Friday January 17, 2014


Per The Hollywood Reporter, "Showtime is beefing up its original scripted fair.

"The premium cable network is expected to use its platform on Thursday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour to announce series pickups for Philip SeymourHoffman comedy Happyishand Joshua Jackson dramaThe Affair, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

"Happyish (formerly Trending Down) is a dark examination of the pursuit of happiness, a pursuit that might just be the very thing causing our unhappiness in the first place. Hoffman stars as 42-year-old Thom Payne, whose new bosses are half his age. His mentor and boss, Jonathan (Rhys Ifans) tells him to "rebrand" himself; his corporate headhunter tells him happiness is a myth; and Thom isn't sure if his Viagra will interfere with his Prozac, or vice versa. Kathryn Hahn stars as Lee Payne, Thom's wife, who is looking for a larger goal, a purpose, a meaning when the best anyone can hope for is to be "happyish." Louis C.K.has a cameo in the pilot.

New Showtime series for Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joshua Jackson.

New Showtime series for Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joshua Jackson.

"The Affair, meanwhile, explores the emotional and psychological effects of an extramarital affair. The drama will be told separately from the male and female perspectives using the distinct memory biases to both misdirect and intrigue.

"Ruth Wilson (Luther) plays Alison, a woman waiting tables at a popular Hamptons diner, trying to piece her life back together in the wake of a tragedy. Her husband, Cole (Fringe'sJackson), struggles to keep it all together, with his wife and with the financially strained ranch that has been in his family for generations. Their emotionally charged marriage becomes even more complicated when Alison begins an affair with Noah (Dominic West,The Wire), a New York public school teacher and aspiring novelist who is spending the summer at his in-laws' estate out on the island. ER's Maura Tierney plays Helen, Noah's wife of 17 years."

More from Showtime, "[e]xecutive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa are already deep in discussions on Season 4 of Homeland, and today Showtime entertainment president David Nevins gave a glimpse at what is in store for the show, which is going for a major reset following the game-changing third season finale. 'Homeland is a show that is deeply about a field operative (Carrie), and we haven’t seen her much in the field,' he said. 'In Season 3 you will likely see her on the ground in a foreign capital (Istanbul?) doing her job.' As for Mandy Patinkin,'I expect that he will be central, he will be important,' Nevins said. He also defended Season 3, calling it “pretty brilliant in its architecture” and 'very clever and very audacious in its take on U.S./Iran relations.'"

Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) has a new gig.  Per Deadline, Chandler "has signed on to star in Netflix‘s 13-episode psychological thriller from Damages creators Todd A. Kessler, Daniel Zelman and Glenn Kessler and Sony Pictures TV. Written and executive produced by the Kessler brothers and Zelman in their follow-up to the acclaimed FX/DirecTV legal thriller starring Glenn Close, the untitled series centers on a family of adult siblings whose secrets and scars are revealed when the black sheep oldest brother returns home. Netflix and Sony would not comment, but I hear Chandler will play the married middle brother who takes care of the family. The deal comes after a lengthy courtship, with the project landing Chandler for the role that he had been considered the prototype for. Filming is slated to begin in late March in the Florida Keys."


Here's some Friday Night Lights fodder from E!:

Clear eyes, full hearts, cutting room floor.

Yes, that would have been the motto for Hastings Ruckle (Grey Damon) during the fifth and final season of Friday Night Lights. While Damon was brought on as a series regular, Hastings was given little to do, aside from look inspired by Coach Taylor's epic speeches (so not hard to do, by the way!) and get his fellow team mates to drink moonshine. During the panel for his new CW series Star-Crossed, which also stars Friday Night Lights' Aimee Teegarden, Damon revealed, "My character kind of got cut short because we didn't know the show was going to stop. They had big plans, but when it came down to it, we had to wrap up all the previous cast." 

Those big plans? Damon was hesitant, but said, "They were going to dive into Hastings' personal life, romances, what have you. It was cool. I really would've like to see where it went."

But after the panel, Damon spilled to E! News a bit more about what Hastings' storyline would've been if FNL had gone on longer. (Hint: Vince and Jess fans would not have been pleased!)

"I was going to have problems with my father," Damon spilled. "I think they were haggling with the idea of Jess and Hastings, there was going to be that tension there, and that's why at the beginning of the season you sort of see that."

Going for QB No. 1 Vince Howard's (Michael B. Jordan) girl? Rookie mistake!

But Damon said we actually would've seen the two boys, along with three of the other players, including Luke (Matt Lauria), Tink (LaMarcus Tinker) and Buddy Jr. (Jeff Rosick), really bond. In fact, Damon even calling them "the Lions Five."" and our FNL-loving hearts just grew three sizes!

"We were all going to get into a bunch more shenanigans and what not, like the party," Damon said, referring to the drunken adventure the group went on in "Kingdom" while staying overnight at a hotel for an away game. "We were just going to make a lot of mistakes, but we were going to bond and become this group of really good friends. We were all so different; we were going to explore that a lot. I really would've loved to see that, gone for one more season to wrap it up proper because it was just all of a sudden, oh, we can't go on."

E! News also caught up with Teegarden after the panel for the duo's new sci-fi romance drama and got her thoughts on Peter Berg's confirmation that plans for a Friday Night Lights movie have been scrapped, saying, " We talked about it, some people thought it was a good idea, some didn't. I've come to believe it's probably not a good idea and I seriously doubt it's gonna happen."

For her part, Teegarden, who played Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton's teen daughter Julie Taylor, said, "Honestly, I haven't seen a script or anything like that. I think it's a little too soon for something like that right now, but maybe in the future. Never say never, I suppose."

But would Teegarden even be up for a film? "I guess it would have to depend on making sure everyone was involved and the content of the script and what it was going to bring to the fans that would be worthwhile watching and not just doing something to do something," she explained.

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Ashamedly, I watched the premiere of CMT's new show Party Down South last night.  This is another version of Jersey Shore, it just happens to be the red neck version.  And go figure, it's produced by 495 Productions (who we profiled earlier in the week).  The cast of this show makes the cast of Buckwild look smart.  They consumed more alcohol as a group than I did in all of 2013, and they did so in one night.  It's low brow train wreck television at its best, if you're into that sort of thing . . . 

HBO premieres its "gay" series Looking on Sunday night.  Here's a preview from Vulture's Matt Seitz.  Here is a snippet: "[a]fter you've watched the entire first episode of HBO's Looking, a new series about the lives and loves of young gay men in San Francisco, the opening scene of its hero hooking up with a random dude in a public park plays like a knowing bait-and-switch. The main character, 29-year old video-game designer Patrick (Glee's Jonathan Groff), bails out of a furtive hand job that he wasn't enjoying all that much anyway ('Cold hands!') when a friend calls on his cell, prompting him to bolt. Discussing the moment with close friends later, he says he left the scene partly because he assumed it was his mother calling him, ' ... like she somehow knew where I was, and was calling me to stop me from being one of those gays who hooks up with people in a park.'"

"Like Lena Dunham's series — and Louie, which the intimate shooting style often evokes — it's mainly about characters struggling to get past their neuroses and self-centeredness and really connect with other people. There's nothing formally or dramatically groundbreaking about it, except for its "no big deal" attitude. But that in itself is striking. It should be counted as progress. That Looking doesn't seem to be terribly concerned with words like progress should count as progress, too."

Anthony Anderson is like teflon.  Dating all the way back to his role on Hang Time in the 90's, he has managed to stick around and has bounced from one failed comedy to the next.  Here's the next: "[c]omedian and actor Anthony Anderson will star in and executive produce the comedy pilot, Black-Ish, for ABC.  Kenya Barris (The Game, I Hate My Teenage Daughter) will write the half hour, single-camera comedy.

The project follows 'an upper-middle class Black man who struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old school father and his own assimilated, color-blind kids.'”

Buzzfeed offers 12 reasons why Parenthood is "the realest show on TV."

Per Deadline, "Lyndon Smith, Keith Nobbs, Wass Stevens and Elizabeth Masucci are set as series regulars in Ed Burns’ TNT pilot Public Morals, executive produced by Steven Spielberg. Written and directed by and starring Burns, Public Morals is set in 1967 in New York City’s Public Morals Division, where cops walk the line between morality and criminality as the temptations that come from dealing with all kinds of vice can get the better of them. It centers on cop Terry Muldoon (Burns), who knows the line between the good guys and bad guys is thin, and he is determined to raise his sons to be honest and hardworking as he deals with the dark underbelly of the vice world. Nobbs will play Pat Duffy, a troublemaker fresh from prison that everyone knows not to trust. Smith, repped by Buchwald & Assoc. and Main Title, will play Pat’s sister Deidre, a beautiful beatnik. Stevens plays Vince Latucci, a senior on the force who grew up on the streets of Little Italy. Masucci plays Christine, Muldoon’s loving wife and mother of 4."  Congratulations to Wass.  He went from disgruntled doorman at some of New York's "it" clubs to booking some national commercials and spot parts on a myriad of television shows to landing a decent role on House of Cards to working on a series EP'd by Steven Spielberg.  Proof that hard work can pay off.