PARKS AND RECREATION to Return for Final Season on January 13th; Will Run Back-to-Back Episodes for Six Weeks Leading up to 1-Hour Series Finale

by     Posted 18 days ago

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I will be very sad to see Parks and Recreation go.  It’s not only painfully funny, but it’s also incredibly sweet, and I am going to miss these endearing characters.  Thankfully, they’ll be going out big as the show returns for its final season on January 13th, and NBC will air back-to-back episodes over the course of six weeks.  As Alan Sepinwall at Hitfix notes, NBC is doing this to burn off the last remnant of their old comedy brand.  Parks and Recreation will move to Tuesday at 8pm, and will serve as a lead-in for new shows Marry Me and About a Boy while The Voice is on hiatus.

In the larger scheme of things, I don’t really care about NBC’s strategy.  If they want to move away from comedies, that’s their perogative.  I don’t even mind that Parks and Recreation is coming to a close because I want to the show to go out on a strong finish rather than limp to a series finale.  If it means only six more weeks left in Pawnee, so be it.  I just hope I don’t tear up too much when it’s time to say goodbye.

NBC Halts CONSTANTINE Production after 13 Episodes; Show Might Still Return for Second Season

by     Posted 25 days ago

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Although fellow DC/WB projects Arrow, The Flash, and Gotham have found success on network television, the studio’s non-superhero television series, Constantine, has struggled to catch fire in its first season, although it’s too early to tell if it’s worth canceling.  The NBC show is based on the long-running comic series Hellblazer and follows a supernatural detective who helps fend off demons and dark magic.  I haven’t watched the series, but looking over Dave’s recaps, he seems to like it alright, so perhaps there’s a larger fanbase.  NBC needs all the help it can get on Friday nights (I have no idea how Hannibal is still on the air, but I’m grateful), so the freshman series may not be in the grave just yet.

Hit the jump for more.

Tina Fey’s NBC Comedy UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT Moves to Netflix with Two-Season Commitment; Debuts in March 2015

by     Posted 27 days ago

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In addition to developing its own incredibly successful original series like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, Netflix has also made a habit of either reviving long-dead shows (Arrested Development) or acquiring final seasons of soon-to-be-canceled/recently canceled series (Longmire, The Killing).  Now the network is adding a different kind of resurrection to its repertoire, as it has rescued a pilot from a major network.  NBC has been developing the comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for some time, and it’s been of interest because it was the first show that 30 Rock creator Tina Fey and co-showrunner Robert Carlock developed after the end of that excellent series.  A pilot was shot and it was ordered straight-to-series, but NBC had yet to put it on either its fall or midseason schedule for this year, leading many (including myself) to wonder what had happened.

Well now it turns out that NBC has found a way to sort of pass on the series while also not killing it completely, as Netflix has made a two-season commitment to acquire the show.  More after the jump.

NBC Planning A FEW GOOD MEN Live Telecast; Aaron Sorkin May Adapt His Play for TV

by     Posted 42 days ago

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While NBC’s live telecast of The Sound of Music provided plenty of fodder for Twitter, it also proved to be a commercial success for the network.  It’s moving ahead with a live version of Peter Pan to air next month, but now the network is looking at material outside of musicals—namely a very, very good play.  Variety reports that NBC is “in the early stages” of developing a live telecast of Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men.  The scribe’s Broadway play was famously adapted into a film in 1992 by director Rob Reiner with Sorkin penning the script, and now the network is apparently talking with Sorkin about having the West Wing creator and Social Network scribe rework the play once again for a new telecast.  More after the jump.

Neil Patrick Harris to Host NBC Variety Show Based on SATURDAY NIGHT TAKEAWAY

by     Posted 53 days ago

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Neil Patrick Harris will host a new NBC variety show, adapted from the ITV program Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.  The untitled series will be shot in front of a live audience and feature “comedy sketches, musical numbers, mini game shows, hidden camera pranks on celebrities and appearances by A-list stars.”  NBC has ordered 10 episodes from ITV Studios America.  The network has not scheduled a premiere date—I would be surprised to see it on Saturdays unless NBC is planning an aggressive programming move.

Harris is the best chance to revive the classic television format for a modern era.  The versatile actor will next show off his hosting talents at the 2015 Academy Awards.  Hit the jump for the press release.

Jim Parsons to Lead NBC’s Animated ELF: BUDDY’S MUSICAL CHRISTMAS TV Special

by     Posted 56 days ago

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Who’s ready for a little extra hugging, smiling, singing, candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup this year?  Once we hit December, 2003’s Elf will likely be airing on TV nonstop, but this year, in addition to the Will Ferrell live-action comedy we’ll also get a Buddy the Elf animated special as well.

NBC will air Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas on Tuesday, December 16th at 8pm with The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons voicing the title character.  Hit the jump to find out who will be joining him.

NBC Lands BEWITCHED Sequel Series

by     Posted 58 days ago

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The next in an increasingly common series of “remakes” or “reboots” on television has found a home.  Variety reports that NBC has landed the Bewitched sequel TV show that has been shopped around for the last couple of weeks.  The proposed series will follow the granddaughter of Darren and Samantha Stevens, who were played in the original series by Dick York (and then Dick Sargent) and Elizabeth Montgomery.  The fantasy sitcom ran for eight seasons on NBC from 1964-1972 and spawned a short-lived spinoff Tabitha in 1977 and an ill-conceived feature film remake in 2005 starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell.

NBC has given a pilot production commitment to the Bewitched sequel series, which hails from writers Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, whose credits include Never Been Kissed and The Vow.

First PETER PAN Image of Christopher Walken as Captain Hook is Nightmare Fuel

by     Posted 86 days ago

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Earlier this month we got a look at Girls star Allison Williams in costume and makeup as the titular character in NBC’s upcoming staging of Peter Pan (as I noted at the time that continues a long held stage tradition of having a female play the lead in this piece).  That was nice and pleasant.  But this new image of Christopher Walken as Captain Hook is downright creepy and unsettling.  Maybe it’s the way he’s posed with Williams (whose clothing ensemble looks odd when contrasted against the Walken monstrosity), but I definitely think this picture would feel less “wrong” if they were separated.  Right now it looks like one of those awkward, posed family photos you can take at Target.

Hit the jump to never sleep again.  The special airs on December 4th. In addition to Walken and Williams, Christian Borle will play the role of Smee as well as the role of Mr. Darling.

REAL GENIUS Headed to TV, Half Hour Series to be Produced by Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison

by     Posted 86 days ago

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I’m probably too close to Real Genius to make an objective call as to whether it’s a great movie or not, but damn do I love it.  I often used to consider Val Kilmer‘s carefree but brilliant Chris Knight my spirit animal until I realized I was neither brilliant or carefree.  Martha Coolidge‘s 1985 comedy also gave us the great characters of Lazlo (played by Jon Gries), Jordan (Michelle Meyrink) and even Mitch Taylor (Gabriel Jarret) not to mention two all-timer douchebag villains in William Atherton‘s Jerry Hathaway and Robert Prescott‘s Kent.

I’m itching to watch that movie even as I type this.  Will Adam Sandler‘s Happy Madison, Sony TV, 3 Arts and NBC be able to recapture that excitement?  Hard to tell so far, but they’re going to have to try because they’re making Real Genius as a half-hour comedy.  Hit the jump for more on the Real Genius TV Show.

PETER PAN Image: Allison Williams No Longer One of the GIRLS

by     Posted 107 days ago

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While I sort of love the show Girls, it’s interesting to see which character I am alternately sympathetic to and then repelled by on a weekly basis.  Perhaps it’s a testament to that show’s humanity that it can portray its central characters behaving so atrociously towards each other but still keep us invested because we identify with it on some level.  And Allison Williams’ Marnie can make us cringe with the best of them.

That sense of duality will likely not be in play on NBC’s upcoming staging of Peter Pan, though this take does continue a long held (if intermittent) stage tradition of having a female play the lead.  The special airs on December 4th and also stars Christopher Walken as Captain Hook.  Christian Borle will play the role of Smee as well as the role of Mr. Darling.  Hit the jump for a better look at Allison Williams as Peter Pan.

Executive Producer David S. Goyer Talks CONSTANTINE, the Character’s Bisexuality, Casting the Lead, Dropping a Character from the Pilot, and More

by     Posted 156 days ago

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From executive producer David S. Goyer and director Neil Marshall, Constantine is based on the wildly popular comic book series Hellblazer from DC Comics.  John Constantine (Matt Ryan) is a seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult, armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and his wicked wit, but his soul is already damned to hell.

While at the NBC portion of the TCA Press Tour, David S. Goyer talked about when he was first introduced to Constantine in the comics, what he loved about the character, why they decided to call the series Constantine instead of Hellblazer, how they saw over 500 people for the role of John Constantine, the comic book storyline they were inspired by for the start of the show, how they’ll handle things like the smoking and his bisexuality, the creative input they get from Geoff Johns and DC Entertainment, introducing other characters from the supernatural and occult universe, why they chose to replace the character of Liv (played by Lucy Griffiths in the pilot) with Zed (Angelica Celaya), and how he’d like to find the time to write a comic book again.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Christopher Walken to Play Captain Hook in PETER PAN LIVE! This December

by     Posted 158 days ago

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NBC scored a surprise hit last December with The Sound of Music Live!, which starred Carrie Underwood in a live presentation of the classic musical.  The Sound of Music has been popular for decades, but in the social media age, it was irresistible to viewers who wanted to tweet along with the program.  The network will try to repeat that success when they air Peter Pan Live! this December.  They’ve also landed a big hook for Hook: Christopher Walken.  The program will reunite the actor with executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who worked with Walken on Hairspray.  The rest of the special has yet to be cast, but Walken alone might be more than enough to get viewers in front of their TV sets with the Twitter app at the ready.

Hit the jump for the press release.  Peter Pan Live! will air December 3rd.

NBC Announces Fall Premiere Dates; CONSTANTINE Debuts October 24th

by     Posted 200 days ago

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NBC has announced fall premiere dates for its upcoming series.  Most everything debuts the week of September 22nd, but there are a couple of notable outliers.

  • The Blacklist returns for its second season on Monday, September 22nd, though it will shift to Thursdays starting midseason to make way for the new Katherine Heigl drama State of Affairs.
  • Parenthood will begin its sixth and final season—consisting of 13 episodes—on Thursday, September 25th.
  • Fans will have to wait a little longer for the highly anticipated DC Comics adaptation Constantine, as it will be given a pre-Halloween debut on Friday, October 24th at 10pm, following the fourth season premiere of Grimm.

Hit the jump to check out the full fall schedule.

Showrunner Bryan Fuller Talks HANNIBAL Season 3; Says Story Will Pull from HANNIBAL and HANNIBAL RISING

by     Posted 206 days ago

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What an extraordinary week for television these past seven days have been.  Not only did we get that spectacular mid-season finale for Mad Men, but also a brilliant season two finale for The Americans and then, of course, the shocking, violent conclusion to Hannibal season two.  Despite airing on network television, the latter series has been one of the most consistently twisted and challenging shows on all of TV, and this was especially true of last Friday’s season two finale.

The events of the episode will no doubt have drastic effects on the show’s third season, and creator/showrunner Bryan Fuller recently spoke quite candidly about his plans for season three, adding that it will pull story elements from the Thomas Harris novels Hannibal and Hannibal Rising.  He even teased a fan-favorite character promotion and discussed the first episode of season three—which he dubs a “new pilot”—in detail.  Read on after the jump.  Obviously spoilers for the season two final follow.

Collider Goes to the Set of NBC’s THE NIGHT SHIFT; Meet the Staff of San Antonio Memorial

by     Posted 208 days ago

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It won’t be easy adding yet another medical show to the mix, but Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah (Freaks and Geeks, 90210) are giving it a go with their comedy-drama hybrid, The Night Shift.

While on the show’s Albuquerque set, Sachs himself even admitted that it wasn’t easy finding someone to give them a shot.  “We would go in there and pitch and it would be like, ‘That’s so great.  So anyway, so they’re in high school …’”  He continued, “And then we said, ‘Well, we want to do a medical drama that has this intensity, but also adds some humor into it,’ and it was just so foreign.”  Fortunately the concept wasn’t foreign to everyone because come Tuesday, May 27th, The Night Shift begins its run on NBC.  Hit the jump for our full report from visiting the set of this unique new series.

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