Friday, June 3, 2005


Here are a few news stories which I felt had resonance for Toobworld and the concept of a TV Universe........

Detective Mike Logan won't be working solo on 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' next season.

NBC announced May 24 that Annabella Sciorra will join the cast as Logan's ('L&O' 'alumni Chris Noth) partner, Detective Carolyn Barek, in 2005-06. Noth and Sciorra will appear in 11 episodes of the series, while the show's original stars, Vincent D'Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe, will star in the other 11.

Co-stars Jamey Sheridan and Courtney B. Vance will continue their roles in all 22 episodes.

According to 'Criminal Intent' executive producer Rene Balcer, Sciorra's character is a "brilliant criminal profiler" who has worked for the FBI as well as the NYPD and joins Logan on the Major Case Squad.
NBC is remaking "The Poseidon Adventure", the 1972 flipped-ship classic that launched a boatload of big-name disaster movies .

NBC is saying this “edge-of-your-seat” remake will bring the story “into the 21st century.” Which means instead of being sunk by a big wave, the new Poseidon is done in by terrorists.

Why start a new Adventure? NBC Universal's Jeff Gaspin says he has wanted to do this for years. “These popcorn-type movies have always done well on television. … This one, after it was made 30 years ago, nothing has been made like it since.”

(Which shows he has llittle memory retention. 'Goliath Awaits' aired back in the mid-80s, and that had possibilities for an off-beat type of 'Lost' series.)

The cast for the film includes Steve Guttenberg, Rutger Hauer, Peter Weller, Alexa Hamilton, Bryan Brown, C. Thomas Howell, Adam Baldwin and Sylvia Syms.
Simon Cole and Rachel Dioso of UC Irvine's criminology department argue that there isn't enough hard evidence linking jury acquittals to crime shows. "To argue that 'C.S.I.' and similar shows are actually raising the number of acquittals is a staggering claim," they write, "and the remarkable thing is that, speaking forensically, there is not a shred of evidence to back it up. There is a robust field of research on jury decision-making but no study finding any CSI effect.' There is only anecdotal evidence."

In a new Heineken spot, we see a crew of underground super-mutants as they consider their newest member, an average dude named Darren. At first, they can't figure out why he deserves to join them -- until he turns his shoe into a bottle of Heineken.

The Independent Film Channel has greenlit a trio of skeins -- an animated show from Bob Balaban, a Christopher Guest-style look at an indie film studio and a revived "Greg the Bunny" -- for this year's lineup.

Projects -- all of which feature some sendup of IFC as a network -- will debut back-to-back in a one-hour block at 10 p.m. during IFC's "Film Fanatic Fridays" beginning Aug. 19.

'The Festival' is a six-part, half-hour parody told from the perspective of fictional documentarian Cookie, recruited by IFC to shoot a film about Rufus, director of "The Unreasonable Truth of Butterflies." Philms Pictures produces with Phil Price directing and Brandi-Ann Milbradt producing.

'Hopeless Pictures', from writer-director-producer Balaban, is a cartoon about the head of a dysfunctional indie film studio, voiced by Michael McKean.

'Greg the Bunny' takes off from the cancellation of Greg and Warren the Ape's Fox sitcom. To pay the bills, the pair has been reduced to making film parodies for IFC. Cabler has ordered a dozen five- to 12-minute episodes.

'Dixon of Dock Green' is to make a comeback - but this time as a series on Radio 4. The show will star 'Lawless' actor David Calder as George Dixon and the next 'Doctor Who' David Tennant as Andy Crawford. A series of six programmes will be broadcast in June and will be based on the original TV scripts.

The BBC One series, starring Jack Warner, ran from 1955 to 1976 and was one of the most popular shows of its day, watched by over 14 million people. Set in the East End of London, 'Dixon of Dock Green' focused on the everyday routine tasks of local police, troubled mainly by low-level crime.

(A story like that, and a look through the list of TV series that were once radio series as well, makes me wonder if there's someone out there who treats those thrilling days of yesteryear as one interconnected universe of radio shows........)

Sir Paul McCartney's wife Heather is to make a cameo appearance in 'Days Of Our Lives' promoting her anti-landmine charity. The campaigner, who married the former Beatle in 2002, will play herself in one episode, counselling a wounded soldier who has lost a limb. She lost a leg when she was hit by a police motorcycle in 1993 and is patron of the Adopt-A-Minefield charity. The episode has already been filmed and will be screened at the end of June.
Steven Colbert, correspondent for 'The Daily Show' will be helming a Comedy Central show of his very own, dubbed 'The Colbert Report'. Expected to debut this fall, Colbert's show will reportedly target news shows headlined by a single personality, such as Bill O'Reilly's 'The O'Reilly Factor' or Chris Matthew's 'Hardball'.

"I don't know why someone hasn't copied The Daily Show," Colbert told the New York Times in an interview. "I, personally, was eager to rip us off." While 'The Daily Show' typically focuses on lampooning the days' top news stories as delivered by suits such as Brian Williams and Peter Jennings, Colbert will take on the kind of talking head commentary offered up by the "stars" of the 24-hour new networks.

"In the way 'The Daily Show' is kind of a goof on the structure of news, this is more of a goof on the cult of personality-type shows," Jon Stewart told the Times.
Gumby turns 50 this year, and Rhino Home Video is celebrating with the release of three DVD packages. The Very Best New Adventures of Gumby, Volumes 1 and 2 ($10) is scheduled to hit stores June 28. Each contains a dozen Gumby cartoons that appeared on television in the late 1980s and early 1990s but have never before been available on DVD.

Each volume is authorized by Gumby creator Art Clokey and includes the original cartoons, music, sound effects and voices. Then, onSept. 30, Rhino will issue a 50th anniversary boxed set ($40) with four DVDs of cartoons going all the way back to the 1950s, along with such extras as a documentary on Clokey and a historical retrospective.

The Gumby DVD releases are part of a 50th-birthday celebration that will see branded merchandise such as T-shirts, shoes and plush toys appear in stores, along with the popular bendable “action figures.” Six hundred Petco stores will sell chew toys for dogs. The Museum of the Moving Image in New York City will install an 1,800-square-foot Gumby exhibit, and stadium sporting events around the country will host Gumby and Pokey nights. [Thomas K. Arnold]
For the most part, when viewers rip into the loss of a favorite character, they are doing so for selfish reasons. It would have been better for them if that particular character stayed on their show. But they don't seem to consider the benefits not only to the show from the exit's dramatic punch, but what it will mean for the actor who played the role.

I think the loss of Boone in the first season of 'Lost' was the best thing that could have happened for Ian Somerhalder. He just has to properly capitalize on it and not waste his potential.

The same could be said for Sasha Alexander who left the season finale of 'NCIS' in a shocking death scene. And at least there are some out there who can appreciate what this might mean for her as an actress....

Sasha, we loved ya, but if you wanted to go, what a send off! Akin to McLean Stevenson's departure from MASH. No one has ever forgotten the feeling of shock and mourning for a great character.

Good Luck Sasha......Posted at 12:59 PM ET on May 25, 2005 by M C Concepcion

Of course the invocation of McLean Stevenson does put a crimp in my assertion that it could lead to bigger and better things.

"Being the first to die, I'll probably soar to cult status in years to come." - Denise Crosby, 1988. She was talking about the impending doom of Tasha Yar on 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'.

On second thought, forget I said anything......


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