Friday October 17, 2014

Sorry for the late post, technically I'm on "vacation."

IFC premieres Comedy Bang Bang and The Birthday Boys tonight.  Both are worth checking out.

Per Zap2It, "truTV has ordered a pilot for Medicine Man (working title) from Flame Ventures and Wilshire Studios. The project will center on the family dynasty behind the Medicine Man Marijuana Dispensary in Colorado. Tony Krantz (24Felicity) is set to serve as executive producer on the pilot, with Wilshire Studios producing and Flame Ventures' Drew Comins as co-executive producer. 

"On the outskirts of Denver in a nondescript industrial park is Medicine Man, a seemingly ordinary family business that just happens to be one of the leaders in the state's gigantic new legal marijuana industry. No one really knows much about this marijuana dispensary and manufacturing plant…until now.

"Medicine Man will focus on the Williams family dynasty and its unusual brand of business savvy, demonstrating that the people at the center of the legal marijuana industry are a far cry from the stoner stereotypes. Medicine Man has a 40,000-square-foot industrial cultivation facility used for growing their award-winning product, employs 75 people across its various divisions, and is in construction on its first satellite outpost in nearby Aurora, Colo.

"Ten members of the Williams family, spanning three generations, work in the business, which has a strict code of conduct for its employees. truTV's Medicine Man will chronicle not only the struggle to build a marijuana dynasty but also the unexpected and surprising trials of their very unique family life, as the Williams clan rides the wave of a modern-day green Gold Rush.

Deadline is reporting another genius idea is in the works.  Evidently, "[t]he classic father-son tale of The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father is making a return to television as a single-camera comedy co-starring and produced byWhite Collar‘s Willie Garson and written/executive produced by Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett. The project, which has landed at Fox with penalty, hails from Warner Bros. TV, which has the rights to the title, and Conan O’Brien’s studio-based Conaco. The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father is one of two TV comedy sales for feature writer-directors Levin and Flacketts (Little Manhattan, Nim’s Island), along with Confusing, which has been set up NBC, also with penalty attached and also with WBTV producing.

"Courtship Of Eddie’s Father started as a book by Mark Toby. It was adapted as a 1963 movie starring Glenn Ford as widowed father Tom Corbett, with his young son Eddie, played by Ron Howard, serving as his matchmaker. The movie inspired a 1969 sitcom, which ran on ABC for three seasons.

"The new Courtship Of Eddie’s Father will be based on the 1969 series, which starred Bill Bixby as Tom and Brandon Cruz as Eddie. Married duo Levin and Flackett teamed for the re-imagining with their longtime friend Garson as the redo also is inspired by Garson’s own experience as an adoptive single father and his “best friends” approach to raising his adopted son. Levin, Flackett and Garson will co-write the story together, with Levin and Flackett writing the teleplay."

Another in the vein of moronic ideas, The Hollywood Reporter is "reporting" that "[a]s the Ebola virus continues to dominate the headlines, producer Lynda Obst and director-producer Ridley Scott are bringing the deadly pathogen to the small screen with a limited series for Fox TV Studios based on Richard Preston's 1994 nonfiction best-seller The Hot Zone.

"For the past year, the pair quietly has been working on the property, which they optioned two decades ago and never let lapse, hiring Jeff Vintar (I, Robot) to adapt. But the project became incredibly timely a few months ago when the current outbreak — the deadliest manifestation of the disease to date — began to emerge in West Africa. Ebola has ravaged several countries in Africa, killing some 4,400, and has since spread to the United States, claiming one victim in Texas. Two nurses who cared for the Texas patient have tested positive for the disease, which kills about half of the people who contract it. This week, it came to light that one of the nurses flew from Cleveland to Dallas the day before testing positive, setting off a new wave of fears that the disease will continue to spread."  Are there ANY original ideas left in this town?

The answer to that question is a resounding NO.  Per Deadline, "Bill Lawrence already is shepherding a series adaptation of a hit feature comedy, Rush Hour. Now the prolific producer is looking to do the same for one of the most popular British comedy series of the past decade, The IT Crowd. In a competitive situation, a multi-camera U.S. version of Channel 4’s The IT Crowd from Lawrence, Communityalums Neil Goldman & Garrett Donovan and Warner Bros. TV has landed at NBC with a put pilot commitment.

"NBC also was the network that previously took a stab at an U.S. version of The IT Crowd. The hybrid multi-/single-camera project was developed during the 2006-07 season and was picked up to series for midseason but never aired as the show became a casualty of the network’s 2007 regime change. That NBC-produced iteration of The IT Crowd starred Joel McHale, who went on to topline another NBC workplace comedy, Community, on which Goldman and Donovan worked as executive producers.

"Written by Goldman and Donovan,The IT Crowd is a workplace comedy about two IT nerds stuck in the basement of a major corporation who know nothing about how to interact with people, and their newly installed, ambitious female manager, who knows nothing about computers."

A recap of the Paleyfest reunion of The Wire.

Per Variety, "[h]ere’s a look at a few [networks] that changed everything but their names.

WE TV

OUT WITH THE OLD: Launched as 'Women’s Entertainment' in 2001, WE tv aired series that centered around weddings, celebrity lives and other female-focused concepts (Braxton Family Values, Bridezillas).

THE NEW SPIN: The network formally dropped the 'Women’s Entertainment' tag in favor of 'PoWEr' and 'Welcome Back' in order to embrace a broader audience. '(Women’s Entertainment) not only feels outdated, but also alienates 150 million potential viewers,' explains Marc Juris, WE tv’s president and general manager. The net is embracing edgier programming with its first scripted series, The Divide, and has set thriller drama South of Hell and dating reality show Sex Box for 2015.

TUNE IN OR TUNE OUT? The July premiere of The Divide delivered 365,000 viewers amid an overall high-performing summer for the net, up 39% in viewership over the previous year.

TRUTV

OUT WITH THE OLD: Debuting as CourtTV, truTV first relaunched in 2008 with a focus on reality-based programming. The network has slowly evolved from investigative series to competition and prank programs aimed at a young aud (think Killer Karaoke).

THE NEW SPIN: Seeking a change from derivative programming like Hardcore Pawn, truTV is launching a slate of series to appeal to a fun-seeking audience, starting with competition series Fake Off (Oct. 27) and advice show How to Be a Grown Up (Oct. 28).  'We saw an opportunity to provide a refreshing alternative with content that is innovative and authentic, with a tone that’s more comedic,' says Chris Linn, president and head of programming.

TUNE IN OR TUNE OUT? After a 25% summer ratings falloff from 2013, truTV saw a possible hit in The Carbonaro Effect, starring magician Michael Carbonaro, which averaged a strong 1.2 million viewers in its inaugural run.

OXYGEN

OUT WITH THE OLD: Since its launch in 2000, Oxygen has attracted mainly female viewers with a schedule of WNBA games, reality reruns, movies and repeats of The Tyra Banks Show.

THE NEW SPIN: With the tagline 'very real,' Oxygen has tightened its focus on young, modern, multicultural women. The net has ordered a brace of new series, targeting unscripted shows, including music-driven Fix My Choir, nail-art competition Nail’d It, Preachers of Detroit and Sisterhood of Hip Hop. 'This is a dynamic time for Oxygen as we rebrand and reinforce the network as the destination for young female viewers,' says Frances Berwick, president of NBCU Lifestyle Networks.

TUNE IN OR TUNE OUT? Just on the cusp of its transition, Sisterhood of Hip Hop debuted in August to 811,000 total viewers, the top premiere for Oxygen in 2014."