Veronica Mars starts the first of five new episodes tonight at 9 pm on The CW. You can watch the first few minutes of tonight’s episode here. Looks deliciously angsty.
I haven’t been updating on the likelihood of the show’s renewal, because it’s just too depressing. No decisions have been made yet, however, and the upfronts are right around the corner, so we’ll know soon.
Hey, I’m just telling it like it is. I just watched Half Nelson finally, and it was amazing how charismatic he is, even when playing a total crackhead. And I’m not the only one who thinks so: Entertainment Weekly’s Popwatch just did a whole blog post on how fantastic Ryan Gosling’s recent appearance on Ellen was. He was charming, funny and even taught Ellen to salsa dance. Go watch the clip.
I’m not in favor of assault, per se. Still, I really enjoyed these photos of Hugh Grant trying to kick some paparazzi. It reminds me of the “It’s Raining Men” scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary. “Happy birthday, dear what’s-his-name …” Ah, good times.
The Alec Baldwin voicemail firestorm just took a turn for the worse: supposedly he’s going to announce on The View Friday that he wants out of his 30 Rock contract, to focus on family or parental alienation or whatever. I sure hope he changes his mind. For one thing, I could care less about the nasty voicemail. Inappropriate, wrong even? Sure. But I don’t think one instance of bad parenting makes you a bad parent. And 30 Rock without Jack Donaghy? Unimaginable! I just hope NBC’s contracts are airtight.
Hurray! Here’s another version (that gives me chills):
Just Jared has lots of photos from the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff. (I’m refusing to call it Private Practice.) I’m most amused by Paul Adelman’s fake hair. Also featuring a shirtless Chris Lowell.
E! Online’s Kristin Veitch reported a few interesting things yesterday. Here’s the rundown:
Max Greenfield (Deputy Leo) and Kyle Secor (Jake Kane) will be back on Veronica Mars, probably for the season finale. Let’s hope it’s not the series finale! (Max is also on Ugly Betty as Wilhemina’s new assistant.)
Speaking of which, Kristen Chenoweth (Glinda!) will be appearing in the season finale of Ugly Betty.
Sara Ramirez might not return to Grey’s Anatomy next season. Sounds like a big ol’ divorce for Callie O’Malley.
Brian Friedman is not planning to appear on So You Think You Can Dance this summer, dangit.
Constance Zimmer (Dana) will reappear on Entourage.
Most importantly, Kristin’s reporting that Friday Night Lights will return next season. Of course, nothing’s official yet, so I’ll wait to hear it from Jeff Zucker.
How very interesting. The results of E! Online’s Save One Show poll are in, and this year the honors go to Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars. Apparently Veronica Mars was way ahead in first, but there was a last-minute surge of voting that put Gilmore Girls on top. Frankly, I was dismayed that the show was even included in the poll — The CW is dying to renew Gilmore Girls, but Alexis Bledel wants off the show, so she’s being picky in contract negotiations. I think that’s a big reason why E! decided to honor Veronica Mars as well.
NBC has ordered six more scripts for Friday Night Lights, according to TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello. All things considered, this is pretty fantastic: it’s a vote of confidence, and it doesn’t cost the network much. The downside — it’s not an actual renewal. But we should know by the May upfronts.
Again, I think the smart thing for NBC to do is at least renew for 13 episodes. That gives the network time to assess whether summer reruns have an impact on the ratings, and leaves room to tie up loose ends.
I’m so excited for tomorrow’s season finale, it’s getting ridiculous.
Maureen Ryan’s fantastic Chicago Tribune blog has a great interview with Jeffrey Reiner, the co-executive producer of Friday Night Lights, that really spotlights what makes this show so special. It takes mundane moments in its characters’ lives and fills them with meaning and dramatic weight. And even when a subplot might sound a little contrived or overdramatic, it never feels that way — it feels organic and realistic instead. The creators go to great lengths to maintain that realism in the writing and shooting process, and it’s really paid off.
But will it get renewed for another season? When Maureen Ryan spoke to NBC’s Kevin Reilly, the answer was somewhere between 55 – 100%. Not very reassuring, particularly since they’ve renewed 30 Rock, the other underperformer. Realistically, I’d like NBC to do a 13-episode pickup, because I really believe repeating the show this summer will pay off come the fall.
NBC has renewed 30 Rock for another season, hooray! Just a reminder, the fabulous Will Arnett (Arrested Development‘s GOB) will be on tomorrow night. Better and better!
Drama, drama, drama. According to Jim Hill Media, Zac Efron is being difficult on the set of High School Musical 2 to make Disney rethink their plans for a third movie. He’s worried about being typecast. Even juicier, he’s apparently dating Vanessa Hudgens and trying to get her to pull a diva act, too. Anyway, supposedly this cost Zac the lead in Speed Racer, which has now gone to Emile Hirsch (The Girl Next Door).
It’s really a shame. For one thing, Zac would have been an awesome Speed Racer. For another, he doesn’t really need to worry about being pigeonholed. He’s always been the cast member with the most breakout potential. Plus, there’s no way you can stop Disney from doing High School Musical 3 — that thing is a gold mine. If worse comes to worse, they’ll just have Zac’s character move away and replace him with Drew Seeley, who sang most of Zac’s songs in the first movie and played the role on tour. (Don’t worry, Zac does his own singing in Hairspray and for the sequel.)
However, I wonder if this rumor is really true. A big New York Times article on the shoot didn’t mention any diva problems, and their reporters don’t shy away from printing that sort of thing. Maybe his uncooperative behavior is being exaggerated and leaked to the media so that Disney can use the negative press as leverage. At least, I hope that’s the case. (I don’t want any bratty teenage antics to ruin my High School Musical fun.)
Meanwhile, you’ll get to see Drew Seeley in action when the High School Musical concert airs May 4 on the Disney Channel. (I do love Zac Efron, but really, Drew’s so good, I wonder why he wasn’t cast in the first place. Can’t act? Used to be fat? There’s a story there somewhere.)
Looks like we won’t get to see Josh Charles in Six Degrees after all. That show and several others got the axe today, including The Black Donnellys and The Wedding Bells. The Black Donnellys will be replaced by the reality series The Real Wedding Crashers. It’s from Ashton Kutcher’s company, who also did Beauty and the Geek. (Who’d have guessed Ashton would be the new Mark Burnett?)
Now that Josh Charles is free, put him on Grey’s Anatomy or something!
Complete with Transformers transforming all over the place.
We’ve already covered the fall TV season’s major contenders, but here’s a look at some other interesting pilots floating around on The Futon Critic:
The Call: Kal Penn (Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle) and Danny Comden (Pretty Persuasion) star as two wacky paramedics — sounds like Scrubs with more action.
Cashmere Mafia: One of two new Sex and the City clones (the other is Lipstick Jungle with Brooke Shields), this one from Darren Star. Sounds like a bunch of “ambitious” (read: bitchy) women complaining about their problems. It stars Bonnie Somerville (Kitchen Confidential, Mona on Friends), Frances O’Connor (Mansfield Park), and Lucy Liu, but that doesn’t really matter. I’ll only watch if the boys are hot.
Dirty Sexy Money: With this title, you’d think it was a reality show. Instead, it’s a drama from Greg Berlanti, billed as Dallas meets Dynasty — though the description sounds more like Arrested Development meets The Godfather. Peter Krause (Six Feet Under) stars as the family’s Michael Bluth. Donald Sutherland’s the patriarch, also with Billy Baldwin and Samaire Armstrong (The OC). Donald Sutherland seriously annoys me, but I’m willing to overlook it.
Eli Stone: Another Berlanti project. A cutthroat lawyer starts having visions, and he starts thinking he’s a prophet. As if you weren’t already convinced this dude is psycho, he starts working pro bono. Jonny Lee Miller (Aeon Flux, Mansfield Park, former Jolie spouse) stars as your Crazytown lawyer-prophet, also with Natasha Henstridge and Victor Garber. With a cast this good, I’ll at least watch the premiere. Maybe that means I’m crazy.
Football Wives: A remake of the British show Footballer$ Wive$. First alteration: no dollar signs! The Brit version is over-the-top hilarious (example plotline: a devious lady steals a baby then uses fake tanner to make the kid look half-Indian). But will US audiences embrace the outrageousness? ABC’s giving it the old college try, with Bryan Singer directing and a strong cast: Gabrielle Union (Bring It On), Eddie Cibrian (Invasion), Lucy Lawless, Ving Rhames, and James Van Der Beek. That’s right, I said JAMES VAN DER BEEK. I can’t miss Dawson’s triumphant return to the small screen, I just can’t.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith: A remake of the movie. These aren’t always bad — Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Friday Night Lights come to mind. Another strong cast here, with Martin Henderson (The Ring) taking over for Brad Pitt. Also with Jordana Brewster, Julia Ormond, and Bridgette Wilson-Sampras (Billy Madison).
Law Dogs: Once upon a time, he stole my heart as Zack Morris. Now Mark Paul Gosselaar is a public defender, presumably saving the world from injustice and getting in all sorts of delicious romantic entanglements. Also starring Janeane Garofalo, who will presumably be in charge of the Sardonic Remarks department.
Los Duques: Family drama with an all-star cast: Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo, Rita Moreno, Nestor Carbonell (Suddenly Susan), and some very pretty guy named Eddie Matos. Also featuring Alona Tal (Meg from Veronica Mars) and Polly Walker (Atia from Rome).
Swingtown: Appears to be about swingers in the 1970s. Gross premise, but it has Grant Show (Melrose Place) and Jack Davenport (Coupling (UK), Pirates of the Caribbean). Jack Davenport’s tall, funny, and has a British accent, so I’ll watch him in anything.
Business Class: Another high concept single-camera comedy for NBC. Mark Valley (Boston Legal) plays a traveling soda salesmen with dubious ethics who’s showing fresh-faced innocent Horatio Sanz the ropes of the biz. That’s right, I said Horatio Sanz. Valley’s character sounds very Thank You For Smoking, while Sanz sounds a little Andy Barker, P.I. Definitely has potential.
Zip: Yet another high concept single camera comedy. This one’s got Rob Huebel, the Inconsiderate Cell Phone Man himself, playing a con artist who believes in the power of positive thinking. This sounds like a funnier version of The Riches minus the gypsies, and Rob Huebel is hilarious, so definitely looking forward to this.