Here are the entertainment news items for this past week:
The Dana Delany led new ABC drama Body of Proof has been pushed to mid-season in order for the network to “find a stronger timeslot” for it. The show is about a medical examiner (Delany) who helps investigate suspicious deaths.
ABC Family Channel announced that their new hit series Pretty Little Liars and the final season of Greek will both return on January 3 at 8 and 9 PM respectively. The network’s other shows The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Make It or Break It will be back in early spring.
Meanwhile, Syfy has announced the holiday-themed episodes of Eureka and Warehouse 13 will air on December 7 at 8 and 9 PM (respectively) and the network’s version of the UK hit Being Human is being slated for a January debut.
The new ABC drama No Ordinary Family has received an order for 4 additional scripts – the first of all the new shows to receive such an order. Despite being give a reduced episode order, Brothers & Sisters also received an order for 4 more scripts because of performing solidly in the ratings. And, the as-yet to be seen new mid-season drama Off the Map received an addition script order.
It looks like the CW is going to lighten up their new series Nikita in order to boost viewership among young females. The show is off to a solid start among total viewers, but is losing too many viewers in the highly-sought demographic of 18-34 year olds. Among the tweaking to be done on the show is the introduction of several new characters, including a confidant and potential love interest for Nikita who’s described as a clean-cut, all-American CIA case officer.
No Ordinary Family will move to Tuesdays at 9 PM from November 30 to December 14 and then back to 8 PM in time for V to return to the TV line-up on January 4 at 9 PM.
Life Unexpected has received an order for two additional scripts.
WEB SERIES NEWS
Syfy.com will premiere the award-winning, steampunk digital series Riese: Kingdom Falling beginning October 26. It will air every Tuesday and Thursday on syfy.com/riese. Each episode runs approximately seven to eight minutes and will be narrated by Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG1 and Sanctuary). The synopsis for this 10-part series follows:
Eleysia is a dying kingdom where resources are dwindling and compassion is fading. Distrust and anxiety have clouded people’s minds, causing a regression into primitive ways of thinking. People have grown restless, almost feral. Rituals and mythology have resurged, and the darker side of mankind has begun to reveal itself. Riese (Christine Chatelain from Sanctuary and The Bone Collector), a wanderer, travels across the decaying lands of Eleysia with her wolf, Fenrir. Marked as a heretic by religious group The Sect and the new Empress, Amara (Sharon Taylor from Stargate Universe), Riese must evade their assassins and discover their true intentions for Eleysia. Riese is the Crown Princess of Eleysia, forced to flee into the wilds after her family was slaughtered. She will soon serve as a catalyst for a disparate group of supposed heretics, the Resistance, launching them into civil war.
The rest of the cast includes Ben Cotton (Harper’s Island), Allison Mack (Smallville); Ryan Robbins (Sanctuary and Caprica); Patrick Gilmore (Stargate Universe); Alessandro Juliani (BattlestarGalactica and Smallville) and Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary).
NBC has ordered a pilot script for the sci-fi/espionage drama Echelon, which will revolve around the electronic eavesdropping technology that sifts through all data signals. That data will be investigated by “G.H.O.S.T. (Global Hierarchical Observation Strategy Taskforce), whose assignment it is to investigate this paranormal data.
TNT has given a pilot order to Hollywood & Vine, a noir mystery drama, which takes place in post-WWII Los Angeles. It centers on a savvy private eye with a stoic charm and an uncompromising set of personal values who is dedicated to searching for the truth – even if it means taking on the upper echelons of power in a city balanced precariously between the glamour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills and the dual threat of organized crime and a corrupt police department.
Robert DeNiro and crime writer Richard Price have sold a police drama script to CBS called Rookies, which follows a team of six new officers who are sent into high-crime areas.
CBS has set its sights on Grave Sight, an adaptation of True Blood author Charlaine Harris’ Harper Connelly mystery series. The novelsrevolve around Harper Connelly, a woman who after being struck by lightning can “see” the last moments of a dead person’s life.
Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, former Lost executive producers, are developing a fairy-tale-themed drama series, which they will be pitching to ABC. IF the pilot is picked up they will be getting help from Damon Lindelof, who will serve as a consultant on the project. No other details are known at this time, however.
ABC is picking up, for development, a retelling of William Shakespeare’s classic tale Romeo & Juliet with Catherine Hardwicke (Director of Twilight) in talks to direct the potential pilot. No other specific details are available.
Kathy Baker (Picket Fences) has joined the Lifetime pilot Against the Wall, which is a family drama set in Chicago, following policewoman Abby Kowalski (Rachael Carpani), who causes a rift with her three cop brothers when she decides to join the department’s Internal Affairs division. Baker will play Abby’s mother, a Chicago cop’s wife. Treat Williams was recently cast to play the father.
ABC Family has opted not to move forward with Strut, a potential pilot about a Las Vegas showgirl-turned-drill team instructor.
Looks like ABC and Marvel are developing a TV return for the Incredible Hulk. Meanwhile, another “hot property” is the possible show for ABC Family called Cloak and Dagger. No other specifics are available at this time.
MADE FOR TV MOVIE NEWS
Jessica Capshaw (Grey’s Anatomy) stars in the Lifetime movie One Angry Juror, which is set to premiere on November 15 at 9 PM. The movie is based on a true story, following the story of Sarah Walsh (Capshaw), a tough, opinionated, no-nonsense New Orleans attorney who has been chosen to serve on the jury of a murder trial. Reluctantly serving her duty, she is apathetic towards the defendant until she is convinced that he may actually be innocent. Unwavering, Sarah deadlocks the jury to secure a mistrial. When they retry the case, she partners with the defense attorney Donald Burston (Jeremy Ratchford from Cold Case) and detective Derrick White (Michael Jai White from Why Did I Get Married Too?) and the investigation leads them through a dangerous maze of corruption. With the support of her husband (Jonathan Scarfe from ER), Sarah begins to reconcile her own past and realize that she is one man’s last chance for freedom.
The Disney movie Avalon High – a contemporary twist on the Arthurian legend – has been given a premiere date: November 12 at 8 PM. The movie is about Allie Pennington (Britt Robertson from Life Unexpected) who is ecstatic when her parents, traveling professors, tell her she will be staying at Avalon High until she graduates. She can finally join the track team, make new friends and be a normal high school student. But shortly after arriving, Allie discovers that something strange may be afoot. While researching a term paper on King Arthur’s legacy, she begins to notice some interesting parallels between the past and the present – from handsome quarterback Will, his cheerleader girlfriend, Jen, and their best friend, Lance, to Will’s brooding step-brother, Marco, a quirky kid named Miles and football players who act like knights of the roundtable. The deeper Allie searches, the more convinced she is that her school is a contemporary Camelot, and it’s up to her to solve the mystery of Avalon High before notorious traitor Mordred wins again. The cast includes Gregg Sulkin, Joey Pollari, Devon Graye, Molly Quinn (Castle), Chris Tavarez (Big Momma’s House 2), Don Lake (The Bonnie Hunt Show) and Steve Valentine (I’m In The Band and Crossing Jordan).
The premiere dates for the made-for-TV movies The Santa Incident and Gift of the Magi that will debut on the Hallmark Channel have been corrected. The Santa Incident will air on December 9 at 8 PM and the Gift of the Magi will air on December 16 at 8 PM.
Syfy is retelling the Sinbad myth with the made-for-TV movie Sinbad and the Minotaur, which is set to air in 2011.
The HBO original movie, which is an adaptation of the best-selling Wall Street expose “Too Big To Fail” has revealed its impressive all-star cast, which includes the following: Paul Giamatti, TopherGrace, Ed Asner, Tony Shalhoub, James Woods, Dan Hedaya, Cynthia Nixon, Michael O’Keefe, Kathy Baker and Billy Crudup. It was announced previously that William Hurt also stars in the film that will chronicle the financial meltdown of 2008 and centers on Treasury Secretary Paulson. John Heard and Evan Handler (Sex and the City) have since joined the cast of the HBO film Too Big to Fail, which dissects the 2008 financial crisis and the power brokers who decided the fate of the world’s economy as the system teetered on collapse. Heard will play former Lehman Brothers president Joe Gregory, while Handler will portray Lloyd Blankfein, CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs.
BOX OFFICE NEWS
Sam Trammell (True Blood) will play the lead alongside either Amy Smart or Kate Mara (who are in contention for the female lead) in the romantic comedy Shrinking Charlotte. The story deals with a psychiatrist who falls for his slightly screw-loose patient. Kathleen Turner is also set to play a role.
Rhys Ifans has been offered the villain role in the Spider-Man reboot but studio insiders wouldn’t say which villain he will be playing although it appears he’ll be playing the Lizard.
Alan Arkin will star opposite Jennifer Aniston in the dark independent film called Buttercup. He will play a grossly irresponsible father who, in the wake of his wife’s death, decides to get his life back on track with the help of his slightly neurotic daughter (Aniston).
British hunk Luke Evans (Tamara Drew) and Alice Eve (She’s Out of My League) are in negotiations to join the period thriller adaptation of The Raven, which will be set in Baltimore in 1849. Evans will play a detective who partners with famed macabre author Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) to search for a serial killer who has kidnapped the author’s fiancé (Eve) and has gone on a murder spree that mimics the author’s work.Evans replaces Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) who was tipped to take the lead but opted to do the fourth “Mission: Impossible” instead.
Greta Gerwig(Greenberg) and Adam Brody (The O.C.) will star in the movie Damsels in Distress, which revolves around a group of style-obsessed college girls who take in a new student (Gerwig) and teach her their misguided ways of helping people at their grungy university. The crux of the story is focused on the relationship between Gerwig’s character and a suitor (Brody), whom the girls are taken with but have doubts over his intentions.
Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong and Freida Pinto(Slumdog Millionaire) will star in the movie Black Gold, which follows the rivalry between Arabian rulers in the 1930s just as oil is being discovered, and the rise of a young, dynamic leader who unites the various tribes of the desert kingdoms. The movie is expected to be released worldwide Christmas 2011.
Eddie Murphy will play opposite Ben Stiller in the box office flick Tower Heist, a crime caper about an overworked manager (Stiller) of a Manhattan luxury high-rise, who teams up with his operation and maintenance workers to stage a heist of its penthouse tenant, a Wall Street capitalist, played by Alan Alda, who defrauded the staff of their pensions.
It looks like there is talk about making a sequel to the popular 80’s flick Top Gun that could feature Tom Cruise making an appearance as Maverick, the character he played in the original. No other specifics are available at this time, though.
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog) will make his feature directorial debut withthe indie romantic comedy Aaron and Sara, that is to feature Emma Roberts and Josh Hutchersonas the leads. The story follows a geeky guy and a popular girl who become friends as freshmen in high school and see their relationship deepen through the four years, four proms and one funeral before graduation.
Swedish actress NoomiRapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) will join Sir Ben Kingsley in the dark thriller The Last Voyage of Demeter, which is about the journey of Dracula’s coffin from Transylvania to England.
Amy Adams (Julie & Julia), Chris Cooper (The Town) and Rashida Jones has joined Jason Segel in the next new box office movie starring The Muppets. The story follows a reunion of the Muppets to put on a show in order to save a movie studio. Segel is playing the lead human character with Adams taking the role of his girlfriend who joins him in his quest to gather the Muppets. Meanwhile, Cooper plays a greedy villain who aims to buy the studio just to dig for oil buried underneath it and apparently has never found the Muppet gang to be funny at all. Jones takes the role of an ABC executive.
It looks like The Hobbit has finally been greenlit with production to start in February with Peter Jackson at the helm as director. Jackson has also agreed to produce and write this two-part project.
Harold Perrineau (Lost) will guest star in an upcoming episode of the new ABC legal drama The Whole Truth. He will play Paul Braun, a psychic who leads the NYPD to the body of a young woman.
Bruce Boxleitner (Scarecrow and Mrs. King and Babylon 5)will guest star on NCIS, as Vice Admiral C. Clifford Chase, a high-ranking Navy official who turns to Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and the rest of the NCIS team when his friend is killed. The episode is scheduled to air on November 9.
Lindsey Shaw (10 Things I Hate About You) is joining the cast of Pretty Little Liars for at least two episodes, playing Paige McCullers, a character who is on the swim team with Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell). Paige is overly competitive, and she’s got Emily in her sights as her main obstacle to glory.
Legendary actor Richard Chamberlain will appear in a multi-episode arc on Brothers & Sisters as “someone who comes back from Saul’s past to complicatethings for him in ways he won’t expect”.
A new vampire is coming to town on The Vampire Diaries in the guise of actress Lauren Cohan, who appeared in Supernatural as the maligned Bela Talbot. Cohan will play a 500 year old tough, sexy vampire that might catch Damon’s eye. She will appear in episode 8.
Oscar winner Louise Fletcher, who played Jack Nicholson’s stern caretaker in the box office movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, has been cast as Pete’s mother on Private Practice. She will appear in Episode 9.
Necar Zadegan, who played the wife of IRK President Omar Hassan in the final season of 24, will play a mysterious character named Isabelle in a potential recurring role in The Event.
Looks like Prison Break star Wentworth Miller has expressed interest in replacing Andy Whitfield as the lead in the gladiator drama Spartacus: Blood & Sand on Starz. This is speculation right now, but if true Miller will need to buff up for the role.
Ryan Devlin, who has appeared in guest roles on Grey’s Anatomy and Cougar Town, will be appearing in at least four episodes of Brothers & Sisters as a fun, smart, and precocious grad student in Kitty’s (CalistaFlockhart) law class. (Michael Ausiello at Entertainment Weekly)
The creative team behind the A&E series Breakout Kings (who were producers on Prison Break) are planning to resurrect Prison Break character T-Bag (Robert Knepper) for their new show. A deal has yet to be worked out with Knepper, though. The show is set to debut on A&E in early 2011.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
With the fall season fully upon us, there is a lot of programming for which to keep track. The list belowcovers most of what you can expect this coming weekend and next week:
Saturday, October 16:
Chase on NBC at 9 PM (reair)
Torchwood on BBC America at 8, 9 and 10 PM (reairs)
Tower Prep on Cartoon Network at 9 PM (Debut)
Boardwalk Empire on HBO at 10:30 PM (reair)
Scooby Doo: Curse of the Lake Monster on Cartoon Network at 7PM (Debut) [Live Action/CG]
Sunday, October 17:
Desperate Housewives on ABC at 9 PM
Brothers &Sisters on ABC at 10 PM
CSI: Miami on CBS at 10 PM
Rubicon on AMC at 9 PM (Finale)
Mad Men on AMC at 10 PM (Finale)
Luther on BBC America at 10 PM (Debut)
Boardwalk Empire on HBO at 9 PM
Dexter on Showtime at 9 PM
Weeds on Showtime at 10 PM (reair)
The Big C on Showtime at 10:30 PM (reair)
Scooby Doo: Curse of the Lake Monster on Cartoon Network at 7PM (reair) [Live Action/CG]
Wallander: The Fifth Woman movie on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS at 9 PM (Debut)
Monday, October 18:
Hawaii Five-0 on CBS at 10 PM
Castle on ABC at 10:01 PM
House on FOX at 8 PM
Lie To Me on FOX at 9 PM
Chuck on NBC at 8 PM
The Event on NBC at 9 PM
Chase on NBC at 10 PM
Dexter on Showtime at 9 PM (reair)
Weeds on Showtime at 10 PM
The Big C on Showtime at 10:30 PM
Boardwalk Empire on HBO2 at 8 PM (reair)
Tuesday, October 19:
NCIS on CBS at 8 PM
NCIS: Los Angeles on CBS at 9 PM
The Good Wife on CBS at 10 PM
No Ordinary Family on ABC at 8 PM
Detroit 1-8-7 on ABC at 10 PM
Parenthood on NBC at 10 PM
Melissa & Joey on ABC Family Channel at 8 PM
Tower Prep on Cartoon Network at 8 PM (Debut)
Sons of Anarchy on FX at 10 PM
Stargate Universe on Syfy at 8 PM (reair)
Stargate Universe on Syfy at 9 PM (New)
Caprica on Syfy at 10 PM
Weeds on Showtime at 9 PM (reair)
The Big C on Showtime at 9:30 PM (reair)
Dexter on Showtime at 10 PM (reair)
Wednesday, October 20:
Criminal Minds on CBS at 9 PM
The Defenders on CBS at 10 PM
The Whole Truth on ABC at 10 PM
Undercovers on NBC at 8 PM
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on NBC at 9 PM
Law & Order: Los Angeles on NBC at 10 PM
Terriers on FX at 10 PM
Law & Order: UK on BBC America at 8 PM (reair)
Boardwalk Empire on HBO at 8, 9 and 10 PM (reairs)
Dexter on Showtime2 at 8 PM (reair)
The Big C on Showtime2 at 9 PM (reair)
Weeds on Showtime2 at 9:30 PM (reair)
Thursday, October 21:
CSI on CBS at 9 PM
The Mentalist on CBS at 10 PM
Grey’s Anatomy on ABC at 9 PM
Private Practice on ABC at 10:01 PM
The Vampire Diaries on the CW at 8 PM
Nikita on the CW at 9 PM
Luther on BBC America at 9 PM (reair)
Boardwalk Empire on HB02 at 10 PM (reair)
Dexter on Showtime at 10 PM (reair)
Weeds on Showtime2 at 9 PM (reair)
The Big C on Showtime2 at 9:30 PM (reair)
Friday, October 22:
Medium on CBS at 8 PM
CSI: NY on CBS at 9 PM
Blue Bloods on CBS at 10 PM
No Ordinary Family on ABC at 8 PM (reair)
Smallville on the CW at 8 PM
Supernatural on the CW at 9 PM
The Good Guys on FOX at 9 PM
Outlaw on NBC at 10 PM
Law & Order: UK on BBC America at 9 and 10 PM (reairs)
Sanctuary on Syfy at 10 PM
Gigantic on Teen Nick at 9:30 PM
Boardwalk Empire on HBO Signature at 9 PM (reair)
Weeds on Showtime at 8 PM (reair)
The Big C on Showtime at 8:30 PM (reair)
Dexter on Showtime at 9 PM (reair)
NOTE: Please check your local listings for the correct air dates and times for all of the above.
Have a great weekend!