As has been previously reported by THUD, the upcoming fourth season of Battlestar Galactica was supposed to be its last – but now that might not be the case. According to Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune, actors Jamie Bamber and Richard Hatch recently said the fourth season would air in two blocks, beginning in next February and concluding sometime in 2009. Galactica has always taken breaks in the middle of its seasons, and a SciFi executive confirms this is the case for season four. However, this would be a Sopranos-size hiatus if true – and it would also allow SciFi to hold on to their single critically-acclaimed show for a little while longer. At least it will give me some time to catch up…again.(Battlestar fans can also look forward to the tv movie Razor, airing November 24th.)
After his firing reduced the reasons to even consider admitting you watch Grey’s Anatomy to two (that would be James Pickens, Jr. and Chandra Wilson), the still-struggling NBC signed Isaiah Washington to a development deal within days of his dismissal. Washington is developing an action show with NBC, but first, he’ll be joining Miguel Ferrer, Katie Sackoff, and Bruce McGill in chewing the Vancouver scenery on Bionic Woman. Washington will play Antonio Pope, an advisor to the super-secret government program that develops the Bionic Woman. Pope will come complete with his own mysterious background and top-secret agenda, as well as his adopted brother, a former prison warden in Illinois.
‘CRACKER’ WITH GHOSTS
That’s always been the common description of Ripper, the long-rumored BBC spin-off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer centered on Anthony Stewart Head’s Rupert Giles. However, given the way Head played Giles in ‘Ripper’ mode (“I’d like to test that theory” and “She’s not like us” being two of the more supremely bad-ass moments), I always saw Ripper as the closest thing we were going to get to a Hellblazer series done properly. According to Head’s website, the 90-minute BBC TV movie written by Whedon is “one step nearer to the possibility of becoming a reality,” but is contingent on a script. If it does happen, Whedon hopes to be in production on the film next year – but will Whedon take advantage of the BBC’s slightly looser standards for language and violence, knowing that it may be censored once it comes to BBC America? (The severely truncated Jekyll is a recent example of this.)
WHO DAT DOCTOR?
Begin fantasy casting….now! The ‘ever-reliable’ Sun newspaper reports that season five of Dr. Who a) won’t air until 2010, b) won’t feature current Doctor David Tennant, and c) won’t have executive producer Russell T. Davies onboard. Tennant (currently filming season four) will be playing Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company during the time he’d shoot season five, but he will shoot a series of specials to air during 2009, then he and Davies will turn the adventures of everyone’s favorite timelord over to a new producer in 2010. As for who should take over when Tennant retires, the field is wide-open, but for some reason, I’d like to see Stephen Fry take a crack at it. I have no earthly idea why – I just think he’d be good.
MTV TO RUN ACTUAL MUSIC (AL THEATRE)
I had absolutely no problem with having to read about High School Musical and High School Musical 2 for months on end – after all, Kenny Ortega’s been seducing generations with his crappy choreography and direction for three decades now (Dirty Dancing and Newsies). Like Newsies did for a lot of people my age, and like Harry Potter is supposed to do for books, I’m hoping that the same kids who love Musical (or Rent, or Wicked) will lead them towards Carousel or Into The Woods someday. So I’m trying to be optimistic about MTV airing a performance of the Tony-snubbed and semi-cult phenomenon Legally Blonde: The Musical, which appeals to the same demographic as High School Musical. The operative word here is “trying,” but already the fans (who call themselves “Blondies”) are starting to piss me off. (According to the New York Post, one said “[Tony-award winning] Spring Awakening got three minutes on CBS. We’re getting three hours on MTV.” Since when has airtime ever been relative to quality? I’m not even a huge Spring Awakening fan, and even I can agree it has slightly more artistic merit than Legally Blonde, which is fine for what it is, but hardly an original sight on Broadway these days. Rant over.)
‘FIXER’ NOT ITS ORIGINAL TITLE
That would be Marvelous Cunt, the phrase used to describe Jodie Foster’s power broker in Spike Lee’s Inside Man. And even though the fall season has only just begun, already ABC has ordered a pilot based on Foster’s character from Inside Man writer Russell Gerwitz. The series is based on Gerwitz’s research into “private relations firms” done for the heist film, and centers on a woman who discreetly solves problems for New York City’s elite. (This series also sounds a little like the upcoming film Michael Clayton, although I expect the series to be much more self-contained week-to-week.) This pilot seems like one of those shows designed to snag a big star (a la Commander in Chief), so I’m interested to see who they get.