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Showing posts with the label Spartacus

Channel Surfing: Incredible Hulk to Smash ABC, Wentworth Miller Spies Spartacus, HBO Eyes Tea Leoni, Weeds' Shane, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Hulk smash... TV? The Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd and Brys Kit are reporting that ABC and Marvel are developing a television series based on comic "The Incredible Hulk," which was previously a 1978-82 television series that starred Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. Hulk is one of two projects, along with Cloak and Dagger (which is said to be in development at ABC Family), that Marvel Studios has in development, though the company is also said to be looking at other properties to develop as series, including Heroes for Hire, The Eternals, Agents of Atlas, Alter Ego, Moon Knight, The Hood, Ka-Zar, Daughters of the Dragon, and The Punisher , the latter of which is said to also be high on Marvel's radar, possibly as a cable series. [Editor: The story, however, fails to discern between several properties, which it has erroneously merged into single entities.] ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) Entertainme

Channel Surfing: Starz to Recast Spartacus, Warehouse 13 Renewed, Mad Men's John Slattery to 30 Rock, Glee, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. It was only a matter of time, really. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello (who is soon to depart the magazine/website ) is reporting that Starz has begun the search for a replacement for Spartacus ' Andy Whitfield, who was forced to drop out of the production due to a recurrence of cancer. "According to the just-released casting notice, producers are searching for a Caucasian male in his mid to late 30s to play the 'smart, intense, passionate' title role," writes Ausiello. "Interested parties must have an authentic British accent and be prepared to sign a three-year contract." ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) The Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd is reporting that Syfy has renewed Warehouse 13 for a third season, with 13 episodes on tap for next season. Additionally, Jack Kenny will remain aboard the series as the showrunner and has signed a development deal with the cab

Channel Surfing: ABC Axes My Generation, David E. Kelley to Tackle Wonder Woman, Spartacus, Lara Flynn Boyle, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. And another one bites the dust. The axe has fallen on Noah Hawley's drama My Generation , which was cancelled by ABC after just two episodes. Production has come to a screeching halt on the series, which debuted to more than 5 million viewers in its initial airing and then plummeted a staggering 31 percent for the second episode. ABC has yet to announce a replacement for My Generation , which had the Thursday evening at 8 pm ET/PT timeslot. News comes on the heels of FOX's decision to can Lone Star after two airings, while all eyes are on ABC's Whole Truth and NBC's Outlaw , which mark the two most likely targets for cancellation, should ratings not improve. ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) Better fire up that invisible plane: The Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd and Borys Kit are reporting that Warner Bros. Television is said to be developing a modern-day take on DC Comics' Wonder Woman for

Channel Surfing: Summer Glau to Chuck, Zucker's Replacement Named at NBCU, Starz Considers Spartacus Options, Community, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Summer Glau ( Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ) is set to guest star on NBC's Chuck this season, where she will turn up in the eighth episode as the latest Greta, the rotating CIA/NSA joint intelligence task force agent assigned to the Buy More. Glau, who stars in NBC's midseason action drama The Cape , follows in the footsteps of Olivia Munn, Stacy Keibler, and Isaiah Mustafa. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Jeff Zucker is out and Steve Burke is in. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts' right-hand man Burke, will succeed Jeff Zucker as CEO of NBC Universal once the merger deal--valued at $30 billion--is completed. Zucker announced that he would be stepping down from the position on Friday once the merger transaction is closed. "Steve Burke is an experienced, talented and visionary leader with over 25 years in the media and entertainment ind

Channel Surfing: J.J. Abrams Shops Emerson/O'Quinn Show, Linda Hamilton Talks Chuck, Spartacus, Community, True Lies, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Could Lost 's Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson be headed back your televisions? If J.J. Abrams gets his way, they'll be reuniting for a drama project--tentatively entitled Odd Jobs --that Abrams, along with Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, are pitching to the networks. Vulture's Josef Adalain is reporting that the drama, which will also contain a large amount of humor, revolves around "former black-ops agents." It's unknown whether the project is based on any part on the idea that Emerson and O'Quinn had floated a while back in which they'd play suburban hit men. But the fact that Abrams' Bad Robot--and possibly by association Warner Bros. Television--is behind Odd Jobs (or whatever it might eventually be called), is a good sign that the project will at least be picked up to pilot. ( Vulture ) AOL Television's Maureen Ryan talks to Linda Hamilton about her role as Mary Elizabeth Bartows

Channel Surfing: DirecTV Saves FX's Damages, David Cross to Join Running Wilde, Gregory Itzin Finds Big Love for HBO, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Many had given up hope that FX's brilliant and labyrinthine legal drama Damages would survive another season, given the low ratings for the series' fantastically taut third season, which wrapped its run earlier this year. Not so: DirecTV has come to the aid of the Sony Picture Television- and FX Productions-produced series and has renewed the Glenn Close-led series for two seasons of ten episodes apiece. The only problem: it won't be airing on FX anymore as DirecTV has the exclusive rights to the series on The 101 Network. "We're excited to partner with Sony Pictures Television as we breathe new life into this outstanding drama," said Patty Ishimoto, general manager of The 101 Network and vice president of entertainment for DIRECTV, in a statement. "It's a win for our customers because only they will be able to see these new episodes and another great step forward for DIRECTV as we continue to bui

Channel Surfing: Julia Stiles Heads to Dexter, Doctor Who Writer Wants Lady Gaga, All Clear Given to Spartacus Star Whitfield, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television update. It's official: Julia Stiles ( The Bourne Ultimatum ) has signed on to appear in ten episodes of Showtime's serial killer drama Dexter next season. Stiles will play "a mysterious young woman who forms a unique relationship with Dexter (Michael C. Hall) in the wake of the death of his wife," according to Showtime. Production on Season Five of Dexter gets underway this month and is expected to premiere this fall. [Editor: any guesses on just who Stiles will be playing and just what her relationship is to Dexter? Let the speculation begin.] (via press release) Could pop superstar Lady Gaga be heading to Doctor Who ? If writer Gareth Roberts has his way, she would be. While Gaga hasn't signed on to appear in an episode of Who , Gareth maintains in an interview with OK! Magazine that he has already thought out a plotline for the "Bad Romance" singer to appear in. "She is no stranger to dressing up an

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 sta

Channel Surfing: Time is Up for "24," Keri Russell Circles "Wilde Kingdom," Adam Scott Talks "Parks and Recreation," "Lie to Me," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. While FOX and 20th Century Fox Television won't comment, Variety 's Michael Schneider is reporting that it appears that Day Eight of 24 will be the series' last. A final decision on the fate of the Kiefer Sutherland-led serialized drama will be made in the next day or so but it's not looking as though 24 will continue for a ninth season, at least at FOX. "The studio is said to be considering shopping 24 to other nets -- but given the thriller's age and pricetag, it's believed interest from other outlets will be limited," writes Schneider. "Yet even as the bell tolls for 24 in primetime, the franchise is far from dead. Sutherland and the 24 team have been keen on adapting the show as a feature film, and have made major strides in recent months toward making that long-term goal a reality." ( Variety ) In quite possibly one of the best pieces of casting news around, Keri Russell ( Fel

Into the Arena: A Few Quick Thoughts on Starz's "Spartacus"

Some of you have asked what I thought about Starz's blood- and sex-laden drama series Spartacus . After watching the first four episodes that were sent out for review, my thoughts on the series are just as muddled as they were when I first heard about the project. Created by Steven DeKnight, Spartacus recounts the exploits of a Thracian warrior (Andy Whitfield) betrayed by the Romans, torn away from his wife, and forced to compete as a gladiator in a series of vicious battles for the amusement of the public. His only desire: to train as hard as possible in the ludus (gladiator school) in order to win, so that that he can finally be reunited with his wife, who has been sold into slavery. (He'll eventually launch a slave rebellion against the Romans.) And when I say vicious battles, I mean vicious . The bloody and gruesome action is set against a series of a computer-rendered backdrops that recall 300 , without that production's gargantuan budget. Which basically means a n

Uprising: Starz Renews "Spartacus" for Second Season

In an unusual move, pay cabler Starz has renewed Spartacus for a second season, over a month before the first season, entitled Spartacus: Blood and Sand is set to debut. Starz handed out a thirteen-episode second season order to Spartacus today, which will begin production on Season Two in early 2010 in New Zealand. The plot details for Season Two, expected to be entitled Sparactus: Vengeance, are being kept firmly under wraps. Executive producers Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi, Joshua Donen, and Steven S. DeKnight (who is also the series' head writer) will all return for Season Two. "We couldn’t be happier with the first season. Spartacus delivers on all levels – action, characters, intrigue, romance and excitement," said Stephan Shelanski, Starz Entertainment EVP, Programming, in a statement. " Spartacus is the most ambitious original project we’ve ever undertaken, and speaks to the commitment to our subscribers to provide truly original programming along with our un