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USA Sparks to "Thank You for Smoking"

Personally, I enjoyed Jason Reitman's satirical feature Thank You for Smoking and, well, would prefer to leave it at that.

Not so cabler USA, who has ordered a pilot script for a TV spinoff version of Smoking that would pickup where the feature--which starred Aaron Eckhart as an amoral lobbyist-- left off.

According to Variety, "Nick Naylor, having kicked some of his more evil lobbyist habits, will use his rhetorical skills to help people more deserving of aid."

Ick.

Or as Jeff Wachtel, USA's programming head, put it, "He'll live somewhere between the morally ambiguous character of the movie and Robin Hood."

Is it just me or should USA throw in a OCD-prone detective or a fake psychic into the mix there? What worked so well about the original was that moral vaccuum that Nick and his colleagues existed within; take that away and you have another smarmy series about a do-gooder attempting to find himself while helping others. Albeit with slightly more edginess than USA usually goes for.

TV version of Thank You for Smoking would likely get a name change. The pilot script will be written by James Dodson and executive produced by David Sacks, who produced the original feature film. Sacks also tried to set up a small-screen version of Smoking last season at NBC but the Peacock passed on the series.

* * *

In other series development news, FX and Fox TV Studios have signed a deal that will reunite the cabler (the home of The Riches and Damages) with Oscar winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), who memorably appeared in the home-grown series The Shield for both the network and studio.

Whitaker will direct and executive produce a drama series project, set in the high stakes world of arms dealers. Also on board the drama project are producers Cary Brokaw (HBO's Angels in America) and Eric Overmyer (Homicide: Life on the Street).

However, it's unclear whether the project, written by Jeremy Martin and Matthew Donlan (Joan of Arcadia), will star Whitaker or if his participation is limited solely to behind the camera.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Wow - that Thank You For Smoking series sounds just awful.
So bizzare. The series sounds like it will have none of the biting wit of the movie. And if they're changing the concept and title, why make it a spinoff at all? Shouldn't they have just come up with their own show about a smooth talking lawyer with Robin Hood-like qualities?
The CineManiac said…
In Fact the Thank You For Smoking series sounds like it doesn't have anything to do with the movie what-so-ever. It sounds like they are taking the characters name, and possibly the title and making something not worth our time.
I thought the days of turning movies into tv shows ended years ago, but between Sarah Conner and this, is it long before we get the likes of Ferris Bueller: The Series and Parker Lewis Can't Lose? (which was clearly based on the same movie)
Anonymous said…
Terrible terrible idea. The movie was great so why can't they just let things lie the way they are. New name, new characterizations, what's the point?

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