Sunday, September 19, 2004

"Weekend News Update"

The WB's "Smallville" is set to introduce a number of familiar faces from comic book mythology when its new season begins. In addition to Erica Durance's previously announced multi-episode stint as Lois Lane, the series has found an actor to play the Flash.

As already reveal in some comic circles, Kyle Gallner ("The District") will play Bart Allen, alter ego of the speedy Flash in the episode "Run," airing in mid-October. Bart is described by The Hollywood Reporter as a street kid who plays by his wits.

The character is currently only slated for a single episode.

('Smallville' takes place in one of the alternate dimensions of the TV Universe; probably the same one that houses 'The West Wing'.

In the main TV Universe, The Fastest Man Alive and The Man Of Steel weren't contemporaries, however. 'The Flash' appeared nearly forty years after 'The Adventures Of Superman' had taken place. And 'Batman' made a name for himself in those years in-between.

Only in the comics would all three be true contemporaries.)
Fox has picked up an untitled drama about a small-town Midwestern family that is uprooted when the mother wins a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Multigenerational drama is a hot genre at Fox thanks to the strong appeal of "The O.C."

"What we like so much about this project is that it not only captures the youthful voice but also taps into adult story lines," said Jennifer Nicholson-Salke, senior vp drama development at Fox's sibling studio 20th Century Fox Television. "It's great way to do a family show with the backdrop of politics."
Reuters/Hollywood Reporter
He's the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She's a CIA agent in need of a plausible cover story. Someone upstairs in the government has the bright idea to have Mr. Ambassador and Ms. Agent marry, and therein lies the premise of a comedy-drama in the works at Fox Broadcasting.

Former "Sex and the City" scribe Amy Harris wrote the script, partly inspired by the scandal over the outing of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame as the wife of former U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson in various media reports shortly after Wilson wrote a newspaper op-ed piece critical of the Bush administration.

"It just got me thinking about how amazing it would be to be an ambassador's wife as a cover for a CIA agent," Harris said. "I've always loved caper shows like 'Alias' and 'Remington Steele,' and I was thinking how funny it could be to have two people who don't even know each other forced into the most intimate relationship of all and having to fake it." Reuters/Hollywood Reporter
Italian producers began shooting a television film about the life of Pope John Paul II in southern Poland, where the pontiff grew up and began his church career.

The film crew began shooting scenes Saturday of a young and athletic Karol Wojtyla kayaking in Lake Dobczyce near Krakow, where he served as bishop from the 1950s, said Marcin Marcinkiewicz, a spokesman for the producers.
"Karol, the story of a man who became pope" is to be broadcast in two 90-minute segments on Italian television.

The film is adapted from a historical account by Italian writer Gian Franco Svidercoschi, with the first part set during World War II and the second in postwar Poland. While most of the movie will be filmed in Poland, some scenes will be shot at the Vatican.

(With another TV movie about his life which starred Albert Finney, and his testimony during a murder trial in Rome, Wisconsin ('Picket Fences') and the loss of his ring to Sophia Petrillo in Miami ('The Golden Girls'), Pope John Paul II was already slated to join the TV Crossover Hall of Fame someday. This will be icing on the cake!)___________________
On Tuesday, the city of New York named a tiny access road leading to the "Law & Order" studios at Pier 62 just that. Katherine Oliver, commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater & Broadcasting, said "Law & Order" -- which begins its 15th season next week -- has pumped more than $700 million into Gotham's economy.

Moreover, the show has sparked three spinoffs, including the soon-to-bow "Law & Order: Trial by Jury." Wolf, who was presented with the official street sign, was accompanied to the event by NBC Universal Television Group prexy Jeff Zucker and "Law & Order" cast members including new recruit Dennis Farina.

Beginning this season, all "Law & Order" shows will be officially part of the city's "Made in NY" campaign and will use the "Made in NY" logo in their credits.

(Which certainly explains why Mayor Bloomberg will be seen in the season opener this coming Wednesday!)____________________
Germany's state-run radio is broadcasting in a new language - Klingon.

The popularity of the show in Germany and abroad prompted Deutsche Welle network to offer online reports and audio clips in Klingon.

The station said the language will be added to the existing 30 languages that they already use on their homepage.
"We wanted something special to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the site," said a spokesperson.

The Klingon reports on the Deutsche Welle website are supposed to underline the station's philosophy of multicultural, intergalactic openness.

"We should celebrate our 10-year presence in the online universe with a cross-border language," DW director Erik Bettermann said. "This should help users from other galaxies get an impression of Germany."

(Germans and Klingons.... Like Yente would say, it's the perfect match!)
Traylor Howard, who's starred in such shows as "Boston Common" and "Bram and Alice," is joining the cast of USA Network's "Monk."

She'll play a single mom and former bartender named Natalie who becomes neurotic detective Adrian Monk's (Tony Shalhoub) new assistant. Howard essentially replaces Bitty Schram, who left the show a couple of weeks ago.

"Every successful series changes over the course of its life," says Jeff Wachtel, head of original programming at USA. "We were fortunate to have Bitty Schram in our cast for two and a half seasons, and we are thrilled to have Traylor Howard join our cast now."

(I wish Ms. Howard all the luck in the world. I'm still going to miss Bitty Schram though.....)___________________________
Drummer Kenny Buttrey, who recorded hits with Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Jimmy Buffett, died Sunday. He was 59.

Family members said he died of cancer at his home.

Buttrey worked much of his career in Nashville recording studios, providing the percussion for albums including Dylan's "Nashville Skyline" and "Blonde on Blonde," and Young's "Harvest."

"He told me the other day that the two songs that were his favorites were 'Lay Lady Lay' with Bob Dylan and 'Heart of Gold' with Neil Young," said his wife, Cheri Buttrey.

Buttrey's other drummer credits include Buffett's "Margaritaville" and Robert Knight's R&B single "Everlasting Love." He also played with the Southern rock group Barefoot Jerry.

(I added this because I'm wondering how long had Buttrey been suffereing from cancer. A few years ago, Dharma Liberty Finkelstein Montgomery had auditioned for Bob Dylan himself to be his new drummer. Did they already know back then in the TV Universe that they would eventually lose Kenny Buttrey?)


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