia and Sistine following their dreams in New York City and Scarlet navigating college and a new love in Miami, Sly and Jen set up roots in Palm Beach as empty nesters.

But distance can’t keep this family apart as the season culminates in a life-changing trip to Italy to explore their family history, rekindle love and make a lifetime of memories.

Tyler Johnson is an Associate Editor for TV Fanatic and the other Mediavine O&O sites. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and, of course, watching TV. You can Follow him on X and email him here at TV Fanatic.

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