Wednesday, October 13, 2004


"The majority of television caters to the majority of Americans,
And is, as a result, garbage."
Grace McCallister
'Jack & Bobby'


LucasFilms is now denying that there are any TV shows based on 'Star Wars' in development.
It doesn't matter. 'Star Wars' is already part of the TV Universe: 'Droids', 'Ewoks', the infamous 1977 Holiday Special......
The producers of 'Joey' are casting for another Tribbiani sister to join the fold by November. (I knew they would have been better off naming the series 'Tribbiani!'......)
NBC isn't saying, but a Bold-Face name could be playing the role.
To me, that sounds like an act of desperation, and could very well end up being a focal point on the "Jump The Shark" website. (Personally, I'm finding the show to be comedically bankrupt.)
But why not call on Marla Sokoloff to reprise her portrayal of Dina Tribbiani? Audiences know her from 'The Practice', where she played Lucy Hatcher. She's got the comedic chops, as displayed by her one-line zingers and asides in that role....
And she's got spunk. I LIKE spunk!
Hit 1980s TV action series The A-Team is to be remade as a movie, according to Hollywood trade paper Variety. It said James Bond screenwriter Bruce Feirstein was writing a more serious movie version of the popular US series for the Fox studio.
The TV show followed the fortunes of four Vietnam veterans on the run after escaping from a US military prison. It starred the late George Peppard and made a pop culture phenom out of Mr. T. [Peppard, who played The A-Team leader Hannibal, died in Los Angeles in 1994.] The series, which ran from 1983 to 1987, also starred Dirk Benedict as Faceman Peck and Dwight Schultz as Howling Mad Murdock.
Stephen J. Cannell, who created the original show and is co-producing the new film, said Mr. T could be bought back in a cameo role. He said: "Mr. T and I had lunch last week, and I'd really like to have him in the movie, although we haven't begun casting.
"I always think it's nice to see the stars of the old show in cameo roles in the movie. But obviously he won't be playing BA Baracus."
Cannell added that the remake would be "less cartoony" than the original. He told Variety: "Not to denigrate the TV show, but nobody ever died. We drove cars off cliffs and people got out and walked away. We're not going to do that in the movie. In this, the tone is more dangerous - you can really die. It's very tense and exciting."
Fred Thompson will do double duty on two 'Law & Order' shows. He will continue to play Manhattan District Attorney Arthur Branch on the original series, but he will also take the character to 'Law & Order: Trial by Jury', which is set to premiere next spring.
"Obviously, Fred is a welcome and quite necessary component of `Law & Order: Trial By Jury' since the action takes place inside the legal system and he is the district attorney," executive producer and series creator Dick Wolf told The Associated Press Wednesday in an e-mail.
'Law & Order: Trial by Jury' will star Jerry Orbach, also of the original 'Law & Order' series, as police Detective Lennie Briscoe. The series also will star Bebe Neuwirth, Kirk Acevedo and Amy Carlson.
'My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss', premiering Nov. 7 at 9 p.m. is a hybrid reality spoof that dupes contestants for laughs.
"What 'My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé' did for romance reality, 'My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss' will do for business reality," said Gail Berman, president of Fox Entertainment.
The show takes 12 contestants and puts them in the employ of N. Paul Todd (played by actor William August). As Mr. Todd, CEO of the fictitious IOCOR, August puts his charges through a series of ridiculous challenges. The last contestant standing will take home a real check for $250,000.
Depending on your way of counting, the new, animated version of 'The Fantastic Four' will be either the third or fourth television take on the first Marvel supergroup, beginning with the 1967 Hanna-Barbera cartoon. The 1978 'The New Fantastic Four' omitted the Human Torch.
[Very few fans are likely to count the 1979 Hanna-Barbera offering 'Fred and Barney Meet The Thing', which somehow managed to mix Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble with the rock-bodied 'Fantastic Four' character.
But of course, this televisiologist accepts the challenge - both the Flintstones and the Fantastic Four exist in the same TV dimension; it's just a matter of splainin away how they bridged the temporal gap!]
Marvel and Antefilms (which produces Cartoon Network's 'Code Lyoko' and 'Funky Cops') hope to give the series an all-ages appeal, to bridge the gap between fans of the original series and new viewers who flock to the coming feature film. Marvel hopes to use the series, as well as a new video game property, as a way to tide fans between the first movie and what the company hopes will be sequels.
Kirstie Alley is recruiting some old friends for her unscripted Showtime series 'Fat Actress'. John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Jeff Zucker and Mark Curry are set to appear in the show's first episode.
Set to premiere in March of 2005, 'Fat Actress' takes an only slightly fictionalized look at Alley's own experiences with looking for love and work in Hollywood while having to deal with endless media and tabloid speculation about her yo-yoing weight.
Warner Bros. has acquired remake rights to 'Hawaii Five-O', with George Nolfi set to write the script, reports Variety. George Litto, who was the agent of series creator Leonard Freeman, will produce the film.
With its lush Oahu setting, popular theme song and signature lead detective character Steve McGarrett, 'Hawaii Five-O' is perhaps the most remake-friendly TV series not previously under studio control, says the trade. CBS broadcast the series from 1968 to 1980.
Nolfi has begun writing, and filming is expected to start next spring in Oahu for an early summer 2006 release. There is even a time schedule for sequels. Nolfi is reportedly sticking close to the original 'Five-O' series plot.
Personally, I just wish they'd leave the original characters alone and do a continuation with new characters. Perhaps they could bring in James MacArthur to reprise his signature role of Dan-O.
Going in the opposite direction (from film to TV), Ricky Tomlinson is in talks to reprise his big screen role of the hapless England football manager Mike Bassett for a TV series. ITV is producing the spin-off of the British movie 'Mike Bassett: England Manager' to be screened next year.
Actress Amanda Redman - who starred in the film - is also in negotiations to play Bassett's long-suffering wife.
The TV series will see Bassett down on his luck and in charge of a third division club.
The sitcom will follow his exploits trying to manage fictional Wirral County Football Club while struggling to keep his marriage on track.
[In the 2001 film Bassett was promoted from the manager of Norwich City to become England supremo, mainly because nobody else could be found to fill the position.]
"Mike Basset was a huge hit in cinemas and we are thrilled to be bringing these great characters back in this new incarnation," said ITV's controller of comedy Sioned Wiliam.
"It's wonderful to be working with such great actors and talented writers."
The series will be made by Artist Independent Television and Smiling Films, and executive produced by the film's writers Rob Sprackling and John Smith.
"We can't wait to bring Bassett to the small screen. His hapless antics at the bum end of the football league are the perfect antidote to the super cool glamour of the Premiership," Sprackling and Smith said in a statement.
This was from Hercules, the TV guy at the Ain't It Cool News? site:
"I’m trying to stay off the pipe, but I've got one so good my sponsors - my Spoiler Anonymous sponsors - are encouraging me to drop a hint.
Here's the 2004 edition, as we head into the big fall season: Two – count ‘em – two regular characters on one of Herc’s very favorite TV series of all time will die before the 2004-05 season staggers to completion.
Regulars, I say. Regular regulars. We're talking title credits. Die forever. And completely. Not back at all. Ever. Not a trick, hoax or imaginary story. Really gonna happen.
For those new to the site, just some of the Herc’s all-time favorite series:
Gilmore Girls
The O.C.
The Simpsons
The West Wing
For the record, I do not regard 'Smallville' as one of my all-time favorite series, though it still stands head and shoulders above 'Lois & Clark.'
That's all you get, bitch. Hug it out, and if you think I lie, we'll talk after Memorial Day. "
I'll be curious to see who it is. I'm figuring it's either the parents on 'Gilmore Girls' or two from 'West Wing'.
[I did like the allusion to 'Entourage'. I think Ari once said, "Hug it out, Bitch." to E.......]
Perhaps the second time will be the charm for 'American Idol' wannabe, Donnie Williams. Williams, 20, was chosen last winter to appear on 'Idol', but was arrested for drunk driving after partying the night before he was to fly to Los Angeles to take part in last season's show. When producers learned what he had done, he was disqualified and replaced by George Huff, a likable and talented singer who made it all the way to the finals.
But now the three judges from the popular talent-hunt show have given Williams the green light to go to Hollywood for a rare, second shot at the fame and fortune. Williams got the second chance last week during tryouts in San Francisco when he sang "Happy Birthday" to Simon Cowell, who was celebrating his 45th birthday. "I just decided to sing in honor of his birthday and it worked," Williams says. "Then they all told me I was going to LA"
Cowell says it was Williams' talent, not his song choice, that landed him a slot on the show. "Another singer did the same thing and I booted him," Cowell said. "Donnie was chosen for his singing ability."
"He took care of it," judge Randy Jackson says of the arrest. "And now he's back where he should be, he's got the whole package: great voice, good attitude."
Classic comedy 'Fawlty Towers' has been voted the top BBC sitcom by foreign viewers - including those in Germany.
The show, starring John Cleese as a hapless hotelier, topped a poll carried out internationally by BBC Worldwide. Germany was among the countries which voted for the 1970s sitcom despite the famous scene in which Basil Fawlty cries: "Don't mention the war!"
'Keeping Up Appearances' was second, closely followed by 'Blackadder Goes Forth' in third. 'Absolutely Fabulous' came fourth.
'Yes, Minister' and 'The Vicar of Dibley' also featured prominently in the poll. 'Coupling' was the most up-to-date offering in the poll, in seventh place, although 'The Office' failed to make the top 10.
'Only Fools and Horses' may have topped a recent poll of British viewers, but international audiences are not as fond of the show, only rating it eighth.
The sitcoms are shown in over 100 countries on the BBC Prime entertainment channel, which is part of BBC Worldwide. BBC Prime boss David Weiland said: "Classic comedy is a big winner internationally and we are delighted Fawlty Towers has come up trumps yet again."


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