Seth MacFarlane will not be returning to host the Oscars, at least not next year. While the Family Guy creator earned mixed reviews for his hosting duties earlier this year, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron nevertheless reached out to MacFarlane to see if he’d want to come back and host again in 2014. While the very busy MacFarlane seems like he was up to the task, scheduling issues have forced him to decline via a statement on his Twitter:
“Traumatized critics exhale: I’m unable to do the Oscars again. Tried to make it work schedule-wise, but I need sleep. However, I highly recommend the job, as Zadan and Meron are two of the most talented producers in the business. My suggestion for host is Joaquin Phoenix.”
MacFarlane is currently filming and starring in his second feature directorial effort, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and he’s expected to shoot the Ted sequel later this year, which would account for the scheduling difficulties. With MacFarlane now out, who do you think should be at the helm of next year’s Oscars? My vote is for Neil Patrick Harris or Hugh Jackman.
On February 5th, Smash is back on NBC with a special two-hour Season 2 premiere, in which the Bombshell team is one step closer to achieving their Broadway dream. The Boston run was the success the team was hoping for, but everyone involved is about to learn that even a charmed show cannot avoid paying for sins of the past. Meanwhile, two young Brooklyn natives are hard at work on a current-day rock musical of their own, which could either become Bombshell’s biggest rival or just another Broadway bust. The show stars Debra Messing, Anjelica Houston, Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty, Jack Davenport, Christian Borle and Jeremy Jordan.
While at the NBC portion of the TCA Press Tour, new showrunner Joshua Safran joined executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to talk about what led to the changes in Season 2, going from fan of the show to showrunner, how they’re handling the songwriting for two separate stage shows within the series, how Jennifer Hudson came to be a part of the show this season, the possibility of Ellis [Jaime Cepero] returning, and the chances of Bombshell becoming a real Broadway show. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
In this updated, contemporary version of the beloved stage play and 1989 film, Steel Magnolias chronicles the lives and friendship of six women in Louisiana. Supporting each other through triumphs and tragedies, they share the mysteries of life and death, husbands and children, and all the other important topics that truly unite and celebrate women. From director Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) and screenwriter Sally Robinson, the film stars Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad, Alfre Woodard, Jill Scott, Adepero Oduye and Condola Rashad.
During this recent interview to promote the October 7th premiere on Lifetime television, executive producers Queen Latifah, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan (the producing duo for Chicago and Hairspray) talked about how this version is different from the original, the challenges they had in producing this new adaptation, the universal themes of the story, putting this great cast together, how much the actors all supported each other during shooting, how they came to partner with Lifetime, their favorite moments on set, and what they enjoy about working with each other. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
It looks like the Academy of Arts and Sciences has decided to stick with a more traditional show in step with this year’s Billy Crystal-hosted ceremony following the James Franco/Anne Hathaway fiasco of 2011. Though many were intrigued to hear that the Academy was circling Jimmy Fallon as a host for the 2013 Oscars with SNL’s Lorne Michaels eyed as the show’s producer, ABC wasn’t so hot on the idea and discussions with the two fell apart before a deal materialized. The search continued, and today it was announced that Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (NBC’s Smash, The Bucket List) have been chosen to produce the ceremony.
The duo has an extensive musical background, as they were behind the feature film adaptations of Hairspray and Chicago, as well as Broadway’s revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. One would expect a strong music-centered show, but the two tell THR that they haven’t made any cemented decisions yet, adding that the show’s content/tone depends on what movies are nominated. I guess the Academy could have chosen someone with a worse background to run the show, but I really would have loved to see Michaels shake things up. Nevertheless, with producers solidified we should expect an announcement regarding the host sooner rather than later.
Fox 2000 and Michael Sucsy (The Vow) are reportedly in talks to team up on Susannah Grant’s (Erin Brockovich) untitled musical featuring the music of The Beach Boys. The project features an original story by Grant and a cast of fictional characters, though the real highlight may be the music itself. John Stamos, who played with the band and remains close to them still today, will be a producer on the film. Producing the musical alongside Stamos will be Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the team behind successful musicals, Chicago and Hairspray. The trio also produced “The Beach Boys: The American Family” back in 2000 for ABC television.
Variety reports that though the studio won a bidding war with Universal to use The Beach Boys’ music, the band’s popularity is not guaranteed to translate to a good box office showing. Mamma Mia’s ABBA soundtrack helped the musical bring in north of $600 million worldwide, while The Beatles’ contribution to Across the Universe netted only $29 million. Perhaps Sucsy will be able to bring his box office magic to the table, with his directorial debut having brought in over $100 million already.
After last night’s huge influx of news from Fox about series pick-ups, renewals and cancellations, it’s now NBC’s turn to announce some of their new series that we can look forward to in the fall. As of now there seems to be some dissension amongst the news outlets online as to whether or not Wonder Woman will actually get picked up, and other potential series like The Playboy Club are rumored for a pick-up but we haven’t heard anything official yet.
After the jump, check out the four new series that have definitely been picked up to premiere sometime this fall including a new sitcom from stand-up comedian Whitney Cummings, another comedy from Christina Applegate, a Broadway musical series from producer Steven Spielberg, and the stateside remake of the British crime drama Prime Suspect.
Since NBC’s superpowered drama Heroes was given the axe, series star Milo Ventimiglia may have found a new project to keep the network in the comic book inspired arena. Deadline reports Ventimiglia will both star in and executive produce a potential series adaptation of Rest, a comic book co-created by the actor along with Russ Cundiff and Mark Powers. Writer Philip Levens (Smallville) will adapt the comic which follows John Barrett, a guy in his late 20′s stuck in a dead-end job with no future. But when his best friend from college mysteriously resurfaces with news of a new wonder drug that replaces sleep, John falls into a conspiracy that threatens to change the course of human history. More after the jump: