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Mikey O'Connell

TV Features Editor

Mikey O'Connell is the TV Features Editor at The Hollywood Reporter, where he's held several positions since joining the magazine in 2011. Though his primary focus is covering the television industry, he frequently explores culture and film — writing and reporting features, news, interviews and profiles, as well as overseeing many annual editorial packages such as the Hollywood's 50 Most Powerful Showrunners issue. Mikey also manages weekly Q&A franchise Creative Space and wonders how many days will pass before his parents notice this new bio. (He'll report back on that.)

A&E Boss Elaine Frontain Bryant Adds Lifetime to Purview as Amy Winter Exits 

A+E Networks is undergoing a significant executive shuffle with news that Lifetime brass Amy Winter and Tanya Lopez are both departing the media company. Their exits mark an even bigger gig for one of the company’s top programming executives. Elaine Frontain Bryant, the longtime EVP and head of programming at flagship channel A&E, will now […]

For Actors Podcasting During a Strike, Speaking Out of Turn Is the Big Concern

“We’re not allowed to talk about Scrubs.” That was the consensus that co-stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison reached almost immediately during the Aug. 1 episode of their Scrubs rewatch podcast, Fake Doctors, Real Friends. The pair, like many actors with thriving audio platforms, had been unsure of how to approach their side gig during […]

“The Optics Are Just Crazy”: Inside the Strikes’ Unpredictable Emmy FYC Impact

“Would you like to speak with the Emmy-nominated ADR mixer?” Their work is pivotal, of course, but as Hollywood interviews go, it’s not exactly the sexiest offer. Yet with all the striking actors and many of the striking writers off the playing field this summer, that’s the kind of promotion the platforms and studios are […]

Emmy Awards Postponed Amid Actor and Writer Strikes

The 2023 Emmy Awards are officially moving off their usual September airdate as actors and writers continue their strikes against media conglomerates. The 75th annual awards had been scheduled to air Sept. 18 on Fox. A new date has yet to be set, but sources close to the show confirm that the original date and […]

“To Be in Hollywood Is to Be Gaslit”: Justin Simien Levels Up With Disney’s ‘Haunted Mansion’ at a Fraught Time

Filmmaker Justin Simien was the main attraction at the July 15 red carpet premiere of his latest effort, The Haunted Mansion. But it wasn’t because he arrived in a floor-length cape, his tribute to the movie’s costume designer. It was because the hours-old SAG-AFTRA strike prevented his starry cast — LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish and […]

How ‘The Beanie Bubble’ Directors Saw Themselves in a Craze They Barely Remember

Kristin Gore still isn’t exactly sure why her agents slipped her a copy of Zac Bissonnette’s 2015 book, The Great Beanie Baby Bubble. She was not party to the mid-’90s collecting craze. In fact, she barely recalls it. But peppered throughout the book’s 260 pages, which document how a line of $5 stuffed animals briefly […]

‘Vanderpump Rules,’ Post-Scandoval: Showrunner Talks Filming Season 11

Just a month after the Vanderpump Rules season 10 reunion became the most-watched Bravo telecast in nearly a decade, production began on No. 11. Executive producer and showrunner Alex Baskin is used to this kind of grind. In March, when news broke that original castmember Tom Sandoval had been cheating on longtime partner Ariana Madix […]

The 10 Most Talked-About Reality Franchises of 2023 (So Far)

Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato and RuPaul Charles THE FRANCHISE RuPaul’s Drag Race As Paramount Global further consolidates its portfolio, the value placed on its 26-time Emmy winner is apparent. RuPaul’s Drag Race migrated from VH1 to MTV earlier in 2023 — driving ratings up 17 percent. Produced by Charles and his longtime collaborators, World of […]

‘Love Is Blind’ Creator: Revelations From Reality’s Biggest Hitmaker

On April 16, Netflix expected to deliver the second live telecast in the streamer’s history — a reunion special for Love Is Blind. An epilogue of sorts to the blind dating competition’s fourth season, it seemed like a relatively low-stakes exercise for the platform’s latest technology. But when an internal bug kept the episode from […]

Hollywood Offered Jake Johnson a Path to Mega-Stardom, He Chose a Regular Life

In the far corner of his backyard in Eastside L.A., Jake Johnson hand-built an 8-by-12-foot studio cabin where he does most of his work. Sure, he needs to duck to pass through the petite doorway — roughly a foot short thanks to a minor snafu in his original flooring plan — but it’s cozy and […]

Double Strike: Actors Join Writers on First Day of Historic Hollywood Labor Stoppage

While ‘90s or musical-themed pickets may have helped maintain WGA morale during the first 73 days of their strike, the writers got a much bigger lift on Friday as actors joined them on lines across Los Angeles. The first official day of the historic SAG-AFTRA strike brings with it the promise of A-listers from the […]

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher on Rejected Studio Offer: “It’s Disgusting, Shame on Them”

Fran Drescher did not mince words when addressing members of her union and the press during Thursday’s formal announcement that SAG-AFTRA is now on strike. The labor organization’s president, elected in 2022, railed on the studios — and their proposed offers — as the reason for talks breaking down.  “We had no choice,” said Drescher, speaking alongside […]