Skip to main content


Showing posts with the label Happy Town

Channel Surfing: Jason O'Mara Signs on to Terra Nova, Marina Klaveno Talks True Blood, Happy Town Yanked Again, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. It's official: former Life on Mars star Jason O'Mara has signed on to topline FOX's new action-adventure series Terra Nova , following the successful close of his deal, according to Deadline's Nellie Andreeva. Series revolves around a family from the future who travels back in time to the Earth's prehistoric past in order to save mankind. O'Mara will play Jim Shannon, described as "a devoted father with a checkered past who guides his family through this new land of limitless beauty, mystery and terror." (The role was reportedly offered to Friday Night Lights star Kyle Chandler prior to O'Mara.) Alex Graves ( Fringe will direct the pilot. ( Deadline ) Back Stage's Jessica Jardine has an interview with True Blood 's Mariana Klaveno, who plays Bill's maker, the devious vampire Lorena. "That's one of the really brilliant things about the show," said Klaveno. "[The wr

Channel Surfing: Starz Gets Spartacus Prequel, ABC Pulls Happy Town, Burt Reynolds to Burn Notice, Sarah Silverman Axed, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Starz is heading back to Spartacus , ordering six episodes of a prequel series that will be set before Season One of the gladiator drama series, which wrapped its run last month. The six-episode prequel, as yet untitled, will revolve around the House of Batiatus and its champions and will star John Hannah and Lucy Lawless, as well as Peter Mensah, Manu Bennett, Antonio Te Maihoha, Nick E. Tarabay, and Lesley-Ann Brandt, and feature a brief appearance by Andy Whitfield, who is currently undergoing treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Production will begin this summer, with the pay cabler eying a January 2011 launch, clearly an effort to keep the franchise humming until a second season can be produced. "The prequel story maintains the excitement and entertainment value of the first season of Spartacus , giving audiences the engaging experience they've come to expect," said Starz President and CEO Chris Albrecht in a stat

Talk Back: ABC's Series Premiere of Happy Town

Did you tune in to last night's series premiere of ABC's new mystery-horror-supernatural-drama Happy Town ? If so, I'm curious to see just what you thought of the first episode, which was written by Scott Rosenbaum, Andre Nemec, and Josh Applebaum, and which introduced the sleepy and seemingly idyllic town of Haplin. You can read my advance review from last May of the original 90-minute pilot here , but now that the first episode has aired, I'd love to hear what you thought of the series opener. Were you intrigued by the series' eerie vibe? Or put off by the convoluted plot and the kitchen sink narrative, which piled high every single supernatural trope previously used on Twin Peaks or in the works of Stephen King? Were you charmed by the characters or irritated by them? Like the nickname "Root Beer" or put off by it? Did you think that Amy Acker was criminally undervalued? And, most importantly, will you tune in again next week? Talk back here.

ABC Heads to Happy Town, I Stay Home

I originally wrote about the pilot episode of ABC's new supernatural mystery drama series Happy Town last May (the review for which you can read here ). While some of the actors have changed--Steven Weber stepped in to replace Dean Winters and Ben Schnetzer replaced John Patrick Amedori and the first episode is now a regular-length installment (the original pilot has been split into the first two episodes)--the overall tone and feel of series itself hasn't changed a bit since I first viewed that early cut of the pilot. While I intended to revisit Happy Town and write a new one, there weren't any discernible improvements to Happy Town --which comes from Scott Rosenbaum, Andre Nemec, and Josh Applebaum--to warrant writing a brand-new review, so last year's pilot review stands. You've been warned... (Meanwhile, I'd also advise you to check out Maureen Ryan's hilarious faux-ABC memo regarding Happy Town over at The Chicago Tribune .) Happy Town launches toni

Channel Surfing: Mystery Man in Black from "Lost" Talks, FX Aims for Hit with "Archer," "Harper's Island" Doomed, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. talks to Lost 's Titus Welliver, who played the mysterious man in black seen in the fifth season finale (that many of us are referring to as Esau). "The way that I interpreted it, on a biblical level, is that it's a sort of Cain-and-Abel scenario," said Welliver of the showdown between Jacob and his character. "So by destroying Jacob, what does that prove — that [the man in black] can ultimately have power over the island? Do the castaways become solely his playthings? And why was it so important that he find the loophole to be able to kill Jacob? That moved me in the direction of thinking that if he needs this loophole, there's a greater power than the two of them that they're answering to." ( ) FX has ordered six episodes of animated comedy Archer (working title), about the eccentric employees of an international spy agency, from writer/executive producer Adam Reed. Proj

Pilot Inspektor: An Advance Review of ABC's "Happy Town"

ABC made a bold statement at its upfront presentation the other day when it presented new midseason drama series Happy Town as hailing "from the network that brought you Twin Peaks ." The statement rubbed me the wrong way for a number of reasons. First, it's not exactly like the executives who developed Twin Peaks even still work at ABC. Second, ABC may have brought us Twin Peaks but it just as quickly canceled David Lynch's groundbreaking drama, which aired a stunning nineteen years ago. And third, Happy Town should not be making any comparisons between itself and Twin Peaks because it is certainly no Twin Peaks . I had the opportunity the other night to watch Happy Town 's 90-minute pilot and the only similarities I could find between it and Twin Peaks were that (A) they both air on ABC and (B) they are both set in small towns where the sunny exteriors belie a secret underbelly of darkness. ( Happy Town itself seems to relish the comparison, even having