TV News Roundup – September 2010 – Week 1
JJ Abrams, Elizabeth Sarnoff To Shop ‘Alcatraz’ Drama
JJ Abrams and Lost executive producer Elizabeth Sarnoff are heading to another island. Abrams and his Warner Bros. TV-based Bad Robot are about to take out to the networks Alcatraz, a drama spec script written by Sarnoff. Like all things Bad Robot, the project is shrouded in secrecy but it is about the San Francisco Bay island that once housed some of the country’s most notorious criminals, including Al Capone.
Aaron Douglas: The Battlestar producers lied to me
WARNING: IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN BATTLESTAR YET, THERE IS A MEGA SPOILER BELOW.
CNN asked when Douglas found out that his character was going to be revealed as one of the final Cylons: “Officially, the day before we started shooting it. But we shot that scene in December, and I had seen some papers that I wasn’t supposed to see over at [director] Michael Rymer’s house, in September. So I had to sit very quietly for three months, not say a word, furious the whole time. And constantly walking past Ron Moore and David Eick, who are the creators of the show, and say, “So, anything coming up for the Chief?” And they’d say, “Oh no, just fixing Vipers, just the usual.” Just lying to me! So we finally found out officially, and I got Ron [Moore] on the phone, yelled at him for five minutes, and then he talked me off the ledge and convinced me that it was a good thing, and he was right.”
‘Paranormal Activity’ creators ink TV deal
Dreamworks TV, ABC to collaborate on spooky ‘River’ series
Dreamworks TV and ABC Studios are teaming with the creators of “Paranormal Activity” on a spooky TV project. “Paranormal” writer-director Oren Peli and “Paranormal 2″ screenwriter Michael R. Perry have co-created a new series idea that brings the horror hit’s style to the small screen. Titled “The River,” the story involves a search for a person who went missing on the Amazon river and employs the found-video footage format popularized by “Blair Witch Project,” “Cloverfield” and, of course, “Paranormal Activity.”
Kristen Bell Takes Veronica Mars Movie Campaign To Twitter And Facebook
Kristen Bell knows that a Veronica Mars movie may be a tough sell to Warner Bros., but she remains undeterred in her quest to revive the character that launched her career, and she’s taken her fight to Twitter and Facebook. “WB says [their] research shows the movie [won't] have an audience,” Bell wrote via her Twitter account. “[I] disagree. Currently figuring out how to show them.” Thus far, showing them has involved pushing the #VeronicaMars and #VeronicaMarsMovie hashtags with her 170,000+ followers and recruiting about 14,600 fans for the “I will go see Veronica Mars: THE MOVIE” Facebook group. WB will likely be looking for a few more than 15,000 theater-goers to greenlight the project, but Bell’s social media blitz is still in its early days.
Steve Carell’s Replacement on The Office to Be…Harvey Keitel?!
Paul Lieberstein, executive producer of NBC’s The Office, claims that only one man can replace Steve Carell, and that’s Harvey Keitel. “He’s probably the only guy who can do it, and he’s doing TV now… He’s a real tough guy, but I saw him in Life on Mars and I saw a lot more comedy in his work, just little slivers of it, little things he would do that made me think he’s capable of a lot more than what [he's done].”
CW attempting to break Guinness Record
‘Hellcats’ inspires ‘largest cheerleading dance’
To promote its new fall cheerleading series “Hellcats,” The CW is staging an attempt to break a Guinness World Record. On Sept. 4, the network will turn the Frisco Memorial Stadium in Frisco, TX, into Cheerleader Headquarters by inviting squads from around the country to participate in a 5-minute choreographed “Hellcats” dance. The goal: To set a new record for “Largest Cheerleading Dance” at a single venue.
Syfy starts work on Neverland, a 4-hour prequel to Peter Pan
Syfy is re-teaming with writer/director Nick Willing to present Neverland, his original prequel to author J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan, it was announced today by Mark Stern, Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Syfy and Co-Head of Content for Universal Cable Productions. Production is set to begin on the 4-hour movie event next week in Genoa, Italy and Dublin, Ireland with a cast including Rhys Ifans (Pirate Radio, Notting Hill) as James Hook, Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) as Captain Elizabeth Bonny, Oscar nominee Bob Hoskins as Smee (who previously played the character in Steven Spielberg’s feature Hook), Raoul Trujillo (Tin Man) and Charlie Rowe (Pirate Radio) as Peter Pan. It is slated to air in 2011.
NBC Nabs Magic Drama From Ron Moore
Ronald D. Moore is back at NBC Universal with a new drama project for NBC that has landed one of the biggest commitments so far this pitch season. The project from Sony TV where the Battlestar Galactica developer inked a two-year overall deal in May, is described as an adult Harry Potter set in a world ruled not by science but by magic. I hear the drama got pilot and series penalties totaling close to $2 million.
MTV revives the live daytime show
Studio-based countdown show “The Seven” will air weekdays from Times Square beginning Sept. 27 and represents the latest evolution in the format from the network that pioneered the genre with “Total Request Live.” The half-hour show presents seven stories that MTV viewers need to know, from Hollywood news, music, sex and fashion to other topics. E! veteran Steve Tseckares will executive produce.
Guy who wrote ‘Jump the Shark’ episode finally speaks out
“Was the “Hollywood 3″ episode of “Happy Days” deserving of its fate? No, it wasn’t. All successful shows eventually start to decline, but this was not “Happy Days’” time. Consider: It was the 91st episode and the fifth season. If this was really the beginning of a downward spiral, why did the show stay on the air for six more seasons and shoot an additional 164 episodes? Why did we rank among the Top 25 in five of those six seasons?”
Look Inside The Event, Where You Least Expect
Looking forward to NBC’s new show The Event? Before the series debuts later this month, you can get a sneaky introduction to the characters in a genuinely unexpected place. On ComiXology’s DC store, there’s a short collection of portraits and bio info of the main characters in the Event; unless I’ve missed something in the store lately, I’m not sure this book was actually published at any point, but it’s a free chance to find out more about the show before the pilot airs September 20th on NBC.
Billy Ray Cyrus making paranormal series at Syfy
Syfy announced that its working on another paranormal investigation show, this one starring Billy Ray Cyrus and his son. Titled “UFO: Unbelievably Freakin’ Obvious,” the show has Cyrus and 21-year-old Trace investigating conspiracy theories.
Google TV coming to the U.S. in the fall
Free service won’t hawk content, due worldwide next year
Google will launch its web-to-TV service Google TV in the U.S. this fall and worldwide next year — but CEO Eric Schmidt said the Internet giant does not plan to get into the content production business. During his keynote speech at Berlin’s IFA consumer electronics fair, Schmidt also addressed privacy issues, saying Google would not “cross the line” to allow personal identification via its mobile Android software. Schmidt said Google TV will provide a seamless integration of Web and TV content, allowing full Internet browsing on equipped sets. Sony will be the first Google TV launch partner, with a Google TV-equipped HDTV and Blu-ray player bowing this autumn. Google said its TV offering will run on a new Logitech set-top box that hooks up to non-Internet equipped televisions.
Actress questions Emmy minority treatment
Regina King: ‘Emmys as white as ever’
Actress Regina King (“Southland”) is taking a stand on the under-representation of minorities at the Emmys. In “The Emmys: As White As Ever” on the HuffintonPost.com, she wrote that “it is impossible for me to ignore the published statistics regarding the number of people of color mentioned, celebrated or honored in the history of the televised Emmys.”
NBC orders ‘Shrek,’ ‘Kung Fu Panda’ specials
NBC is bringing to primetime new adventures from the DreamWorks Animation blockbusters “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda.” The network is partnering with DreamWorks Animation for the half-hour holiday specials “Scared Shrekless” and “Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special.” NBC will air the Halloween-themed “Shrekless” on Oct. 28, partnering it with a re-airing of “Mutant Pumpkins.” “Panda” will air Nov. 24, paired with an encore of “Merry Madagascar.”
But Wait, There’s More…
- Joan Cusack joins Showtime’s ‘Shameless’
- Premiere week episode descriptions: ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox
- Leno ratings: ‘Tonight’s’ worst summer ever, but host soundly beating David Letterman
- Catching up with ‘Beverly Hills, 90210′, Fox’s primetime teen soap was a launching pad
- Bryan Cranston to host ‘Saturday Night Live’
- Amy Poehler to host ‘SNL’ premiere
- ABC News President Steps Down
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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