Glee fans have something new to sing about: Fox has announced it will be renewing its “genre-defying” (or logic-defying, if you prefer) series for two more seasons. For four years the show has been the only successful scripted musical series on the air, selling oodles of music and capitalizing on the current singing crazy (look no further for proof than the success of American Idol, The Voice and others). Though some of its original cast have now graduated (but are still regulars) from the show’s high school setting, the series continues to comment, with varying degrees of savvy, on hot-button topics like bullying and gun violence in schools. Knowing Ryan Murphy, there will be plenty more of that to come.
Glee, created by Murphy, stars Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Matthew Morrison, Cory Monteith, Jane Lynch and Naya Rivera, and airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
It appears as though Fox has put one of Seth MacFarlane’s brainchildren to bed for good. The network has apparently opted not to order another season of Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show, though a formal announcement of cancellation has yet to be made and the show will be allowed to air its remaining fourth-season episodes. The network’s decision isn’t at all surprising considering the show’s modest ratings and the fact that Cleveland’s episode count will hit 88 by the end of this season, which is the typical benchmark for a juicy syndication (i.e. rerun-sellin’) deal.
Debuting in 2009, The Cleveland Show saw Family Guy producer/voice actor Mike Henry reprising his role as Cleveland Brown (a jokey reference to the pro football team that I, oddly enough, just got at this very moment), who moves back to his home town of Stoolbend, Virginia, reuniting with his high school crush (voiced by Sanaa Lathan) and her kids, and getting up to shenanigans involving a new group of pals, one of which is a talking bear. SNL’s Jason Sudeikis and Seth MacFarlane himself rounded out the regular voice cast. Also, Kanye West dropped by sometimes. Hit the jump for more.
Just recently, director Ang Lee surprised many by signing on to helm the pilot for an FX drama series called Tyrant as his next project after winning the Best Director Oscar for last year’s Life of Pi. Now another talented filmmaker is delving into television following immense success in theaters, as Oz the Great and Powerful helmer Sam Raimi has agreed to direct the Fox drama pilot Rake. The potential hourlong series stars Greg Kinnear as a criminal defense lawyer who’s described as “brilliant, frustratingly charming, and [having] zero filter.” The pilot is based on an Australian comedic drama series of the same name, and is being executive produced by Peter Duncan and Peter Tolan (Rescue Me). Hit the jump for more.
Fox’s announcement that they will be stacking their midseason next year with a slate of renewals is of little surprise: The Following, which stars Kevin Bacon, as well as Zooey Deschanel‘s New Girl are two of the network’s top rated series. While some worried about the fates of The Mindy Project and Raising Hope, both have been performing well enough with viewers and critics to warrant an unsurprising return next year.
So far, the only Fox series in question is the Ryan Murphy-helmed musical series Glee, which is sure to be renewed after contract negotiations. For fans of Touch (are there any? Speak now!) the signs are pretty clear that it won’t be returning after this season. For more on the renewed series, hit the jump.
Pilot season is in full swing, but Fox is making a pretty bold commitment to a new series from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. The network has decided to go straight-to-series with Dads, a multi-camera live-action comedy written and produced by Ted scribes Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, with MacFarlane onboard as executive producer. Fox has ordered six episodes of the new show based solely on a pilot script, so Sulkin, Wild, and MacFarlane must have knocked it out of the park. Per THR, the series centers on “two successful guys in their 30s who have their lives turned upside down when their nightmare dads unexpectedly move in with them.” The show should premiere this coming fall.
Sulkin and Wild have been longtime Family Guy writers and currently serve as executive producers on the hit animated comedy. The two also co-wrote MacFarlane’s directorial debut Ted and are penning a live-action western comedy feature film that MacFarlane will star in and direct called A Million Ways to Die in the West.
As part of the TCA Press Tour presentation for Fox, Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly took some time to talk about the network’s current and upcoming line-up. During this interview, he talked about the impact that recent violent events will have on his decision-making process, as they go into pilot season, the status of the In Living Color reboot, how he feels the dual stories are going on Glee, why they’re pairing up Bones with The Following on Monday nights, and that they definitely plan to continue developing genre shows, after the end of Fringe. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Fox has unveiled a few newsworthy items during the Television Critics Association winter press tour, including the announcement of a new series by M. Night Shyamalan, Wayward Pines, which the network says should be evocative of Twin Peaks (how many times have we heard that before?) Additionally, a new series called Blood Brothers is also on the slate, focusing on a true story of the West Point Class of 1861.
A few more points of interest:
- The networks’ veteran procedural Bones has been renewed for its ninth (ninth!) season.
- Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) is set to to guest-star on an upcoming episode of The Mindy Project as Mindy’s “first kiss” (The show returns February 19th at 9:30pm)
- Fox is unveiling “Animation Domination High-Def,” a new bloc for “alternative” comedy (translation: more super short-form, Adult Swim kinda stuff)
Director Bryan Singer’s first two feature film adaptations of X-Men are great, and Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 period take X-Men: First Class was excellent, but the animated series iteration of X-Men will always be closest to my heart. The show began its run in 1992 on Fox as part of the network’s Saturday morning Fox Kids lineup, and it thoroughly entertained audiences throughout its five seasons. One of the highlights of the series was its intro, complete with an unmistakable theme song, and now someone has taken it upon himself to painstakingly recreate said intro using stop-motion. It’s quite a fun watch, and it even features a new iteration of the X-Men theme.
Hit the jump to check out the stop motion version of the show’s opening, and if you’d like a blast from the past click here to watch the series in its entirety on Netflix.
If all goes according to plan, 2015 will be one ridiculous year for movies. Currently, The Avengers 2, Justice League, Ant-Man, Star Wars: Episode VII, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 are all tentatively slated for 2015 release dates. Now Fox is throwing one more highly anticipated title into the pile, as their Fantastic Four reboot now has a March 6, 2015 release date. Titled The Fantastic Four, the film has Chronicle director Josh Trank at the helm and Jeremy Slater penning the screenplay. Plot details are practically non-existent at the moment, but with two promising gents creatively spearheading the project, there’s certainly hope for a fun take on the comic book property that will help us all put Tim Story‘s overly cheesy films out of our memory for good.
Additionally, Fox has announced that a number of their upcoming films will be post-converted to 3D. Hit the jump for more.
As we move closer toward pilot season, two new high profile comedies have headed into development. First up, The Daily Show correspondent Jason Jones will write and potentially star in an untitled family comedy at Fox. THR reports that another Daily Show vet, Steve Carell, will executive produce the series alongside About a Boy and New Moon director Chris Weitz. The story revolves around a single guy with no desire for having a family who is forced to take care of his sister’s two kids when she’s called back to active duty. Should the show get picked up, Jones would likely (and sadly) leave The Daily Show.
Hit the jump for news concerning Zach Braff’s return to the small screen.
One of the more pleasant surprises of 2012 was director Josh Trank’s low-budget “superhero” film Chronicle. The pic was a hit with audiences and critics alike, and Fox naturally tapped the first film’s scribe Max Landis to start work on a sequel earlier this year. Shortly thereafter Landis teased the return of star Alex Russell in the follow-up, but since then word on Chronicle 2 has been quiet. Now we may have an idea of why, as Landis’ father, filmmaker John Landis, recently revealed that Fox isn’t too keen on what Max Landis has cooked up for the sequel. Hit the jump for more.
On the heels of NBC’s recent full pick-ups of Revolution, The New Normal and Go On, Fox has also announced a few full-season orders of its own for new comedies Ben and Kate (six additional episodes) and The Mindy Project (nine additional episodes).
Both series seem likable but have had questionable viewing figures, so it’s a good vote of confidence that Fox is giving them time to grow their audience and find their place in a crowded Tuesday night lineup for comedies (and dramas), which will only get more complicated with the return of two of ABC’s strongest returning comedies, Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the B– In Apt 23. For more on what Fox has to say about the Ben and Kate and The Mindy Project, hit the jump.
Mark Millar has been the source of an abundant amount of (fairly inaccurate) information regarding his comics properties and feature film adaptations over the years, and now he’s set to formally consult on 20th Century Fox’s Marvel properties. The studio announced today that the Kick-Ass creator will serve as a creative consultant on Fox’s upcoming projects based on Marvel Comics properties.
Fox owns the rights to a number of Marvel characters, and Millar has some experience with the comics outlet having written books like The Ultimates, Civil War, and Wolverine: Old Man Logan. He also wrote the comics Kick-Ass and Wanted, both of which were adapted for the film medium. Hit the jump for more regarding Millar’s duties at Fox.
In a bit of startling news, 20th Century Fox Co-Chairman and CEO Tom Rothman will be leaving the studio. In letter to Fox staff, Rothman says he will resign on January 1, 2013. A source tells THR that all studio operations will be consolidated under studio co-chairman Jim Gianopulos. It’s a surprising departure considering Fox’s recent good fortune at the box office with hits like X-Men: First Class, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Chronicle. Rothman had been with Fox for over 18 years.
Hit the jump to read his full letter, and click here to read Steve’s interview with Rothman from CinemaCon.
Though Fringe is coming to an end after the upcoming fifth and final season, showrunner J.H. Wyman and executive producer J.J. Abrams are already making moves for their next TV collaboration. Deadline reports that Fox has acquired an untitled new series that’s described as an action-packed buddy cop show set in the near future where all LAPD officers are partnered with “highly evolved human-like androids.” In other words, a slightly more realistic/dramatic version of Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E.
Fox has committed to producing the pilot, which Wyman will write. Wyman will also executive produce the project with Bad Robot’s Abrams and Bryan Burk. The the pilot be picked up to series, it’ll be interesting to see how they handle the android aspect of the show. Will it simply be an actor with light prosthetics/makeup (I’m sure Haley Joel Osment is available) or will there be a heavier CG-feel to it? Whatever the case, I’m inclined to give Wyman and Abrams the benefit of the doubt.