Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2011

Hey All,

Well, the Oscars aired last night and the consensus seems to be the same as previous years. The awards show was boring, the hosts seemed either bored or too perky at times and the winners were, if nothing else, predictable. What was your take on the annual fete?

In the meantime, here are the news items for today:

TELEVISION

The new ABC drama No Ordinary Family has had its episode order trimmed down to 20 episodes, meaning the season finale will air on April 5 at 8 PM (instead of in May). A new episode will air tomorrow night followed by two weeks of repeats with the finale 3 episodes to air starting on March 22. (The Futon Critic)

Oscar winner Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God) will have a guest-starring role in the ABC Family Channel drama called Switched at Birth that is set to air in this summer. The show will tell the story of two teenage girls who discover they were accidentally switched as newborns in the hospital. Matlin will portray Melody, the mother one of the girls in the show. (Seat42F)

Actress Liz Vassey (CSI) will guest star in a spring episode of Castle, as a real estate broker who gets caught in the middle of New York’s pizza wars. (Michael Auseillo at TV Line)

DEVELOPMENT NEWS

Actor Russell Hornsby (Lincoln Heights) and actress Bitsie Tulloch (Quarterlife) have joined the NBC drama pilot called Grimm, which is being described as a fantastical cop drama in which characters from Grimm’s Fairy Tales exist. The main story revolves around Nick (David Giuntoli); a cop who starts to see some humans for what they actually are — animals/beasts — and realizes it’s his destiny to protect society from them. Hornsby and Tulloch will play Bruce’s partner in crime and love interest, respectively. (Michael Ausiello at TV Line)

Actor David Krumholtz (Numb3rs) will have a co-starring role in the NBC drama pilot Playboy, which is, of course, set at the Playboy Club in Chicago circa 1963. He will play the club’s general manager, a young Albert Brooks-esque bottom-line kind of guy. The cast also includes Amber Heard (Zombieland), Naturi Naughton (Fame) and Laura Benanti (Eli Stone) as Playboy bunnies. (Nellie Andreeva at TV Line)

Actor Tony Goldwyn has landed a role in the ABC drama pilot now called Damage Control (formerly known as In Crisis) about Olivia Price (Kerry Washington) who is a professional fixer and her dysfunctional staff. He will play Fitzgerald Grant an old friend of Price’s who is now the President of the United. (The Futon Critic)

Actress Frances O’Connor (Cashmere Mafia) will star in the ABC drama pilot called Hallelujah, which is about a tiny town in Tennessee that finds itself being torn apart by the forces of good and evil. She will play Ruth Turner, whose family welcomes Jared O’Neal (Jesse L. Martin), a mysterious stranger who arrives to restore faith to the town’s residents, into their home. (The Futon Critic)

Don Johnson (Miami Vice) will play the title role in the NBC drama pilot called A Mann’s World that is about a straight Beverly Hills hairdresser in his 50s who is struggling to stay young and relevant in a place where looks are everything. The pilot also stars Taylor Kinney. (The Futon Critic)

Actress Frances Fisher (Eureka) has a role in the ABC drama pilot called Partners, which is about half-sisters – Mattie (Scottie Thompson) and Jess (Annie Wersching) – who work together as police detectives. She will play their incarcerated mother, Colleen Scott, who confessed to killing Mattie’s abusive father 20 years ago. Kenneth Mitchell, Larry Gilliard Jr. and Michael Beach also star in the project. (The Futon Critic)

Actor Raza Jaffrey (MI-5) has been added to the cast of the NBC drama pilot Smash, which is about a show-within-a-show following a group of people who come together to put on a Marilyn Monroe-themed Broadway musical. He will play Dev the live-in boyfriend of the musical’s star, Karen (Katharine McPhee), who works in the mayor’s office. Debra Messing, Jack Davenport and Megan Hilty are among the other cast members. (The Futon Critic)

Actor Danny Pino (Cold Case) is the first actor cast in the NBC pilot S.I.L.A, described as a complex drama in the style of Traffic and Syriana set in the world of crime, law enforcement and politics in sprawling modern-day Los Angeles. (Deadline)

AWARD WINNERS

Congrats to the winners of the Independent Spirit Awards, including Black Swan, Natalie Portman and The King’s Speech (among others) that were presented over the weekend. And, of course, congrats to all the Oscar winners from last night, including Christian, Bale, Inception, Toy Story 3, Alice in Wonderland and Melissa Leo (among others). Also, here is an “inappropriate” kudos to the ‘winners” of the Razzie Awards, including Jessica Alba, Jackson Rathbone and The Last Airbender (among others). (E! Entertainment and TV Guide)

CONDOLENCES

Director Gary Winick – the man behind Letters to Juliet, Bride Wars, Tadpole, 13 Going on 30, Pieces of April, Charlotte’s Web (among others) – passed away at the age of 49. (Variety)

ME: Rest in Peace, Mr. Winick. Condolences are extended to his family, friends and fans.

MOMENT OF SILENCE, PLEASE….

BOX OFFICES NEWS

Actress Kate Mara and actor Treat Williams will star in the independent crime thriller film called Blackbird that is to star Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde as a pair of sibling fugitives who cross paths with a young convict boxer (Charlie Hunnam). Williams and Mara will play a father-daughter duo whose storyline intertwines with the main plot. Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek also star as the boxer’s parents. (Variety and Dark Horizons)

It’s official! Actor James Franco will play the lead in the film Oz, The Great and Powerful, which is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, telling the story of the origins of the Wizard and Oz’s infamous witches like Glinda the Good Witch of the North and Evanorah, the soon-to-be squashed Wicked Witch of the East. (Deadline and Dark Horizons)

Here are the top 10 box office movies for this past weekend according to Exhibitor Relations and updated tallies from Variety:

1. Hall Pass, $13.5 million
2. Gnomeo & Juliet, $13.4 million
3. Unknown, $12.4 million
4. Just Go With It, $11.1 million
5. I Am Number Four, $11 million
6. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, $9.2 million
7. The King’s Speech, $7.6 million
8. Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, $7.55 million
9. Drive Angry, $5.1 million
10. The Roommate, $2 million

Actor Jimmi Simpson (Psych and the upcoming Breakout Kings) has joined the cast of the box office movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, playing Lincoln’s right-hand man. (Dark Horizons)

Q&A SECTION (with Matt Roush at TV Guide)

Question: Is it likely Castle would ever do an episode inside the Nikki Heat universe? Say Castle is working on some aspect of a book and Beckett drops by to flip the roles so to speak. She pokes and prods to see how Castle creates his world, his story. And boom, the episode is set in the world of Nikki Heat. You would get to see all the characters of the show be portrayed differently: a more sultry Beckett, less goofy Castle. I know in TV everything is possible, up to a point at least, but is this something the producers have ever hinted at doing? — Trenton

Matt Roush: Sounds like a great idea, the kind of Moonlighting-style fantasy stunt that would suit this show very nicely. (Also sounds like something that’s the stuff of fan fiction, but I’m not opening that door.) I haven’t heard that the show is planning something like this; the closest they’ve come so far is bringing in Laura Prepon as the actress playing Nikki Heat in a movie adaptation of the books. Bones dipped from this fantasy role-playing well a while back, which may keep Castle from doing it anytime soon so it doesn’t look like they’re copying. But I always like it when Beckett’s persona gets confused with Castle’s Nikki creation, so why not?

Question: TV Guide Magazine’s recent article about Castle posed a great question: Why aren’t more people watching the show? I just can’t understand why it’s not a huge hit. Castle has all the standards of the day for a hit: very attractive people solving crimes. It is currently the show I look forward to watching most. The writing and acting are excellent and it is just so much fun. I love that it is character rather than case-driven and doesn’t take itself too seriously, unlike other procedurals. Rick Castle is easily one of my favorite TV characters. The recent episode dealing with the murder of Beckett’s mom highlights everything that is great about the show. So why does Castle seem like a largely ignored show? — Amy

Matt Roush: Maybe our current cover story can help turn that perception around. The fact is, as enjoyable as Castle is, it’s one of many shows in an oversaturated genre that is dominated mostly by CBS blockbusters. Castle does just fine for ABC, and tends to flourish even more when Dancing With the Stars is in season, and if there are big storylines and stunts coming, I’m sure we’ll give them proper coverage. But with episodic procedurals, it can be very easy to take them for granted week in and week out. Doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy them.

Question: For the most part, I’m really enjoying Hawaii Five-0, even though the writing seems uneven at times, but then so it is with most procedurals. I have to ask, though: Is it just me or is Scott Caan being given the meatiest material to work with? In nearly back-to-back episodes, his character had a “personal crisis” to deal with, which basically separated him from the regular procedural element of the script, thereby giving Scott a chance to develop his character and shine a bit. I don’t see that happening with any other role, even the McGarrett character. Is this all happening because the network gave orders to give Scott more material so they could ride his Golden Globe nomination, or do you think the writers just haven’t figured out how to write properly for the other three leads? And while we’re talking about undeveloped characters, how awful is it that the wonderful Daniel Dae Kim is basically relegated to saying “copy that” every episode and fiddling with tech stuff? What a waste of talent! When does Chin get his turn to shine, or Kono? I know that the producers have promised more McGarrett-centric episodes, but does that mean more scenes of Steve jumping through windows or showing off his SEAL skills, or does it mean that Alex O’Loughlin actually gets some good material too? My one and only hope as far as the McGarrett character is concerned is that his uber-annoying, whiny sister stay on the mainland and away from Hawaii permanently. I know that’s a long shot, but we can hope. — Rachel

Matt Roush: Seems to me that Scott Caan’s “Danno” character broke out long before the Golden Globes nod, and I don’t imagine that has much to do with the show’s creative direction, or lack thereof. Is it really such a surprise that the comic fish-out-of-water sidekick to the brooding all-business/all-action leading man pops out from an ensemble like this? Points well taken that Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park have been woefully underused, and their characters seriously underdeveloped. But in the big picture of a franchise like this, it’s still early days.

Question: Last week, Glee hit a new low. To say it’s been uneven since the original 13 episodes is an understatement, but as bad as some episodes have been, I was unprepared for just how awful “Blame It on the Alcohol” turned out. Glee’s decline reminds me of Heroes. In both cases, the first seasons were extremely entertaining, even taking into account both shows had obvious problem areas. In the second seasons, the problem areas overtook and defined the shows with only occasional flickers of what was so entertaining just one year earlier. I can tell you why Glee is bad from a viewer’s perspective, using this episode as an example: bad song choices (all of a sudden, the previous week’s Justin Bieber songs seem fantastic!), confusing mixed messages, inconsistent and unlikable characterizations, and hideous 1970s bridesmaid dresses worn by an underage hostess. I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the drift.

My question to you is this: Why is Glee so bad now from an insider’s perspective? I don’t understand the decision-making process that could lead to such a steep dip in quality so quickly. Does the show’s popularity go to the creators’ heads? Are they surrounded by “yes” men and lose the ability to collaborate? Or are these just shows with a limited shelf life and any continuation is bound to stink. One last observation. At least the viewing public had the good sense to stop watching Heroes after it got bad. With Glee pulling bigger numbers now than last year, viewers are rewarding the poor creative decisions, so I see little hope of it getting better. I suppose an obvious explanation is that (as the popularity of “reality” shows proves) what entertains me is very different than that of the general public. — Lou

Matt Roush: I think many people still like the idea of Glee and are glad there’s a place on TV for such an original series, even when the weekly experience can be so maddening. They like the music more or less — although I agree with you that, besides the Rachel-Blaine duet, there was nothing from last week’s episode I was tempted to download — and fans seem to be able to tolerate the chaotic excesses and ridiculous inconsistencies for the moments of magic that still occur now and again. It’s a mess, but for me it’s still a fascinating mess. (Even in the best episodes, there’s usually something that irks me, and even in the most irksome episodes, I can usually find a moment or two of bliss.) But you’re wondering how something can go so obviously off the rails, and I fall back on the argument that it’s hard to imagine many shows that would be more difficult to produce than this weekly musical. Ryan Murphy for better or worse is an auteur pursuing his own peculiar vision, and there is a sense that Glee is operating in its own pop-culture bubble and will be given a long leash (possibly to hang itself?) as long as its popularity sustains.

Question: We know that The Cape is done, and that V, The Event and No Ordinary Family are on life support. What are the chances of a season-ending wrap-up on the programs? I really hate when they leave things up in the air. — Dennis

Matt Roush: In most of these cases, the best we can probably hope for is that the writers will wrap up some part of the story or arc so the fans can be satisfied with at least that much resolution. Given the precarious state of each of these series, it would be foolish for the producers to think that ending everything with a huge cliffhanger would somehow force the networks to bring them back for another season. That tends to result only in mass viewer frustration. At the same time, I doubt many shows in their first season would produce an actual “series” finale type of episode. The best approach would be to bring some part of the big-picture story to an end, while leaving the basic premise open-ended in case the miracle of renewal occurs. The times we’ve actually seen this happen, though, are far and few between.

That’s it. Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Last night was obviously Oscar night with not much else on (except for reality, animation and news). There was only one new drama airing last night so the following ratings list is very short:

8:30 to 11 PM (approximate) Airing:
The 83rd Annual Academy Awards (ABC) – 33.5 million (average)

10 PM Show:
CSI: Miami (CBS) – 8.2 million

What did you watch last night? Please share.

Read Full Post »

Trying to figure out what to watch tonight? Be it new episodes of the TV season, reairs of cable series or a movie, here are some suggestions:

8 PM
Chuck on NBC
Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family
Being Human on Syfy (reair)
NCIS on USA Network
Bad Boys movie on AMC

9 PM
The Chicago Code on FOX
Greek on ABC Family
Being Human on Syfy
Splash movie on CMT
Alice in Wonderland movie on Starz

10 PM
Harry’s Law on NBC
Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family (reair)
Warehouse 13 on Syfy

10:01 PM
Castle on ABC

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

March Box Office Movies

Based on information provided by the Dark Horizons site and internet research, here are just some of the movies you can expect to see in movie theatres in March:

5 Days in August
Opens: March

A group of war correspondents are caught behind enemy lines when Russia invaded Georgia in 2008. They manage to witness and film the most horrific of war crimes only to find the world media focused on Beijing. They must fight to get the footage out – a quest that may cost them their lives. The cast includes Val Kilmer, Andy Garcia, Rupert Friend, Heather Graham and Johnathon Schaech.

Beastly
Opens: March 4

A spoiled rich kid (Alex Pettyfer) is cursed by a girl (Mary-Kate Olsen) who turns him into a hideous figure. His only solution is for someone to fall in love with him, and he tries to force it by making the daughter (Vanessa Hudgens) of an addict he has power over live with him. Neil Patrick Harris co-stars.

Rango
Opens: March 4

Johnny Depp voices the title animated chameleon with an identity crisis. The story also features the voices of Bill Nighy, Stephen Root, Harry Dean Stanton and Alfred Molina.

The Adjustment Bureau
Opens: March 4

David Norris (Matt Damon) is a charismatic congressman who meets a beautiful ballet dancer (Emily Blunt) named Elise Sellas, only to find strange circumstances keeping them from getting closer. Norris discovers forces are at work to ensure they stay apart, and he pushes to find out why. The film is loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story “Adjustment Team” and co-stars John Slattery, Terence Stamp and Daniel Dae Kim.

Battle: Los Angeles
Opens: March 11

When Earth is attacked by unknown forces and the world’s great cities fall, Los Angeles becomes the last stand for mankind in a battle no one expected. It is up to a Marine staff sergeant and his new platoon to draw a line in the sand as they take on an enemy unlike any they’ve ever encountered before. The cast includes Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Pena, Bridget Moynahan and Ne-Yo.

Black Death
Opens: March 11

As the plague ravages Europe, emissaries from the church are on a mission to stamp out suspected paganism in one village that appears untouched by the Black Death. The film stars Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne.

Jane Eyre
Opens: March 11

After a loveless and often abusive upbringing, orphan Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, the manor of the moody and wilful Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender). As a romance blooms, mysterious and sinister events threaten to uncover the dark truth about her employer. Jamie Bell, Judi Dench and Sally Hawkins co-star.

Kill The Irishman
Opens: March 11

Val Kilmer, Linda Cardellini, Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Vincent D’Onofrio star in the movie that chronicles the rise of infamous Cleveland gangster Danny Greene, who engaged in a power struggle with the Italian mob. Greene was as an upstart longshoreman union rep and later became a cocky, legendarily difficult-to-kill troublemaker in the world of organized crime in the 1970s.

Mars Needs Moms!
Opens: March 11

Nine-year-old Milo finds out just how much he needs his mom when she’s nabbed by Martians who plan to steal her life force. Milo’s quest to save his mom involves stowing away on a spaceship and taking on the alien nation with the help of a tech-savvy earthman and a rebellious Martian girl. The film features the voices of Seth Dursky, Joan Cusack, Elisabeth Harnois, Dan Fogler and Mindy Sterling.

NOTE: Seth Green was to voice the main young boy in the film, but the studio decided to go with a younger actor so Seth Dursky is now doing the voice.

Paul
Opens: March 11

Two British sci-fi fanatics on an American road trip find their conspiracy dreams coming true when they encounter an escaped alien near Area 51. As they try to reunite him with his mother ship, they find ‘Paul’ has many more opinions than your typical ET. The cast includes Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman and Kristen Wiig.

Red Riding Hood
Opens: March 11

Amanda Seyfried stars as Valerie, a young woman who is betrothed to the wealthy Henry (Max Irons) while being in love with the brooding outsider Peter (Shiloh Fernandez). Unfortunately there’s also a werewolf on the prowl, and it appears to be someone with a connection to the fetching Valerie.

Limitless
Opens: March 18

A down-on-his-luck writer takes an experimental drug that allows him to use 100 percent of his mind. As one man evolves into the perfect version of himself, forces more corrupt than he can imagine mark him for assassination. The cast includes Cast: Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish and Anna Friel.

The Lincoln Lawyer
Opens: March 18

Matthew McConaughey stars as Mickey Haller, a slick young attorney doing business from the back of his Lincoln Towncar, when he realizes that his new client, the son (Ryan Phillippe) of a major businessman, may in fact be guilty of brutal assault. The cast includes Marisa Tomei and William H. Macy.

The Beaver
Opens: March 23

A depressed toy company CEO (Mel Gibson) with a failed marriage starts to wear a beaver puppet on his hand as a form of therapy, much to the initial bemusement of his family. He soon begins talking only through the character. The film stars Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence.

Miral
Opens: March 25

A drama centered on an orphaned Palestinian girl growing up in the wake of the first Arab-Israeli war who finds herself drawn into the conflict. Freida Pinto and Alexander Siddig star.

Sucker Punch
Opens: March 25

This is an epic action fantasy about a girl named Babydoll (Emily Browning) who enters into a dream world to escape from her dark reality. Babydoll and others are locked away to face a terrible fate until they band together to fight for freedom. The cast includes Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm and Scott Glen.

The Lion of Judah
Opens: March 28

This animated 3-D movie explores what happens when several animals get together to save Judah from being a possible sacrifice at an annual festival by townsfolk. The film features the voices of Ernest Borgnine, Michael Madsen and Georgina Cordova.

Movies coming out in April will be posted at the end of March.

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

Trying to figure out what to watch tonight? Be it new episodes of the fall season, reairs of cable series or a movie, here are some suggestions:

NOTE: There will be a marathon of NCIS episodes on the USA Network. Check your local listings for airtimes.

4 PM
Pearl Harbor movie on AMC

5 PM
Robin Hood movie on BBC America

5:30 PM
Serenity movie on Syfy

5:45 PM
The Blind Side movie on Cinemax
Watchmen movie on More Max

6 PM
Gracie’s Choice movie on Lifetime Movie Network

6:30 PM
Fanboys movie on TMC

7:15 PM
(500) Days of Summer movie on HBO Signature

8 PM
Pearl Harbor movie on AMC
The Rock movie on Flix
Casino Royale movie on Syfy
The Patriot movie on TNT

9 PM
Any Human Heart movie on PBS (conclusion)

Enjoy!

Read Full Post »

It was a night full of new programming last night. Here is how the Friday night dramas fared in the overall ratings race:

8 PM Shows:
The Defenders (CBS) – 8.7 miillion
Smallville (The CW) – 2.6 million

9 PM Shows:
CSI:NY (CBS) – 10.8 million
Fringe (FOX) – 4 million
Supernatural (The CW) – 2.2 million

10 PM Show:
Blue Bloods (CBS) – 11.6 million

What did you watch last night? Please share.

Read Full Post »

This is the final article in the pilot watch 101 series, this time covering the pilots that are being considered by The CW for the 2011-2012 TV season. The network will be losing its powerhouse series Smallville and has room on its schedule for at least two if not more dramas. The following are just some of the ones that could take those openings:

The pilot called Awakening features two sisters who are coming of age and facing off against one another during the beginning of a zombie uprising. Can you say The Walking Dead for teenagers? No details are available yet on casting.

Meanwhile, actress Rachel Bilson (The O.C.) will return to episodic TV in the form of the drama pilot Hart of Dixie from Executive Produces Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. The pilot is about a young New York City doctor who inherits a medical practice in a small Southern town inhabited by an eclectic and eccentric group of characters. Actor Wilson Bethel (The Young and the Restless) will co-star.

The DC comic character Raven will get a turn on the small screen in the pilot of the same name. Raven is the daughter of a human and a devil who has the ability to read emotions and divine secrets. It is said Raven fights crime as well as the darkness in her own soul. There are no details yet on casting.

Kevin Williamson (half of the executive producer team on The Vampire Diaries) will bring another novel set by L.J. Smith (the author the Vampire Diaries novels) to life on the CW. The Secret Circle is about a young woman who discovers that she’s a witch and part of a secret coven that holds the key to unlocking ancient battle of good and evil to pilot. The cast of this pilot includes Britt Robertson (Life Unexpected).

The CW has at least 5 or more dramas in addition to those listed above that are being considered for the 2011-2012 TV season. Please keep in mind that very few of these pilots will actually make it to series. One last time, the final decision will be made by the powers that be at the network in late spring and announced in May at the New York upfront presentations.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »