Stanley Kubrick once spent a long while crafting a script about Napoleon Bonaparte, a project he was never able to film. Then Steven Spielberg swooped in as a producer this year, and apparently HBO took interest shortly thereafter. Now, according to Deadline, Baz Luhrmann is in talks to direct the miniseries. "Deals are a long way from being made, but I’m told the plan is for Luhrmann to take on what becomes the highest-profile miniseries at that payweb. When Spielberg first revealed the project in an interview with Canal Plus on French TV, he said that this was the project Kubrick had dreamed of making, only to drop it when Hollywood studios refused to fund it, even after Kubrick promised in a letter to studio executives in 1971 that it would be the best movie ever made."
It happened, people — South Park didn't finish its homework on time. This might not shock anyone who has seen 6 Days to Air, the documentary that details the insanely tight turnaround Trey Parker and Matt Stone impose on themselves, but it's indeed a new occurrence in the show's 16-year, 240-episode history. "It sucks to miss an air date but after all these years of tempting fate by delivering the show last minute, I guess it was bound to happen," Parker says.
Stand-up comedian and former Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney has a sorta-autobiographical sitcom that has gone through some ups and downs — mostly with NBC — before getting a series order from Fox this week. Entertainment Weeklycalls Mulaney "one of the most promising-sounding pilots from earlier this year." Splitsider, in an impassioned piece from May titled "Why NBC Will Regret Not Picking Up Mulaney," wrote that "it was a good pilot and … the series had enormous potential." The latter went on to argue that NBC's biggest loss wasn't so much the series but Mulaney himself — co-creator of Bill Hader's Stefon, 31-year-old candidate for prime-time stardom, and deliverer of great joy. So congrats, Fox! You got yourself a John Mulaney!
Just get it out of the way and admit that Breaking Bad hasn't given you a single second to breathe, much less to consider showrunner Vince Gilligan's next move after the show concludes this Sunday. A long vacation probably would've been nice for the guy — anywhere but New Hampshire — but he's actually heading straight to CBS to resurrect an 11-year-old script called Battle Creek. "The project, which was first developed at CBS in 2002, centers on two detectives with very different world views," writes THR. "Together, they must answer the question: Are cynicism, guile and deception enough to clean up the semi-mean streets of Battle Creek, Michigan, in the face of a complete lack of resources, or is the exact opposite true — it takes naïveté, trust and a boatload of resources?" Semi. Mean. Streets.
A new show from Rome co-creator Bruno Heller will focus on the origins of Commissioner James "Never Without a Mustache" Gordon rather than any crusaders who happen to be caped. Some of Gotham's extraordinarily thematic villains will put in appearances, should that soothe your batarang'd heart. Fox won the bidding war in what Deadline, on the night of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere, called "one of the biggest drama deals this season." The network has given a series commitment.
One of the most disconcerting things about being alive is how many interesting things happen every day that you never know about: the books you'd love but will never read; the movies that would change your life but somehow never make it onto your radar; the Internet that hangs on the vine, ripening, sweetening, and then eventually falling to the ground to rot, ignored by you accidentally forever. The YOLO and the FOMO, and if you want to go there, the PO-POMO: There is simply too much content sometimes.
The new generation of fall television seems to be gripped by a universal anxiety that you will ignore it, and, as The Hollywood Reporter detailed yesterday, the networks' marketing and publicity departments are going all kinds of crazy in their isolated brainstorming chambers. It's not that these "buzzy stunts" are all bad ideas — some of them are excellent ideas, involving $100,000 prizes (Lucky 7) and the placement of "eight giant mushrooms" along with "one life-sized rabbit" (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland) in various New York City locations — and everyone deserves points for getting creative and thinking outside the box (the head of CBS marketing told THR that "In [his] business, there is no more box"). However, it seems like the challenge the networks face in publicizing their shows this fall is not necessarily what they think it is.
Last spring, former talk show host Arsenio Hall emerged victorious from the quasi-famous-person crab bucket of Celebrity Apprentice’s fifth season, beating out Clay Aiken for the right to drink Donald Trump's pee and declare it to be the best-tasting pee ever micturated. Within days, the usual sources-close-to were stage-whispering that there might be another late-night gig in Hall's future. This past Monday night, that future finally arrived with the debut of Hall's new syndicated talk show, Arsenio.
Good news, people who have long believed that a no-holds-barred premium-cable behind-the-scenes depiction of the running of an NBA team would make for riveting television! As Deadline reports, Showtime has enlisted the powers of Phil Jackson, his fiancée and Lakers exec Jeanie Buss, and Ron Shelton (oh: and, um, Kurt Rambis and his wife?) to put together "a one-hour scripted drama set behind the scenes of a pro basketball team and the family that runs it." So, do we have your attention?
Now, let's think about this for a minute, and separate the knowns from the unknowns.
Most days are bereft of truly thrilling developments on the television front. Most days, it's just another bit of ho-hum casting news, another greenlit odd-job docu-reality thing, another damn X on that interminable bedside "Garfield" day calendar that is life. But most days, friends, are not today. Because today — this day — we get not one but two projects to get all atwitter about.
First up: John Rambo's back! Maybe! Unseen since 2008's Rambo, in which Sly Stallone murdered a record number of Burmese people, the cold-blooded mercenary with a conscience has been tapped for a possible TV deal. As of now, the actual details are scant. THR reports: "Entertainment One has inked a co-development pact with Avi Lerner's Nu Image to develop and produce a TV series based on the Rambo property. As part of their exclusive option arrangement, the partners will jointly develop the series and shop it to broadcasters in the U.S. and internationally. Stallone is in talks to participate on a 'creative level' and potentially reprise his iconic role as Rambo." This comes hot on the heels of Creed, in which Michael B. Jordan will star as Apollo Creed's grandson, a boxing prodigy who seeks out the tutelage of none other than Rocky Balboa. In other words: If you thought Sly had already wrung every last drop of juice out of his most famous creations, you are a damn fool.
After the bonanza of behind-the-scenes train wrecks that was The Canyons, you'd think that, at least in the immediate aftermath, we wouldn't be able to rely on Lindsay Lohan for much more action. But like MJ against the Blazers in '92, Lohan can't miss right now. So feast your eyes on this latest bit of WTF. After Lindsay posted an Instagram selfie with the caption "#back@work! So grateful today! : )," E! did some snooping and found that said work meant a cameo on Eastbound & Down. That's right: Lindsay Lohan's riding with Kenny Powers.
Alec Baldwin, currently looking fit and handsome as a smarmy Madoff type in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, may have a new job lined up. And it's not quite what you'd expect: According to Mediaite, Baldwin, the famously outspoken Hollywood liberal, might get his own MSNBC show to spout off on. The show would air Fridays at 10 p.m., currently the spot taken by Lockup. So, yeah: good news for everyone except people who really like their Friday night prison fix?
And now let us travel all the way back to the year 2008, when The New Yorker profiled Baldwin and discovered a man who, almost unbelievably, viewed his movie acting career as a failure. As Baldwin saw it, after the success of The Hunt for Red October, he had a shot at stardom — and he blew it. Ticking off the minefield of post-October disappointments ("In ’94, I did Heaven’s Prisoners. That was a bomb. In ’95, I did The Juror. That was a bomb."), Baldwin finally wraps up by saying, "Do you want to know the truth? I don’t think I really have a talent for movie acting. I’m not bad at it, but I don’t think I really have a talent for it." Not that television had brought him much peace of mind either: As appreciative as he was of Tina Fey, he seemed to see his 30 Rock gig as some kind of token success, forever qualified because it came on TV and in comedy.
The whole thing is an almost virtuosic display of self-loathing, and it's hard not to think of now, as Baldwin might try out this whole Will McAvoy thing. No, he was never a major blockbuster-stringing movie star, but he's still managed one of the more interesting careers an actor can have. So hopefully one of these days he'll hate himself a little less?
Sometimes a little corporate broadcast rivalry is a beautiful thing. See, because of some exclusivity issues, Daft Punk wasn't able to perform, as planned, on The Colbert Report. As Stephen Colbert explained on Tuesday's show, "We booked Click and Clack over here about a month ago Well, apparently, Daft Punk are going to make a surprise appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards. Don’t tell anybody, because fun fact: No one told me until two o'clock yesterday." Colbert even let us see the chastisement e-mail from MTV chief Van Toffler: "The label and the band sold us hard on some clip and live appearance based on them not showing up anywhere else — so this is a new one. Checked with my peeps and will check again but they're feeling funky on this one." (Oh wow, dude.) So was Colbert going to take this injustice sitting down?! Of course not — he was going to take it dancing! In response, Colbert threw together a star-studded "Get Lucky" dance party that makes you wish MTV would mess with his bookings more often. I'll let you experience the wonder of the unknown celeb cameo all for yourself, but I will say just three words in preview: Henry. Alfred. Kissinger.
Dads, the Seth MacFarlane–produced sitcom airing on Fox this fall, had its panel at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday, and the proceedings went exactly as you'd expect. Before even so much as a pilot has aired, the cast — fronted by Giovanni Ribisi and Seth Green, playing business partners dealing with the return of their fathers into their lives — and the writers — Wellesley Wild and Alec Sulkin, who come from Family Guy and also did Ted with MacFarlane — were defending the show from accusations of laziness, crudeness, and, that old standard, the mining of stereotypes for cheap laughs. Hey, 2 Broke Girls: It looks like you're no longer America's no. 1 racist punching bag!
As IGN reports, Fox chairman Kevin Reilly was out in front on Dads, really trying to sell a devil-may-care "I hate this thing too" attitude:
Two of Pawnee's most upstanding citizens, city manager Chris Traeger and nurse Ann Perkins, are heading out of town. In other words, as BuzzFeed reports: Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones are bouncing out on Parks and Recreation, and will be doing so after the 13th episode of this upcoming sixth season.
Lowe might not be going far: As Deadline reports, "NBC is looking to keep Lowe in the fold, finalizing a development deal with an actor for a potential new series." And Jones will be keeping busy, too: "Jones has been ramping up her producing career, setting her production company with Will McCormack at Warner Bros. TV." (She and McCormack wrote Celeste and Jesse Forever.) But, for now, we begin to say good-bye to two bedrocks of Pawnee — Lowe popped up in Season 2 and happily stuck around; Jones was the second person on board after Amy Poehler, when the show was still thought to be an Office spinoff.
Now that Elisabeth Hasselbeck, very good Survivor player and gluten-free conservative, has vacated her seat at The View, Jenny McCarthy is moving in. Despite the rumors that Hasselbeck was ousted because her right-wing coffee talk alienated viewers, it looks as though ABC is in a gambling mood. McCarthy is now as known for her controversial autism-cause theories and treatment regimens as she is for being the hottest woman you’d ever seen when you were in eighth grade.