TV News Roundup – August 2009 – Week 4
‘Caprica’ snags James Marsters!
Caprica exec producer Jane Espenson is using her powers as a charter member of the Whedonverse for good. Sources confirm to me exclusively that Buffy all-star James Marsters is joining the Battlestar Galactica prequel for a sizable arc. Marsters will play a dangerous terrorist leader by the name of Barnabus Greeley in a minimum of three episodes. Driven by desires both moralistic and carnal, Barnabus is as lethal as he is unpredictable.
John Hawkes joins ‘Lost’ for final season
‘Deadwood’ actor will take on the role of Lennon
John Hawkes is joining the final season of “Lost” as a recurring. The “Deadwood” alum will play Lennon, the scruffy, edgy and charismatic spokesperson and translator for the president of a foreign corporation who is far more powerful than it seems from his position.
MTV shows its many ‘Skins’
Developing a U.S. version of the popular British series
MTV is developing a stateside version of the raunchy U.K. series “Skins” — but will the network be able to capture the risque appeal of the original? The British one follows an ensemble of teens and contains copious amounts of swearing and drug use, along with some nudity. Moreover, the show uses an innovative production model, casting teenage unknowns to star in the series and employing young first-time writers. MTV says it will continue the original show’s production model with co-creator Bryan Elsley writing and executive producing the pilot.
ABC developing Time Traveler’s Wife TV show
ABC’s interest in the adaptation substantially pre-dates the movie, however. The network has been talking to Friends creator Marta Kauffman “for years” about bringing the project to the small screen, industry insiders said. Kauffman will write and executive produce. ABC executives believe the complex plot of the original novel will work well in series form, since Kauffman will be able to explore the romantic relationship at the core of the story over the course of several seasons. Individual episodes will likely feature self-contained storylines as well.
Oliver Stone reveals ‘Secret History’
Director making 10-part doc series for Showtime
The controversial director is creating a 10-part documentary series for Showtime titled “Secret History of America.” Narrated by Stone, the series promises to focus on events that “at the time went under-reported, but crucially shaped America’s unique and complex history of the last 60 years,” according to Showtime. Subjects will include President Harry Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan, the origins of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, to “the fierce struggle between war and peace in America’s national security complex.”
Kids in the Hall filming murder-mystery miniseries in North Bay, Ont.
The Kids in the Hall are venturing to North Bay, Ont., for a goofy murder-mystery miniseries that’s set to air in January on CBC. Producers say cameras started rolling Monday for “Death Comes to Town,” a suspenseful, eight-part comedy starring members of the comical Toronto-based troupe. McCulloch is an executive producer for the project and also conceived the idea for the program, the troupe’s first together in 15 years. Characters created for the miniseries include Shuckton’s mayor and his alcoholic wife, a “germ-gel” sniffing town criminal, a pizza delivery woman with Alzheimer’s, and a 600-pound ex-hockey star. The miniseries is set for broadcast on CBC in January 2010.
Extras announced for Farscape: The Complete Series DVD set
Farscape: The Complete Series will contain all 88 episodes plus over 15 hours of bonus features on 26 discs, including: Farscape Undressed—The Home Video: premiere of the rarely-seen, long-sought-after behind-the-scenes special. Four Archival Documentaries: In the Beginning: A Look Back with Brian Henson, Making of a Space Opera, Season 3: A Look Back with Executive Producer David Kemper and Farscape: The Story So Far. Three Inside Farscape Featurettes: Villains, Visual Effects and Save Farscape. 31 Audio Commentaries. Deleted Scenes, Director’s Cut Scenes, and an Alternate Version of the Season 2 Premiere. Behind-The-Scenes Interviews with the Characters, Cast and Creative Team of Farscape. Listening In with Composer Guy Gross: featurettes for 12 Episodes. Original TV Promos.
HBO appoints subjects to ‘Thrones’
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau joins Sean Bean in pilot
HBO is filling out the cast of its fantasy pilot “Game of Thrones” with the addition of former “New Amsterdam” star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and several others. The group joins the previously cast lead Sean Bean as battle-weary Ned Stark, who leaves his home to serve the king. In the adaptation of the George R.R. Martin fantasy-book series, Coster-Waldau will play Jaime Lannister, one of the king’s guards and a ruthless usurper of the previous king. The actor was most recently seen in Ron Moore’s Fox pilot “Virtuality”. HBO still has a few more roles to fill in the large ensemble cast of “Thrones,” one of the more buzzed-about titles on the premium network’s development slate. The pilot shoots in Ireland in October.
BBC replays Lehman crash
Drama stars James Cromwell, Corey Johnson
James Cromwell is to play former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in a BBC drama about the spectacular collapse of Lehman Brothers. “The Last Days of Lehman Brothers” depicts the events of the weekend of Sept. 12 when the giant U.S. investment bank crashed, becoming the biggest bankruptcy in American history and contributing to the crisis in the world’s financial system. Corey Johnson (“United 93,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”) plays Dick Fuld, the Lehman CEO known as “the scariest man on Wall Street.”
Syfy loads up ‘Warehouse 13′
Hourlong dramedy gets second season
Syfy has given a second-season order to “Warehouse 13.” Hourlong dramedy about Secret Service agents who investigate missing and newly found supernatural objects is the most-watched show in Syfy’s 17-year history, averaging 3.7 million viewers a week and 1.4 million in the 18-49 demo.
Jones, Jackson ride into ‘Sunset’
Duo set to star in adaptation of McCarthy play
HBO has set Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson to star in “The Sunset Limited,” an adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy play. Jones will direct. Jackson plays a man who saves another man (Jones) from throwing himself in front of a Harlem subway train. The act begins an exchange of ideologies as the two men from different backgrounds debate the worth of their lives.
Australian TV nets follow Nine online
Wary webs ready to start streaming full episodes
Nine Network pacted with Microsoft to launch a service on video portal Ninemsn featuring a handful of local shows, while Seven Network looks set to wade into the online world in September.But watching with interest is pubcaster the Australian Broadcasting Corp. whose online service IView celebrated its first birthday last month. It has been a rousing success with monthly viewing figures at over 600,000, trebling since its launch in July 2008. Some 40% of these users are regular watchers.
Seven winning ratings battle in Australia
Strong content boosts total audience share
The year-to-date sees Seven with a total audience share of 36.2%, steady on last year, while Nine is down 2.3% to 33.3%, and Ten, with hits like reality skein “MasterChef Australia,” has seen all of Nine’s lost eyeballs go its way with an increased share of 30.5%.
Megan Fox to host season premiere of SNL!
“Megan is psyched to have gotten this opportunity … She has a lot of surprises in store for the audience. This is the perfect opportunity for her to show off her comedic skills, as she’s launching her new movie Jennifer’s Body [on Sept. 18].”
ABC makes a ‘Hotel’ reservation
Picks up script from ‘Saw’ writing duo
ABC has picked up the script “Clive Barker’s Hotel” from “Saw” scribes Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton. The network bested Fox and several other nets eyeing the Warner Bros. TV project. The script centers on a series of ghoulish incidents at a haunted hotel. Horror maven Barker is attached as a producer.
The Fine Print
This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive roundup of the entire weeks’ news. All stories are chosen by me for no other reason than that they got my attention and might capture yours. If something you think is more important chime in on the feedback; we’d love to hear comments and have a conversation about it.
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