Tagged: Entertainment Weekly

‘Veronica Mars’ Movie Awaits Final Act

‘Veronica Mars’ Movie Awaits Final Act

Rob Thomas told Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello that "I haven’t gotten far on my Veronica Mars movie outline. I thought I had the idea broken, but I’ve hit a wall in the final act that I haven’t quite figured out. And with Cupid and Party Down occupying 80 hours a week, and a new baby boy occupying the remaining hours, I haven’t nailed it down. I’m hopeful that I can find the time to figure it out over the Christmas holidays."

Thomas is getting a rare second chance with Cupid, which we recently reported was receiving a March 24 debut on ABC.  VM would also be a second chance, taking the beloved but low-rated television series to the silver screen along with star Kristen Bell.

Bell could use the work now that her character met a definitive end on Heroes this week.

“Kristen’s return was never meant to be long term,” Ausiello wrote, “so she was leaving one way or the other. But as I hinted in last week’s AA, I wasn’t expecting her exit to be so permanent. And it is permanent. Unlike 90 percent of the deaths on Heroes, this one will stick. Ironic, no?”

‘True Blood’ Updates

‘True Blood’ Updates

HBO has announced a May 12 DVD release for the first season of True Blood, the acclaimed series based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels. The five-disc set will retail for $59.99 with no extras announced.

True Blood chronicles the backwoods Louisiana town of Bon Temps…where vampires have emerged from the coffin, and no longer need humans for their fix. Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) works as a waitress at the rural bar Merlotte’s. Though outwardly a typical young woman, she keeps a dangerous secret: she has the ability to hear the thoughts of others.

Sookie’s situation is further complicated when the bar gets its first vampire patron – 173-year old Bill Compton (Steven Moye) — and the two outsiders are immediately drawn to each other.

Adapted from Charlaine Harris’ The Southern Vampire Mysteries by creator and executive producer Alan Ball the series proved to be a growing phenomenon, just the sort of thing HBO has needed.

Meantime, production on the second season is already underway with a summer return being eyed, confirmed in part by the May release of the DVD set. Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello wrote this week, “Not only is there fresh Blood on the way, there’s also fresh… um, blood. The vamp hit is on the hunt for a new series regular to play Sarah, the pleasure-seeking missus of Steve Newlin, the Fellowship of the Sun’s big kahuna. New semi-regulars are also being sought for six-episode arcs as Daphne, Merlotte’s new waitress (and Sam’s likely new love interest), and Luke, a burly twentysomething who’s as dedicated to religion as Jason is to sex.”

Michelle Forbes (Battlestar Galactica), has been upped to series regular.

Finally, Mr. Skin named Lizzy Caplan (Cloverfield) top nude actress on television for 2008 given her character Amy’s frequent naked moments.

‘Smallville’ Update

‘Smallville’ Update

The CW’s Smallville is now in its eighth season and the producers have been making noises as to whether or not they think there’s enough creative juice left for a ninth season.  TV Guide is speculating that retaining he cast, led by Tom Welling, may be the biggest stumbling block.  They would need new contracts with raises and Welling has been eyeing a big screen career for some time now.

Meantime, the series is on hiatus until January 15 and the much awaited Legion of Super-Heroes episode. Their oppojnent appears to be the Fatal Five’s Persuader.

Meantime, the fourteenth episode will introduce the television series’ version of the Toyman and Tori Spelling will return as gossip reporter Linda Lake.

Speaking of gossip, apparently Clark will reveal his alien nature this season.  Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello writes, “I can confirm that Clark does, in fact, come out as an E.T. during an interview with Lois. I can also confirm that said revelation causes mass chaos.”

Meantime, the combined heroes, unofficially dubbed the Justice League, will be back before the season ends and Alaina Huffman, who plays Black Canary, hinted in an interview her romance with Green Arrow (Justin Hartley) will heat up.

Now that “The Bride” episode has revealed that Lex Luthor is alive, rumors are swirling that Michael Rosenbaum will be enticed back to the series to wrap up his character’s storyline.

Paramount Drags Heels on Green Lighting ‘Ness’

Paramount Drags Heels on Green Lighting ‘Ness’

Brian Michael Bendis came to attention through his crime comics including Torso, which he illustrated and cowrote with Marc Andreyko for Image in 1998.  The project was optioned for film on January 12, 2006 and now, on December 15, Paramount Pictures’ option will expire.

Since then, David Fincher (Seven) has signed on to direct the project, now entitled Ness, and assembled an impressive cast including Matt Damon, Casey Affleck, and Rachel McAdams. Ehren Kruger (The Ring) delivered a final draft screenplay and all principals are ready to start shooting in 2009.  Paramount tells Entertainment Weekly they will make a decision by the deadline although it seems pretty much like a no-brainer considering the team and subject matter: crimebuster Elliot Ness, the untouchable federal agent who helped stop the gang crimes in Chicago during Prohibition (which ended 75 years ago this week). The story, though focuses on Ness’ later years when he took on the Cleveland Torso Murderer.

Stephen Sommers Leaps for Tarzan

Stephen Sommers Leaps for Tarzan

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Stephen Sommers (The Mummy) will next try his hand at adapting Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan.  He has a script from Stuart Beattie (Australia) that ignores the classic 1912 novel in favor of a story set in the 1930s that will be a “romp with a hefty helping of romance: Think Pirates of the Caribbean with buffed-and-tanned actors flying through the jungle and sprinting up trees, parkour-style.”

Parkour the currently in vogue acrobatic fighting style developed in France and perhaps best known from a sequence in Casino Royale.

It makes me miss the Travis Fimmel WB series.

Television Notes

Television Notes

Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello broke the news that Tricia Helfer will shift from Battlestar Galactica skinjob to spy when she guest stars on NBC’s delightful Chuck. She’ll play a fellow Special Agent and wind up being considered as a replacement for Special Agent Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski). “General Beckman — who has been growing increasingly concerned about Chuck and Sarah’s intensifying bond — considers bringing in a new G-woman to work alongside Chuck. Enter Agent Forrest, who shows no fear, no remorse and, much to Agent Casey’s delight, is very easy on the eyes.”

As the first half of the television season reaches its conclusion, lots of network shuffling has been occurring so follow along:

First, NBC has scheduled the remaining episodes of Lipstick Jungle for Friday nights on December 5 and 12, and January 2 and 9.

Where’s Crusoe? Dumped on Saturday nights, beginning December 6, and likely to be canceled when the final six episodes air.

Life on Mars, the Americanized series based on the BBC show of the same name, will be taking a break after December 11 but will return and ABC intends to order additional episodes. The show returns January 28, scheduled after Lost on Wednesday evenings.

Speaking of breaks, Smallville will take a long break as well, not coming back with new episodes until January but it will kick off its second half with the eagerly anticipated Legion story from writer Geoff Johns.

First Look at ‘Star Trek”s U.S.S. Enterprise Plus Footage Reviewed

First Look at ‘Star Trek”s U.S.S. Enterprise Plus Footage Reviewed

In what is becoming a new industry trend, British journalists were treated to a look at about 20 minutes of footage from JJ Abrams’ Star Trek coming May 8, 2009.

Additionally, Paramount Pictures provided Entertainment Weekly with the first good look at the revamped U.S.S. Enterprise.

In providing the image, Abrams spoke about watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. "The coolest thing about it — maybe the coolest thing in the movie — was when you flew around the ship, you could see all the different panels that made up the ship," he told the magazine. "It was the first time I had ever seen that level of attention, that love of detail, given to the tangible, practical reality of the ship."

Abrams went on to say, "If you’re going to do Star Trek there are many things you cannot change. The Enterprise is a visual touchstone for so many people. So if you’re going to do the Enterprise, it better look like the Enterprise, because otherwise, what are you doing?"

Meantime, Den of Geek and Empire Magazine both provided extensive descriptions of the footage along with commentary.

“A very disarming Abrams himself was there, as was Simon Pegg, the new Scotty; both were on-form but clearly very nervous, and both addressed the gathering, Abrams at length,’ Geek wrote. “ He may be right: the viewing started with the new trailer, which will be in cinemas Friday, followed by four scenes from the movie itself, all complete with polished SFX and scoring.

“And it all looks absolutely amazing.”

wrote “any reservations we may have harbored over JJ Abrams’ reimagining of the franchise have been well and truly beamed away. What we saw was a medley of action, excitement, humor and a true reverence for the franchise that should both appease fans and suck in newcomers.”


Kring Promises to Simplify ‘Heroes’

Kring Promises to Simplify ‘Heroes’

Tim Kring, creator and executive producer for NBC’s Heroes, watched the dust begin to settle after the network insisted on changes which resulted in the dismissal of Jesse Alexander and Jeph Loeb on Sunday.  According to a story in Variety, the peacock network was concerned that Kring had delegated too much of the show’s storyline to others which has resulted in an uneven second season and a third season that is not bringing back audiences as everyone had hoped.

As he committed to the personnel changes, he also promised his bosses at NBC and Universal, which produces the series, that he will take the criticism – from the media, network and their rabid fan base – and tweak the series to reflect the issues.  Simplification may become the new watchword on the set.  The trade said the goal was to “get back to the show’s comicbookish good vs. evil themes and to emphasize character development more than plot twists.”

Kristin dos Santos at E! reports that Entertainment Weekly’s recent cover story on their perceived problems with the show was a public embarrassment and final straw.

The trade went on to note that Kring took his eye off the story because the series requires so much of his attention in terms of wrangling the expansive cast and the large amount f/x and post-production requirements which pushes the budget for each hour to $4 million. Even so, budget overruns have been an issue for Universal which deficit finances the series and will only make their money back from eventual off-air syndication, home video sales and merchandise.

The current volume, “Villains”, will wrap up December 15 with an episode Loeb wrote called “War”. Then the series will take an already scheduled break before returning in January with Volume Four, “Fugitives”. Kring told dos Santos, “There are a couple of more deaths planned. Someone you have come to know will not make it to the end of the season."

The ratings have been weaker than the first breakout season, with the show averaging just 10. 4 million viewers, a 21% drop from its weaker second season.

‘Knight Rider’ Continues Riding

‘Knight Rider’ Continues Riding

Despite poor ratings and widely disparaging reviews, NBC’s Knight Rider reboot has gained a full season pickup. Nine additional episodes have been ordered by NBC, reports Entertainment Weekly, paving the way for a full season of the ’80s inspired series.

Knight Rider originally existed in the ’80s as a David Hasselhoff television series focusing on a nearly murdered police detective who turns into a high tech crime fighting vigilante. In the original series, William Daniels voiced a talking automobile named KITT, standing for Knight Industries Two Thousand. Daniels is most popularly known as Mr. Feeney on Boy Meets World.

In February 2008, a Knight Rider television movie was released to serve as a backdoor pilot for a relaunch of the series. The reboot focuses on Mike Traceur, the son of David Hasselhoff’s character from the original. Val Kilmer provides the voice for KITT, even though Will Arnett was initially cast as the loudmouthed vehicle. The Arrested Development star ultimately pulled out due to a conflicting interest with General Motors.

Is anyone watching the new Knight Rider? Is it any good? Does it deserve the full season pickup, or should it be offered up to that old junkyard in the sky? You tell us.

The CW, meantime, has ordered two more scripts for its drama Privileged which is good news for the show which is hampered by the limp 90210 reamke as a lead in.

TV Tidbits

TV Tidbits

Michael Ausiello writes at Entertainment Weekly, "Good news: A Sci Fi source confirms to me exclusively that the last half of season 4 premieres on Friday, January 16, at 10 p.m. Which, by my calculations, puts the series finale (boo-hoo!) at Friday, March 20." This means the network will not skip the three-day weekend i nFebruary as they normally have in the past, which is good news for one and all.

CBS has given a full season order to The Mentalist starring Simon Baker. The freshman series has garnered good ratings and positive reviews encouraging the Eye Network.

NBC has ordered three additional scripts for its midseason drama Medium. The peacock network may be forced to add the series to its schedule before the end of the year given some weaker than expected ratings for its lineup.

AMC has ordered a third season of the wonderful Mad Men.  Creator Matthew Weiner and Lionsgate, though, are still talking contracts with the studio hoping to sign the creator/producer to a two year deal which would encourage AMC to green-light a fourth season sooner than later.  Regardless, the second season of the award-winning drama will reach its conclusion October 26.

Brian Cox has been cast opposite Katee Sackhoff in the NBC pilot Lost and Found. He will play her character’s fractious partner Burt Macey, described by The Hollywood Reporter as "a foul-mouthed, racist dinosaur of a cop who does things the old-fashioned way: with blunt force and bigoted rants." The two are assigned to the worst possible cases after Sackhoff’s Tessa pisses off her Los Angeles Police Department superiors. Cox has also been cast for a multiple-episode story arc for the network’s midseason replacement, Kings.