TV Nerd News #3
Welcome to the third edition of iGR’s TV Nerd News! That’s right, you heard me, THIRD! No, that’s really not that big of an accomplishment but yes, I will continue to make it seem less arbitrary!
Anyways, we’re still in the midst of pilot season so there’s been a fair amount of pilot casting news but let’s look at the week’s best TV news!
3/4 – Fox renews THE FOLLOWING + 3 sitcoms
- Despite my best efforts to get people not to watch the show, Fox has (unsurprisingly) renewed The Following for another season. In addition to the Kevin Bacon vehicle, the network also renewed Tuesday night sitcoms New Girl, Raising Hope and The Mindy Project. While the renewals of The Following and New Girl were no-brainers, the renewals of Raising Hope and The Mindy Project are slightly surprising. Raising Hope creator/executive producer Greg Garcia (My Name is Earl, Yes, Dear) is moving on to focus on the two other shows he has in development so the fact that it will continue without him to run it was slightly surprising especially when the show as on the bubble. The Mindy Project is perhaps less surprising when you take into account the re-tooling the show went through halfway through the season. It’s clear that Fox is dedicated to finding that show an audience but I can’t help but feel a bit betrayed that a show as bad as The Mindy Project was renewed when one of the season’s best new shows, Ben & Kate, was unceremoniously canceled before it could even finish its first season.
3/4 – Scoot McNairy joins AMC pilot HALT & CATCH FIRE
- The Hollywood landscape doesn’t separate TV and film all that much anymore but it’s still surprising to see an actor/actress with some major cache behind them end up being cast in a TV pilot, even if it is for AMC. McNairy had a tremendous 2012 with supporting roles in both Killing Them Softly and Argo, the latter of which went on to win Best Picture at the 85th Annual Academy Awards. Still, Halt & Catch Fire seems to be AMC’s buzziest pilot going right now so it’s no surprise they were able to land such a talented actor. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of talent they can add around McNairy and the already cast, Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies, Lincoln).
3/5 – Jon Stewart to take vacation from THE DAILY SHOW for feature directorial debut
- I almost talked about this in Film Nerd News earlier but felt that it deserved more attention here simply because TV is where most people know Stewart from. This story fascinates me on a couple of levels. First, there’s the fact that Stewart’s directorial debut won’t be helming a comedy as many would expect. Granted, Stewart’s done a good job of making sure people don’t think of him just as that funny guy doing the news on Comedy Central but still, a serious kidnapping movie is not what most would’ve have predicted Jon Stewart’s film career to start with. The second thing that fascinates me is how well John Oliver (The Daily Show, Community) comes out on this. He declined a regular role on Community so that he could stay on The Daily Show because he liked doing it but now Community appears on the fast track to cancellation, while Oliver will guest-host The Daily Show for 8 of the 12 weeks that Stewart will be gone for. Talk about realizing that the green isn’t always greener.
3/8 – SOUTHLAND stars booking pilots
- In previous installments, I mentioned that it’s becoming less and less rare that actors book pilots while still attached to an on-going series and the fact that Southland stars Ben McKenzie (The O.C.) and Shawn Hatosy (Alpha Dog, The Faculty) doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the TNT show but it certainly doesn’t look good. The show has survived on TNT after being canceled by NBC for a couple of seasons now and while the show seems to be struggling to find a permanent audience (it’s been moved around a couple of times), it seems solid enough. All of this said, given that Southland deals with LAPD officers, it’s also entirely possible that the characters these actors portray could be written-off. However, it’s hard to imagine writing off of one of their stars, let alone two of them. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out and whether or not these actors are putting themselves or their producers in precarious positions.
3/8 – TRUE BLOOD goes through another showrunner
- It was already a foregone conclusion that creator/executive producer Alan Ball (Six Feet Under, American Beauty) was going to leave True Blood after its fifth season to concentrate on his other show, Cinemax’s Banshee. He was replaced by Mark Hudis (That 70’s Show, Nurse Jackie), who was brought in as a writer/producer prior to Season 4. However, on Friday Hudis himself was replaced with veteran True Blood writer/producer Brian Buckner (Spin City, Friends). The move is being described as a way to allow Hudis to focus on development but it’s clear that somebody along the lines wasn’t happy with the direction he was taking the show and felt that a change to a writer more familiar with the show was necessary. To be honest, as a guy who’s seen all five seasons but wouldn’t count himself as a fan of the series, straying from where the series has been, in a different direction, doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
That’s it for this week’s edition of TV Nerd News! Be sure to check out this week’s edition of Film Nerd News while you wait for tomorrow’s edition of Trailer Tuesday!