It is an American pop culture tradition that dates back to the 1950s – the TVhorror movie host. Producer/actor, Bo Keister, is taking it to the digital age with HILLBILLY HORROR SHOW, a new twist on the old concept. Plus we circle back to AMC’s HALT AND CATCH FIRE to talk to Kerry Bische (Donna) about where the new season finds her character.
We’re back in a couple of days with Dania Rameriz – from X-MEN to HEROES and now DEVIOUS MAIDS, her acting career is red hot.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, this is a great time to enjoy non-realistic fiction. Technology has evolved to the point that, even with no budget, people can tell the most fantastic, unimaginable stories without spending millions of dollars.
As an example, there are two different broadcast network television shows this year based on classic fairy tales. They’re very different, appealing, I suspect, to different audiences. Let’s discuss.
NBC’s Grimmis, in my opinion, the better show. It’s premise is that there is a race of people, Grimms, who hunt down supernaturally evil creatures from folklore, like trolls and ogres and giants. The last Grimm is a young married police detective, Nick Burkhardt, played by David Giuntoli (who looks a lot like Brandon Routh). He is helped in his investigations by a charming werewolf, Silas .
As you might expect from that premise, this series owes a lot of its structure to Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. So you won’t be surprised that the producersworked on Buffy show and the spin-off, Angel, as well as movies. The other two producers have experience in comedy.
The show is paced very much a police procedural, with a crime committed at the beginning of the show that must be solved by the end. The only difference is that the criminals are almost all supernatural, and Burkhardt is the only one who knows. There’s also a continuing story about some kind of conspiracy against the Grimms, one that the chief of police seems to be in on. The relationships among the characters seem real, the town seems like a place where people actually live, and the hero is happily married (at least so far), which is refreshing. Too many shows rely on the sexual attraction between two characters and a “will they or won’t they” dynamic to provide suspense.
By contrast, Once Upon a Time is much more of a soap opera, which is appropriate, given that it’s the lead-in for Desperate Housewives. The premise here is that the fairy tale characters have unknowingly left their dimension because of a spell by the Evil Queen, and now live Storybrooke, with no memory of their true identities.
As with Grimm, every week there is a mystery to solve. The sheriff, Emma Stone, is a former bail bondsman who was brought to Storybrooke by her long-lost son, Henry, who was adopted by Regina, the Mayor. As you might expect from that name, Regina is the evil queen.
Appropriate to a series with a queen, Once Upon a Time is campy fun. There are lots of knowing winks to Disney films, and the comic book rack at the drugstore has only Marvel titles. The child psychologist who works with Henry is, in the fairy tale universe, Jiminiy Cricket. Hilariously, his name on our world is Archie.
Best of all, the mysterious Mr. Gold is played by Robert Carlyle, an actor who can do anything. In Trainspotting, he was a scary psychopath. In The Full Monty, he was adorable. He was a Bond villain. He was Hitler. This show doesn’t give him enough to do.
The Evil Queen is always evil. The good guys are always good. The characters are not as complex as those on Grimm. However, half the time, they get to dress up like royalty.
As I said, I think Grimm works better overall. If you can only watch one, choose that. I can’t imagine why you would have to so limit yourself. Maybe that will be next season’s fantasy series.
DC Entertainment’s All-Star Superman was one of the better things to be released by the company during the past decade. It was universally acclaimed and awarded, recently being collected in an Absolute edition. Now, Warner Premiere is tackling Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s 12-part saga as their next animated feature. Here’s the formal press release:
BURBANK, CA, (November 29th, 2010) – Grant Morrison’s beloved, Eisner Award-winning vision of Superman’s heroic final days on Earth is brought to exquisite animated life in All-Star Superman, the latest entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies coming February 22, 2011 from Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The highly-anticipated, full-length film will be distributed by Warner Home Video as a Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack and 2-Disc Special Edition DVD for $24.98 (SRP), as well as single disc DVD for $19.98 (SRP). The film will also be available On Demand and for Download.
In All-Star Superman, the Man of Steel rescues an ill-fated mission to the Sun (sabotaged by Lex Luthor) and, in the process, is oversaturated by radiation – which accelerates his cell degeneration. Sensing even he will be unable to cheat death, Superman ventures into new realms – finally revealing his secret to Lois, confronting Lex Luthor’s perspective of humanity, and attempting to ensure Earth’s safety before his own impending end with one final, selfless act.
The celebrity-packed voice cast is headed by James Denton (Desperate Housewives) as Superman, Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) as Lois Lane, and Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace) as Lex Luthor. The stellar cast includes seven-time Emmy® Award winner Ed Asner (Up) as Perry White, Golden Globe® winner Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under) as Ma Kent, Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds) as Jimmy Olsen and Linda Cardellini (ER) as Nasty. Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy), Catherine Cavadini (The Powerpuff Girls), Finola Hughes (General Hospital), Alexis Denisof (Angel), Obba Babatunde (That Thing You Do!), Michael Gough (Batman) and John DiMaggio (Futurama) round out the voice cast.
Based on the Eisner Award-winning DC Comics series/graphic novel of the same name by Grant Morrison with illustration by Frank Quitely, All-Star Superman is executive produced by animation guru Bruce Timm and directed by Sam Liu (Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths) from a script by acclaimed comics writer Dwayne McDuffie (Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths). (more…)
In addition to the ongoing audio dramas and original novels, the adventures of Captain Jack and the Torchwood crew are coming to comic books. Titan Publishing, which already handles the Torchwood magazine, will release a comic in August.
Two stories will appear, the first, “Captain Jack and the Selkie”, is being co-written by series star John Barrowman and his sister Carol E. Barrowman,. Handling the art is veteran Tommy Lee Edwards and Jonathan Ross. The second story, “Broken,” is the opening chapter to a five-part story, written by Torchwood script editor Gary Russell, with artwork by UK vet Adrian Salmon. Captain Jack, Gwen and Ianto (seemingly back from the dead) get trapped in a cosmic hotel, while an old villain from the TV series will return.
As one might expect, there will be variant covers – artwork by Ian Churchill or photography – for collectors with an exclusively edition, with different Churchill artwork available at July’s Comic-Con International.
Edwards told the Pink Paper his story “sees Barrowman facing a deadly threat on a remote Scottish island, where people are disappearing one by one. To his horror, the captain starts to suspect he may know who, or rather what, is responsible.” The artist came to Barrowman’s attention when he and Carole spotted a Captain Jack poster by Edwards at the 2008 San Diego-based convention.
“The four of us hit it off immediately and I asked if they’d ever be interested in working with us on a Captain Jack project. They thought about it for, oh, about 30 seconds, and ‘Captain Jack and the Selkie’ was born!”
Barrowman, who was seen this season on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, confirmed for BBC Radio 2 that the highly-anticipated fourth season of Torchwood will be a thirteen-episode affair, although no formal announcement or schedule has come from the BBC itself. Producer Russell T. Davies has previously indicated he knows exactly how he wanted to open the season, which would find Jack still off Earth while Gwen and Rhys welcomed their first child.
In the meantime, Barrowman is committed to appear in a production of Aladdin in Glasgow, at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre’s Clyde Auditorium from December 11 to January 9, 2011.
Over the last few days there’s been a lot of interesting film casting going on so let’s review:
Captain America gains Neal McDonough who will take on the part of Timothy Aloysius Cadwallader “Dum Dum” Dugan. Nah, he’s not an overweight, rowdy red-head with a bushy mustache but he will be one of the Howling Commandos. McDonough is familiar to fans from SyFy’s Tin Man miniseries and Desperate Housewives.
The Avengers appears ready to add Jeremy Renner in the role of Clint Barton, Hawkeye. The actor/musician was nominated for Best Actor for his work in 2009’s The Hurt Locker.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is ready to welcome aboard Stephen Graham (Snatch) as Scram, described by Variety as “a Machiavellian pirate”. He and Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) go in search of the fountain of youth, bringing them to America for the first time, in the fourth installment of the film series, due out next May.
Our love for Kick-Ass’ Chloe Moretz is unrivaled and while we await her turn, later this year, as the vampire in the American remake of Let the Right One In, she has just signed on to star in Hick, described by Variety as a “coming-of-age indie drama”. The movie will adapt Andrea Portes’ novel with Portes handling the screenplay. Set in Nebraska, Moretz runs away from her alcoholic and abusive parents only to discover life on the road is no better. Directed by Derick Martini, shooting in New Mexico will begin later this year
We talked recently of how Daniel Craig has time on his hands now that MGM’s pending future has stalled work on the 23rd James Bond film. He’s now in talks with Sony to take on the role of Michael Blomkvist in the American adaptation of Steig Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. With David Fincher on board to direct, A-list actresses are all clamoring for the tasty role of Lisbeth Salander. Shooting is expected to begin later this year for a 2011 release.
There’s a report in Entertainment Weekly that the U.S. version of Torchwood – should it get picked up – will have a Captain Jack with more narrowed sexual interests. That does not please Captain Jack himself, actor John Barrowman.
Digital Spy reports the current Desperate Housewives guest-star “The last thing I would want would be for Jack to become this
heterosexual, straight hero. He’s an omnisexual guy. He likes men,
women, aliens, whatever. I think we should continue going down that
route.” He went on to say that if this is the case, it would foster a “big discussion” between creator Russell T Davies and his producing partner Julie Gardner. Davies, who is also an executive producer of the series, is a well-known gay and lesbian rights advocate, as is Barrowman. The actor did not say he wouldn’t be available for the series, nor did he say he’d resurrect the role if asked. Since the pilot is still in the script stage, nobody’s asked. However, Barrowman notes both Davies and Gardner said “there will be no Torchwood without John Barrowman as Captain Jack.”
So it might come down to which the Fox network wants more: Torchwood with a straight Captain Jack, or Torchwood without John Barrowman.
However, Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat told the British newspaper The Guardian “I imagine that kids would love to see Captain Jack meet the new Doctor.”
Defying Gravity will be a new 13-episode series being coproduced by Fox TV Studios, Canada’s CTV, Germany’s ProSieben and the BBC, which will star Ron Livingston (The Time Traveler’s Wife). Created by James Parriott (Grey’s Anatomy) and Michael Edelstein (Desperate Housewives), The Hollywood Reporter says the series is “set in the near future and revolves around eight astronauts from five countries who take on a mysterious six-year mission through the solar system.”
The cast currently includes Livingston and German actress Florentine Lahme with the first episode, to be directed by David Straiton, scheduled to shoot in Vancouver beginning January 19.
Edelstein the idea for the series came to him when he watched the BBC docu-drama Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets on Discovery Channel in late 2006. "I was blown away by it," Edelstein told the trade. He acquired the rights to it from British producer Impossible Pictures (Primeval) and reteamed with Parriott, having previously worked together on ABC’s Threat Matrix.
Parriott is a self-described sci-fi geek whose credits include the original Bionic Woman and The Incredible Hulk. He said of the new series, "Throw in a little bit of Grey’s and Lost and you have a pretty good international TV show."
CBS Interactive is gearing up to make a strong push with original programming for multi-platform delivery. They announced that it will partner with Saturn to craft Novel Adventures which will star Daphne Zuniga (One Tree Hill).
The premise follows four female friends who perform activities based on moments taken from classic books such as the first episode when they go fishing ala Ernerst Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.
The series, debuting November 3, was created by Jonathan Prince (The Cleaner, Cane) and will be first made available for 48 hours at CBS.com, TheInsider.com and TV.com followed by a broader rollout across the CBS Audience Network.
"We get to tell great stories with an A-plus cast and crew, Saturn gets creative and seamless promotion for its new line of cars and CBS Interactive offers its flagship Web sites and Audience Network high production-value content," Prince told The Hollywood Reporter. "Add to that, if successful, we have created a template for a potential broadcast or cable series to develop with our production studio, CBS Paramount."
In addition to Zuniga, the series will star Paola Turbay (Cane), Ashley Williams (How I Met Your Mother) and Jolie Jenkins (Desperate Housewives).
With the Emmy Awards four days away, much so being made of the main event although many awards have already been given out.
The 2008 Creative Arts Emmys were presented and among the winners of note include:
Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or More went to the “Imaginationland” special episode of South Park while the less-than-one-hour category went to The Simpsons’ “Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind”.
The guest acting awards were presented to Cynthia Nixon as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series went to Kathryn Joosten for ABC’s Desperate Housewives. Joosten, one of our favorite character actors, notched her second win as Karen McCluskey. Accepting her statuette, Joosten declared, “This solves a problem. I have two sons, and now they don’t need to fight over which one gets this when I die.”
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series went to Glynn Turman for HBO’s In Treatment; and Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series went to Tim Conway for NBC’s 30 Rock.
The awards for Interactive Media were presented by Evan and Gregg Spiridelis of the online media company JibJab Inc. The award for fiction went to nbc.com’s Heroes Digital Experience. The nonfiction award went to Disney Channel Games Digital Media Event from the ABC Television Group, Creative Asylum and Walt Disney Internet Group.