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Showing posts with the label Life on Mars (US)

Channel Surfing: IFC Stakes Claim to "Anita Blake," Bryan Fuller Talks "Heroes" Return, "Life on Mars" Series Finale, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. I promise no April Fool's Day jokes here, just real TV-related headlines this morning. IFC and Lionsgate Television are developing telepic Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter , based on Hamilton's best-selling Anita Blake novels about the female vampire hunter who also works as a police consultant on supernatural crimes. The movie, which will be produced by Lionsgate and After Dark Films, was written/executive produced by Glen Morgan ( The X-Files ) and will be shot this summer. ( Variety ) SCI FI Wire has an exclusive interview with Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller about his return to NBC's Heroes , what went wrong with the series, and how he intends to fix it. "After I finished watching [the "Villains" episodes the producers sent over], I wasn't sure I could do this," said Fuller. "I didn't recognize the show anymore. It had become something else entirely. My f

Channel Surfing: ABC Kills "Life on Mars," Wolf Has Vendetta for "V," "BSG" Star Gets Talent Holding Deal at NBC, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Is there life on Mars? Turns out not so much: ABC has canceled the US adaptation of BBC series Life on Mars after seventeen episodes. The series, which will (rather unusually) air its five remaining episodes before the timeslot is taken over by The Unusuals in April, will not return for a second season. However, Life on Mars ' producers have been given the go-ahead by the network to write their season finale as a series finale that will answer some questions about Sam Tyler's travel to 1973 and possible return to the present day. ( Variety , Hollywood Reporter' s The Live Feed ) Scott Wolf ( The Nine ) will star in ABC's re-imagining of classic sci-fi series V . In the drama pilot, produced by Warner Bros. Television, Wolf will play Ryan, a man who is keeping a rather dark secret from his girlfriend, according to Michael Ausiello. [Editor's SPOILER note: Said secret is that Ryan is in fact a member of the alie

Channel Surfing: Bryan Fuller Heads to Universal, More Hamm for "30 Rock," Stoltz Stalks Halls of Seattle Grace, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. I'm still behind on telly so I haven't seen the latest episode of Dirty Sexy Money yet... That sound you hear? It would be the final nail in the coffin for Pushing Daisies ... Daisies creator Bryan Fuller has signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Media Studios, under which he will rejoin the staff of NBC's Heroes and develop new series projects for the studio. Fuller, who is completing post-production on WBTV's Daisies , will rejoin Heroes starting with episode 320 though it is unknown what his official position will be, other than that he will be working closely alongside showrunner/executive producer Tim Kring. ( Hollywood Reporter ) In other Pushing Daisies news, Kristin Chenoweth has joined the cast of FOX's animated midseason comedy Sit Down, Shut Up , where she will replace Maria Bamford as Florida high school science teacher Miracle Grohe, opposite Arrested Development 's Jason Bateman

Channel Surfing: "Life on Mars" Co-Creator Likes US Version; Jamie Bamber "Too Scared" to Play the Doctor, Potential SAG Strike, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. While everyone is buzzing about the possible SAG strike, I hope you all tuned in to last night's episode of Chuck , the final piece of the three-part Jill storyline. Life on Mars co-creator Ashley Pharoah has praised the US version of the series, calling it "marvelous." In New York to receive an International Emmy for best drama for the original UK version of Life on Mars , Pharoah was pleased that the producers had changed the mythology of the series for the US audience and that the studio had moved the action from LA (where it was based for David E. Kelley's original pilot ) to gritty New York City. "They're changing the mythology, which I think is all right," said Pharoah. "It has to be different. Otherwise everyone just goes on YouTube and sees how it ends." ( Hollywood Reporter ) Just how would a SAG strike affect a television industry still recovering from the crippling 100-day WGA s

Channel Surfing: "Arrested Development" Feature Moves Closer to Reality, "Life on Mars" Gets Four More, CW Takes Back Sundays, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. I'm still depressed from yesterday's news about Pushing Daisies but another fantastic episode of 30 Rock (and the hilarious Nightman-laden season finale of It's Always Sunny ) helped remove some of the sting. One piece of good news: it seems like that Arrested Development feature film might actually be happening. After a host of rumors, there's finally some solid intelligence on the big screen adaptation moving forward. Series creator Mitch Hurwitz and executive producer Ron Howard have signed deals for the project, which would be released by Imagine and Fox Searchlight. Hurwitz will write the script and co-direct the feature with Howard. Me, I'm pleased as punch about this news. If there's one series that I feel could work on the big screen, it's Arrested Development . Hell, just think of the DVD sales alone. ( Hollywood Reporter ) Looking for a fix of Lost ? ABC has released a new promo for Season Fi

Channel Surfing: ABC Might Shift "Mars" and "Practice," Quinlan Locks Down "Prison Break," BBC Drama in Jeopardy, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. While I watched this week's episode of Chuck yet again (and fell in love with it all over again) , I couldn't help shake the feeling that last night's episode of Gossip Girl was absolutely beyond ludicrous. Anyone else agree? ABC is allegedly making some changes to its midseason schedule, with Grey's Anatomy spin-off Private Practice shifting to Thursdays at 10 pm, where it will air right behind Grey's . Meanwhile, the current timeslot holder, Life on Mars , will move to Wednesdays at 10 pm, where it will receive a hell of a lead-in from Lost . The Alphabet didn't comment on the leaked schedule, which it has yet to announce. Can we see ABC launching a Wednesday night around Pushing Daisies, Lost, and Life on Mars ... or does this once again signal a death knell for Daisies ? ( Hollywood Reporter ) Samaire Armstrong's Juliet Darling WILL be returning to ABC's Dirty Sexy Money after all. (Come on,

Channel Surfing: "Melrose Place" Could Happen at CW; Lionsgate Looks for New Showrunner on "Mad Men," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" Delayed, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. I did end up watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown last night, along with an absolutely hysterical episode of Gavin and Stacey ... and a snooze of an episode of 90210 , which literally put me to sleep last night. (A storyline involving wisdom teeth? Really?) CW and CBS Paramount Network TV are going ahead with the development of an updated version of Beverly Hills 90210 spin-off Melrose Place . The studio has not attached any writers or executive producers and original series creator Darren Star will not be involved with this adaptation. Personally, I like my Melrose Place where it belongs: in the past. (And is it just me or is it odd that Rob Estes starred on the original Melrose Place as a different character than he one he currently plays on 90210 ?) What do you think though: is Melrose Place 2.0 a fantastic idea or a foolhardy one? ( Variety ) Lionsgate is said to be exploring the possibility of finding a ne

Channel Surfing: FOX Issues Reprieve for "Sarah Connor," "Lost" Movie Unlikely, "Chuck," and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Quite a lot of good telly on last night, including new episodes of Skins, Mad Men, Amazing Race , and Little Britain USA , not to mention another installment of Masterpiece Contemporary's The Last Enemy . Whew. FOX has issued a reprieve for ratings-starved sci-fi action drama Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles . The series has been given a full season order for its second season, which averaged a 2.3/6 in adults 18-49 in its last original airing. Many insiders had pegged the series as a goner, proving that there's obviously still some life in the Terminator franchise yet. ( Variety ) Zeljko Ivanek ( Damages ) has been cast in Season Three of Heroes , where he'll appear in a multiple-episode story arc playing a character known as the Hunter in Volume Four of the series, which is subtitled "Fugitives" and is set to kick off in January or February of 2009. ( E! Online's Watch with Kristin ) Entertainmen

Walking Through a Sunken Dream: Sam Tries to Figure Out What's Real on "Life on Mars"

Sigh. I was really hoping by now that the writers of ABC's Life on Mars would have stopped cribbing from the original UK series but was sadly disappointed to see that last night's episode ("The Real Adventures of the Unreal Sam Tyler"), the series' second, once again borrowed way too heavily from the original script. Last night's episode of Life on Mars followed the squad as they attempted to take down the organizer of a series of armed robberies at local check cashing stores, introduced Lee Tergesen as Assistant District Attorney Lee Crocker, and had Gene and Sam coming to blows (yet again) when Sam's plan put one of their own (Heather Matarazzo's June) in harm's way. To me, this series needs to be a hell of a lot more clever by half as much of the action and plotting seems predictable and pedestrian. The fact that Sam would go to the ADA and tell him that he suspects that the robberies are an inside job and implicate members of his own precin

Talk Back: ABC's "Life on Mars" Series Premiere

How many of you tuned in to watch the launch of ABC's Life on Mars last night? Likely by now you've already read my original review of the pilot episode (back when David E. Kelley was the showrunner) from back in May as well as my review of the reshot pilot (under the direction of executive producers/showrunners Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, and Scott Rosenberg) but now you've had a chance to watch the premiere episode, with Jason O'Mara ( Men in Trees ) filling in for the original's John Simm as Detective Sam Tyler, who finds himself inexplicably stuck in 1973. Is he in a coma? Has he traveled through time? Or is something else altogether going on here? It looks like the producers aren't revealing though they do say that Sam isn't necessarily in a coma, which was a given fact of the original BBC series. But I am curious to see what everyone thought of Life on Mars ' premiere episode ("Out Here in the Fields"), both those of you who are fa

"A God-Awful Small Affair": An Advance Look at the "Life on Mars" Series Premiere

Longtime visitors to this site know of my love for the original UK version of Life on Mars , a brilliant and mind-bending journey into the 1970s and the subconscious of one fine detective, Sam Tyler (played in the original by John Simm). It's a brilliant and heartbreaking work of genius, deftly blending together sci-fi, cop drama, and thriller into one shocking package. I'll admit that my expectations were very low when I saw the original pilot last May that ABC had produced for the US version of Life on Mars , starring Jason O'Mara ( Men in Trees ) as time-displaced detective Sam Tyler. I described the original pilot--set in Los Angeles--as "misguided" and said that the sunny Los Angeles setting was "very much at odds with the sort of haunting, slow burn atmosphere of the plot." I further said that I was "deeply disappointed" with the entire thing. ABC was apparently disappointed with Life on Mars as well, as the network commissioned anoth

Channel Surfing: Starbuck is "Lost and Found," Paul McGann NOT headed to "Doctor Who," Hugh Laurie, and More

Good morning and welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. In her first television role since the end of Battlestar Galactica (hitting small screens in 2009), Katee Sackhoff has signed on to star in drama pilot Lost and Found for Dick Wolf at NBC. Project, from writer/executive producer Chris Levinson, revolves around NYPD detective Tessa Cooper (Sackhoff) who is forced to solve John and Jane Doe cases after she finds herself rubbing her bosses the wrong way. Sackhoff's attachment lifts the cast contingency on the project, which was ordered to pilot last month. ( Hollywood Reporter ) FOX has signed a new deal with Gordon Ramsay that will keep the chef at the network for several more years and includes an agreement to produce two more editions of Hell's Kitchen , another season of Kitchen Nightmares , and a third series (likely based on Ramsay's Channel 4 series Man Camp , about a boot camp for men worried by how feminine they're becoming) and a special in w

Casting Couch: Lucas Finds "Possible Side Effects," Mol Explores "Life on Mars"

The invasion of this year's crop of feature actors into television roles continues apace. Josh Lucas ( Poseidon ) has signed on to star as the lead in Tim Robbins' Showtime drama pilot Possible Side Effects , about the employees of family-run pharmaceutical company. Robbins will write, direct, and executive produce the pilot, which is set to start shooting this autumn in New York City. The casting marks Lucas' first television role in nearly a decade; he last appeared on TV sets in 1999 as Lieutenant Macy in three episodes of the short-lived mystery series Cracker , opposite Robert Pastorelli... and one of his first roles was as a guest star on an episode of that fabled TV gem of yesteryear, Parker Lewis Can't Lose . *** In other casting news, ABC's adaptation of UK series Life on Mars has added another actor to the mix, following the groundbreaking casting of Harvey Keitel last week as Gene Hunt. According to TV Guide , Gretchen Mol ( The Memory Keeper's

Casting Couch: Amy Poehler to "Office" Non-Spinoff; Marcia Gay Harden Finds "Damages"

The, er, non-spinoff spinoff of The Office from Office executive producers Greg Daniels and Mike Schur just got a hell of a lot more interesting. Saturday Night Live 's Amy Poehler is said to be in negotiations to join the cast of the untitled comedy opposite the previously announced Aziz Ansari, who was cast in the project last month. Confirming news I had heard from someone close to the production, the untitled comedy series will NOT be a spin-off as previously announced at the NBC Upfronts by Ben Silverman but will in fact be a completely separate series, which will not utilize any existing or forthcoming characters on The Office but remain its own entity. I think Poehler is a fantastic choice for this new series, whatever the premise might eventually be. I'm hoping that she actually is the de facto series lead as television needs more female lead actors in comedy series to join the current troika of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and Mary-Louise Parker. While there wer

Former "Sopranos" Star Searches for "Life on Mars"

Sam Tyler, meet Ray Carling. ABC's adaptation of the hit BBC series Life on Mars has landed another cast member in the face of massive overhauling since shooting the original pilot (you can read my review here ) under the watchful eye of executive producer/showrunner David E. Kelley. Kelley, of course, will famously not be continuing with Life on Mars as a full-time showrunner and the series--which has become a co-production between ABC Studios and 20th Century Fox Television--has brought in October Road showrunners Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg and Josh Applebaum to oversee the series. So who will be playing the notoriously sexist and difficult Ray Carling? ABC has announced that Michael Imperioli ( The Sopranos ) will join the cast of Life on Mars opposite Jason O'Mara as Detective Sam Tyler. I'm intrigued by the casting of Imperioli as it comes on the heels of word that the production may recast all of the major roles (other than O'Mara) and is at least a ste

Pilot Inspektor: ABC's "Life on Mars"

ABC had very little to announce for next season at this year's upfronts ; most of its pilots have yet to have been shot and won't film a single frame until later this summer. And the few things that ABC did end up ordering were either picked up from another network ( Scrubs ) or had been shot last year ( Life on Mars ). What's my point? I finally sat down last night to watch the pilot for Life on Mars with bated breath. After all, longtime readers know how bloody much I love the UK original series of Life on Mars --starring John Simm, Liz White, and Philip Glenister--and I had pretty low expectations for this David E. Kelley-created US remake, which keeps the basic plot intact (detective Sam Tyler gets hit by a car whilst investigating a serial killer and wakes up in 1972... or does he?), along with much of the dialogue, shot compositions, and graphics. (Kelley, for his part, won't be involved with the series; ABC has hired Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenb