So, wait: Lena Dunham neglects to give her fictional alter ego a sassy black friend, and the Internet is all "#burnthewitch," but meanwhile TV history's most terrible lady-monster, Whitney Cummings, continues doing everything short of building her own orc army and everybody yawns? Priorities, people. Dunham gets knocked for being an exemplar of privilege, but you know what "privilege" is? Privilege is getting another chance to build a TV show around a "sensibility" the viewing public just finished gagging on when it was served to them in multicamera-sitcom form.
Kristen Stewart has been offered a role in the Akira remake, although it’s not yet clear if a deal will actually go down. Stewart will be playing Ky Reed, a character who is "part of an underground movement to expose the government for turning orphans into living weapons." If Stewart doesn’t accept the role it will most likely be because, sources on the inside say, she wants more time to gleefully roll around in bed with stacks and stacks of her Twilight millions. Grade: B [HR]
If corporations can be people then so too can networks have personalities. Fox, for example, is youthful and brash, rife with protagonists who refuse to play by the rules, be they doctors, ten-year-olds, or megalomaniacal Brits. ABC has long been the Secret of networks, strong enough for a (sensitive) man but ph-balanced for women. While CBS is essentially what everyone down in Lower Manhattan is currently protesting: rich, old and crushingly successful. (#OccupyStudioCity!) NBC, however, is a bit more complicated.
It’s been ever so for the peacock, or at least since Chandler Bing snarked his last back in 2004. Back then, NBC was top bird in the demographics that mattered: hip young urbanites (and the strivers that wanted to be like them). Seinfeld, Friends, ER were all massive hits that projected an air of confidence and cutting-edge cool. Then somebody Zucked it all up: the last half decade has been a near-satirical spiral of dud shows, ill-advised “reinventions” and a crippling Leno addiction so powerful it would leave Charlie Sheen shaking his head and recommending rehab. In the midst of the macro, “NBC is a disaster” narrative, though, a smaller micro trend emerged: we media types mocked NBC with abandon but it also quietly became home to our most loved, least watched shows, comedies like Parks & Recreation and 30 Rock and touchy-feely hours Friday Night Lights (RIP!) and Parenthood. If you were to ask any casual industry watcher what NBC’s identity was, the answer would probably still involve the words “cool” and “Tina Fey.” But here’s the thing: making a show precisely for the commenters on the AV Club isn’t exactly profitable. This generous, art-endorsing era that bought The Office time to succeed and gave Coach Taylor five seasons of pep-talks and uplift was, in reality, an aberration, an almost accidental flowering of excellence while corporate eyes were busy putting out larger fires and taming wilder white tigers.
Under the cover of a weekend famous for blowing stuff up, NBC did exactly that with one of its least-promising new sitcoms: Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, the TV adaptation of Chelsea Handler’s mystifyingly popular book in which the comedienne reveals her boyfriend once got a blowjob from a dog. Once scheduled for midseason, the show now appears as shaky as Handler on Rick Ross’s go-cart. The reason? The holiday axing of three core cast members: jerky comedian Jo Koy, former ER nurse Angel Laketa Moore, and — gasp! — the wonderful Natalie Morales. (Series star Laura Prepon remains.)