Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June, 2010

UPDATED: Starz Ends the Party: Pay Cabler Axes Party Down

Looks like it's the end of the road for Party Down . Despite critical acclaim and cult-like status among viewers, pay cabler Starz has cancelled Party Down after just two seasons. Deadline's Nellie Andreeva broke the news of the series cancellation this morning, reporting that Starz had opted not to review Party Down and fellow Friday night lead-out Gravity , the latter of which aired for a single season. "While the off-beat comedy has become an instant cult classic, I hear at the end of the day its appeal was deemed not wide enough to keep the show beyond its recently concluded Season 2," writes Andreeva, who goes on to say that Starz may make an official announcement later today about the fates of both series. Sadly, it seems as though Party Down is in fact a goner, a decision that I believe to be myopic, foolhardy, and heartbreaking in equal measure, particularly as the series was starting to catch on with viewers thanks to Netflix's Instant Viewing fu

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts: I Am Now Officially a Friday Night Lights Convert

Confession time: I'm a recent convert to Friday Night Lights . In the world of television, it's often necessary to make a judgment based on a pilot episode of a series. In fact, one job I held in Hollywood made it absolutely necessary to do just that: determine what would be a worthwhile series based on the pilot script and then the shot pilot. With financial investments on the line, it was imperative that one make a snap judgment based on a single episode of a series. In a lot of cases, that initial judgment proves to be the correct one. But sometimes, the pilot doesn't quite match the full potential of the subsequent series. When I originally watched the pilot for NBC's Friday Night Lights , it didn't click with me. I found it preachy, saccharine, riddled with some awkward dialogue, and placing far too much emphasis on the football aspect. I wrote off the series for a bit and then, when I heard about the creative struggles of Season Two, I opted not to go back

The Daily Beast: "Steve Carell to Leave The Office: End the Show"

Steve Carell made headlines earlier this week when he restated his intentions to leave The Office after the end of next season . Over at The Daily Beast, I discuss why NBC should cancel The Office after Carell leaves rather than attempt to rejigger the ensemble cast or bring in a new manager for the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin. You can read my latest piece, "Steve Carell to Leave The Office : End the Show" here. Be sure to head to the comments section to discuss your own feelings about whether the creative spark has gone out at the once superb workplace comedy and what the network should do with the series post-Carell.

Channel Surfing: Elijah Wood Pets FX's Willard, Larry King to Leave CNN, Nestor Carbonell Gets Psych, Doctor Who, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Elijah Wood ( Lord of the Rings ) will star opposite Jason Gann in the pilot for FX's US adaptation of Aussie comedy Wilfred , about a man and his talking dog, the latter of which will be voiced by Gann, the original creator of the series. Project hails from writer David Zuckerman ( Family Guy ) and director Randall Einhorn ( The Office ). Production is slated to begin this summer. ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) Larry King will be hanging up his trademark suspenders this fall after 25 years as the host of Larry King Live in order to spend more time with his family. The Los Angeles Times ' Matea Gold and Yvonne Villarreal have a fantastic interview with King about his decision to leave CNN. "I said, 'I can't top this,'" King told the Times on Tuesday. "I'm not getting younger. I want more time with other things. It's time to go... The daily grind is tough. And there are asp

San Diego Comic-Con 2010: WBTV Announces Full Programming Slate

Warner Bros. Television today announced their full programming slate for San Diego Comic-Con 2010, taking place in just a few weeks now. Among the offerings, Warner Bros. Television will host panels for The Big Bang Theory, Chuck, Fringe, Human Target, Nikita, Smallville, Supernatural, V (which I'll be moderating, in fact), The Vampire Diaries, Children's Hospital, Unnatural History, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, MAD , and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated . (Whew.) I can also now officially announce that the V panel I'll be moderating--which will feature Elizabeth Mitchell, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch, Logan Huffman, Laura Vandervoort, Charles Mesure, Morena Baccarin, Scott Wolf and executive producers Scott Rosenbaum and Steve Pearlman--will be taking place Saturday from 2:30-3:15 pm in Ballroom 20. (Hope to see you there!) Earlier that day, be sure to stop by Ballroom 20 at 10 am for the Chuck panel, which will feature Josh Schwartz, Chris Fedak, Zachary Levi, Y

Channel Surfing: Steve Carell Confirms Office Departure, Janeane Garofalo Circles Criminal Minds, Being Human Lands Sam Witwer, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Steve Carell has confirmed that he will leave NBC comedy The Office following the conclusion of next season, the series' seventh. "I just think it's time," Carell told E! Online's Kristina Guerrero while promoting his new film Despicable Me . "I want to fulfill my contract. When I first signed on I had a contract for seven seasons, and this coming year is my seventh. I just thought it was time for my character to go... It doesn't certainly mean the end of the show. I think it's just a dynamic change to the show, which could be a good thing, actually. Add some new life and some new energy... I see it as a positive in general for the show." Carell pointed to the series' ensemble cast and the strength of the writers and didn't seem to feel that his departure would negatively affect The Office at all. ( E! Online's Watch with Kristin ) Wait, what? Entertainment Weekly 's Michael

Turn of the Screw: Into the Darkness on True Blood

Having originally watched the third episode of True Blood 's third season over a month ago, it's been impossible to scrub that final image from my memory. Now that the episode has aired, it's rather likely that you too now have that same problem. The final scene of the episode ("It Hurts Me Too"), written by Alexander Woo and directed by Michael Lehmann, might just be one of the most disturbing images ever to air on television and I can promise that it will sit with you a long time after the final credits have rolled on this week's installment. True Blood has long been an exploration of how the characters cling to or cast off their humanity and the tenuous thread that often keeps these supernatural entities bound to their mortal lives. While the final scene was graphic and, yes, twisted, it was also an absolutely necessary stepping stone for one character as he came face to face with what he despised about both his maker and himself... and the lengths he wa

Trailer Park: AMC Releases First Mad Men Season Four Promos

"It's time to start a new tab." Yes, it's time once again to travel back to the 1960s with the return of AMC's Mad Men , which returns to the lineup next month. The cabler has released the first promo for Season Four of Mad Men (launching July 25th), which doesn't feature any original footage from next season--it would, of course, give away clues to just when and where we find the characters when we return--but instead uses clips from previous seasons to highlight the tension and drama of the series. Additionally, AMC has released character-specific promos--depicting Don Draper (Jon Hamm), Betty (January Jones), Roger (John Slattery), Joan (Christina Hendricks), Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), and Peggy (Elisabeth Moss)--that offer snippets of where the characters left off last season. All of the promos can be viewed in full below. Mad Men : Get Ready for Season Four Mad Men : A Fresh Start For Don Mad Men : A Fresh Start For Betty Mad

TARDIS in Orbital: Doctor Who's Matt Smith Heads to Glastonbury

How cool is this? Doctor Who star Matt Smith took to the stage at the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts to perform the theme song to Doctor Who , appearing on stage alongside Orbital this week. Yes, the Doctor himself was on hand to partake in a performance at Glasto, and it's worth noting that the version of the Doctor Who theme that he performed was the iconic 1970s/1980s version of the Doctor Who opening credits music, rather than the more recent versions arranged for the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. And, yes, I wish I was there... The full video of Doctor Who 's Matt Smith appearing on stage at Glastonbury can be found below. Doctor Who airs Saturday evenings on BBC America.

David Nevins to Succeed Robert Greenblatt as Entertainment President at Showtime

It's official: David Nevins will take over for Robert Greenblatt as President of Entertainment at Showtime. The announcement was made this morning by Showtime Chairman/CEO Matthew Blank, who officially confirmed reports late last week that Nevins, a partner at Imagine TV, would take over for Greenblatt, who will leave the pay cabler when his contract ends in July. "I'm thrilled to welcome a creative executive of the caliber of David Nevins to our company,” said Blank in a statement. "David's career has been punctuated by genre-defining programming at every turn and has the perfect creative sensibility for Showtime Networks' next exciting chapter." "At the same time, I have to say that Bob Greenblatt is one of the finest executives in the business and has developed some of the most extraordinary original programming of the past decade," continued Blank. "His legacy has us grateful and well-positioned for the company's future."

Channel Surfing: Judy Greer Finds Mad Love, David Strathairn Circles Alphas, Gossip Girl, True Blood Twist, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Judy Greer ( Miss/Guided ) is heading to CBS. The actress--whose voice appeared this season on FX's animated comedy Archer --has signed on to star in CBS ensemble comedy Mad Love , which has been picked up for thirteen episodes and will launch in midseason. Greer replaces Lizzy Caplan, who had only signed on to appear as a guest star in the pilot, and will star opposite Sarah Chalke (who herself replaced Minka Kelly), Jason Biggs, and Tyler Labine (who replaced Dan Fogler). Project, from writer/executive producer Matt Tarses, revolves around a group of Manhattan friends looking for love. ( Variety , Deadline ) Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that David Strathairn ( Matadors ) is in talks to topline Syfy's action-adventure pilot Alphas , which revolves around a team of people with extraordinary abilities. Strathairn would play the "the overseer/team leader/prescribing doctor and all around mother hen to the t

Future Imperfect: Party Down Wraps Its Second Season

I have a hard time imagining a world without Party Down . While Starz's critically adored by ratings-challenged comedy has only been on for two seasons (the second of which wraps its run tonight), Party Down has served as a beacon of hope, particularly in light of watching the crop of comedy pilots ordered to series for next season. Tonight's season finale of Party Down ("Constance Carmell Wedding") arrives at a time when the future of the series is even more uncertain than when the season began back in April. Starz hasn't picked up the series for a third season and many of its cast members--including Adam Scott and Ryan Hansen--have signed on to star in other shows. (You can read my feature on The Daily Beast from April about the situation here and the outtakes from my interview with Scott--in which we talk about Parks and Recreation and Party Down --here .) In its twenty episodes, Party Down found the pitch-perfect balance between sweet and sour and bet

Channel Surfing: Dexter Lures Miller, Jordana Spiro Out at Love Bites, Greenblatt Exits Showtime, Gene Hunt, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Showtime's Dexter is on a casting role. Variety 's Stuart Levine is reporting that Jonny Lee Miller ( Eli Stone ) is the latest to board the serial killer drama, signing on to appear in a multiple-episode story arc on Season Five of Dexter . Miller will play "a mysterious man who ends up tangled in a storyline with Julia Stiles, who is beginning her first season on the skein." ( Variety ) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Jordana Spiro has exited NBC's midseason romantic anthology series Love Bites . Spiro's participation in the series was always in second position to her role on TBS comedy My Boys , which returns for its fourth season next month. "Although the odds appear slim that TBS will renew the show for a fifth season (season 4 premieres July 25), it was a risk NBC apparently wasn’t willing to take," writes Ausiello. "It’s unclear if her role will be recas