7:27am PT by Jackie Strause
'Veep' Updates Jonah Ryan, Richard Splett Websites and Launches Selina Meyer Fund Hub
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the season- six premiere of Veep.]
Jonah Ryan believes that you can't change people's lives until you change their minds.
That's the mission statement on the updated website for Veep's resident Congressman, who also debuted a brand-new look on Sunday's season-six premiere.
After it was revealed that a suspicious lump was found on one of his testicles in the fifth-season finale, the New Hampshire representative (played by Timothy Simons) was caught shaving his head by rival Dan Egan (Reid Scott) and fessed up that he has been pretending to still have cancer for his own political benefit. Though he underwent six weeks of chemotherapy, he currently has a clean bill of health.
"Only Jonah would use his cancer," showrunner David Mandel told The Hollywood Reporter of the character. "His comeuppance really comes from that moment with Dan."
Simons, who actually shaved his head (but not his eyebrows), will now be letting his hair grow in real time on subsequent episodes. "I think he'd be the first to admit that he looks like a monster," added Mandel.
Jonah's website first launched last year amid an elaborate social media campaign around the show. The character's campaign hub, Jonah Ryan for Congress, faux-connected the dark-horse candidate to the people of New Hampshire while Jonah was running, with Veep even taking out ads for the candidate in a local newspaper.
Now his website has undergone a makeover bearing Jonah's fresh face and slogan. His updated bio explains how, after a few months in office, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and resolved to beat it: "Today, after having the testicle removed and completing a course of chemotherapy, I am proud to be not just a cancer survivor but a cancer winner."
His issues are littered with references to how he beat cancer and is now using what he learned to fight for things like better education and health care.
The website also includes his premiere-episode interview with Dan, the new co-host of CBS This Morning (watch below), as well as another scene from the first episode when he fights against healthy school lunches on an empty House floor.
The sixth-season premiere opened one year after Selina's historic presidential loss and White House exodus. The now-former president is focusing on her post-presidency legacy while her staffers are scattered. Former Selina staffers who have migrated to work for Jonah, Ben Cafferty (Kevin Dunn) and Kent Davison (Gary Cole), get bios on Jonah's team page.
Last year, the Emmy-winning series also brought two other characters' show visions to life when it launched Richard's (Sam Richardson) Let's Talk About Splett blog and debuted a website for Catherine Meyer's (Sarah Sutherland) documentary, Kissing Your Sister: The Story of a Tie, complete with a whopping 26 bonus scenes and cast interviews.
On Monday, Let's Talk About Splett was up and running again, with a series of new posts and a video from Richard himself crossing off No. 6 on his New York bucket list: The Empire State Building.
Richard's posts bear the datelines of Veep's sixth season timeline, February 2018.
During last season's debut of the Kissing Your Sister documentary, Veep jumped ahead of reality to take place in January 2017. "We needed to set the timeline so viewers knew when we were in present time and when we were flashing back," explained Mandel of the decision to stamp a date on the series for the first time.
Also new to Richard's blog is an essay on race and cinema, an appreciation of the game Connect Four and a "Splettcipe" for Spaghetti alla Riccardo.
A third Easter egg that dropped on Monday also answered a question-mark from the season premiere.
While being interviewed by CBS This Morning's Dan Egan, Selina informed America that she has spent the last year working on her Meyer Fund for Adult Literacy. After saying it out loud, she realized it might not be enough of a cause, and tacked AIDS onto the fund.
A new online hub, however, displays the original name of the fund, which is being run by Selina's daughter-in-law Marjorie (Clea Duvall). "The Meyer Fund for Adult Literacy is leading the fight against the merciless scourge of adult readinglessness through advocacy, awareness-raising, and, perhaps most importantly, teaching people to read," reads the mission statement.
The website also features an online literacy test, as well as her CBS interviews from the premiere.
"As we go through the rest of the season, Selina is embracing being a former president and she has to find her path," said Mandel of Selina's quest for relevancy. "She has to find a path because she has no other path."
Watch the premiere clips from CBS This Morning, along with Richard's vlog, below.