Tim Minear, mastermind behind the fast-cancelled The Inside and Wonderfalls, announced last week the revised cast list for his FOX midseason series Drive. Drive, whose pilot script read like the opening of Magnolia meets Cannonball Run with the "all will be revealed" attitude Lost made oh-so-popular, focuses on (in case you couldn’t tell) a secret cross-country car race and the total strangers drawn into its web. The most exciting new addition? Dylan Baker, of Happiness, Spider-Man 2, and The Murder of Mary Phagan. Baker plays John Trimble, a single father who hopes to reconnect with his daughter-by dragging her into a dangerous cross-country car race. Drive also stars Nathan "Why didn’t Slither make me a star?" Fillion as a fake yet innocent version of Scott Peterson, Richard Brooks as a detective, and Charles Martin Smith, star of one of the all-time-great racing films, American Graffiti. Points for that one, Minear–I guess Toad really did take them all. Drive premieres over two nights starting on Sunday, April 15th at 8 P.M. Odds of Drive getting canned and spawning seven or eight ‘virtual seasons’ (please, don’t ask): Even.
The Museum of Television and Radio’s branch in Beverly Hills announced Wednesday their line-up for the 24th Annual William S. Paley Television Festival. Panels this year include Heroes, American Idol, The Simpsons, Dexter, The Closer, Prison Break, Ugly Betty and House, among others. The highlight, though, looks to be The Office panel, which features every starring cast member-from Jim to Creed, Michael to Stanley–and Craig Robinson as Darryl! Dinkin flicka, indeed. The Paley Festival is March 1-15th, is hosted by a series of moderators who talk out of their ass (these things are terribly run), and will likely be included on a DVD season set as a bonus feature in the fall. If you’re one of the Chewers who live in the L.A. area, tickets go on sale at www.mtr.org on February 4th. Oh, and George Lucas is going to be there March 3rd.
More than three million people watched Ocean’s Deadliest, the documentary that killed Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, on the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet Sunday night. It’s unclear how what the drop-off was once two and a half million people realized that they weren’t going to get to see a man get stabbed in the chest by a stingray.
It’s because she’s waiting for a Sin City 2 deal: TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello reports that Lauren Graham may be sticking around Stars Hollow after all-without co-star Alexis Bledel. While both stars voiced their reluctance for an eighth year of fast-talking, esoteric-reference-making, mommy-daughter drama at the TCA Press Tour, Gilmore Girls’ show runner David Rosenthal appears to have convinced Graham to sign on for one more season-but Bledel’s reluctance has caused the CW and Warner Bros. TV to create a plan for the show that doesn’t involve Bledel’s Rory Gilmore as a regular character. It’s been a while since I watched Gilmore Girls, but I always found it to be fun, funny, and a show that earned its emotion. So much of that came from the Bledel/Graham relationship (shut up, slash fiction nerds). While many things are possible in TV Land, I can’t see the proposed plan-revolving around Graham’s Loreliai and the underappreciated yet still great Luke (also underappreciated and great)-working. Gilmore already lost its creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, in a Sorkinesque feud last season-maybe it’s time to let this show go out when it’s still about the Gilmore Girls. CW, I realize your need to launch a new network with a stable of hits, but please, let’s not ER this one.
"Fuck You-I’m A Prophet!" Victor Garber, best known as Jack Bristow on Alias but who will always be Thomas Andrews and John Wilkes Booth to me, will co-star in ABC’s pilot Eli Stone, reports TV.com. Eli Stone stars Jonny Lee Miller as a San Francisco lawyer who comes to realize he might be a prophet, and decides to use his powers-legal and ethereal-for good. Garber plays Miller’s future father-in-law and boss at their law firm. It’s a pretty ridiculous concept from creator Greg Berlanti, who made Everwood seem not so ridiculous, so I think we’re all going to have to wait and see on this one. (I promise you my opening line is the first of many Angels in America jokes I’ll be making when it comes to this show.)
There was an ‘American Pie’ pun here but I couldn’t get the rhyme scheme to work: Bravo announced that the fifth season of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy this summer is also its last. The show, soon to be a staple of VH1’s "I Love the Aughts" in exactly four years, rose to the top of Bravo’s ratings after premiering in 2003 (not an easy feat) and soon joined Will and Grace in reinforcing everyone’s favorite gay stereotype-you know, the fashionable, catty, sexless one. Still, at the peak of its popularity, Queer Eye was enough of a force to convince a longhaired, unshaven college kid living in New York to send in a…I’ve said too much.
Speculation Alert! According to that bastion of British broadcasting journalism The Sun, international soccer superstar David Beckham and his tabloid-fodder wife Victoria "Not Ginger Spice" Beckham are considering an offer to star in their own reality show on FOX. Beckham recently signed with the Major League Soccer team Los Angeles Galaxy in a deal so huge, an estimated additional 50 percent of Americans (including one Dan Rydell) will say "There’s major league soccer in America?" before going back to not caring.
Today’s most stupid/entertaining television news story, however, comes from the "ever-reliable" New York Post, who reports that an upcoming Super Bowl spot starring Kevin "My Songs Were Better When James Fucking Lipton Covered Them" Federline as a fast food fry flinger. The ad, for Nationwide Insurance, has Federline coming out of a bling-filled daydream to face life at a fake restaurant in a "rough Los Angeles neighborhood." Annkia Stensson, a spokeswoman for the National Restaurant Association called the commercial "an insult to the 12.8 restaurant workers in America" and "a negative, unfair, and inaccurate reflection." This would be the place where I would tell you a story about getting fired from McDonalds after a year and a half, but some stories you just have to let wallow in their own delusional ridiculousness.