TERMINATOR OF ‘PAIN’
Kristanna Loken, star of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and The L Word, is going from hunting John Connor to hunting Masi Oki (but not really). Loken’s headlining the Sci-Fi Channel’s latest original series, Painkiller Jane. Based on a comic book by Joe Quesada (the guy who told us all that Wolverine had Howard Hughes’s upbringing) and Jimmy Palmotti, Jane focuses on the DEA agent of the same name (Loken) who discovers she can’t be killed, but she can still feel pain. Recruited into a covert government agency (is there any other kind?) dedicated to investigating and “neutralizing” individuals with superhuman powers, Jane becomes determined to find out everything she can about these neurological mutants. Anyone want to guess the odds on the secret agency (based in an abandoned subway station, which is actually kind of cool) having an agenda? Anyone? Anyone? Painkiller Jane premieres this Friday, April 13th, at 10 PM on the Sci-Fi Channel.
FERRELL, MCKAY TEACH P.E.
Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, two of the new comedy gods responsible for Anchorman and Talladega Nights, are not content to let their hilarity stay on that screen which is called silver – so they’re coming to HBO. The network has picked up an-as-of-yet-unnamed comedy from McKay and Ferrell’s new production company, Gary Sanchez Productions. The comedy, which was previously titled P.E., centers on a former pro baseball player who returns home to find the only job available to him is as a physical education teacher. A substitute gym teacher, as the Hollywood Reporter points out. So it’s like October Road, only not lame and probably awesome. Since CHUD and THUD love all things Ferrell/McKay (and probably Judd Apatow by proxy), we’re going to be reporting on this show quite a bit. And in true THUD News Round-Up Fashion, I deign that this untitled show shall be called That Show Which Will Be Awesome until further notice. (Send less-lame suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org).
NBC’s mission to keep Conan O’Brien happy didn’t include keeping Andy Barker, P.I. – the quirky ‘detective’ comedy was cancelled today after four episodes. The remaining two episodes are available on NBC.com. Scrubs will replace Barker in the 9:30 Thursday slot. FOX’s The Wedding Bells, David E. Kelly’s attempt at creating a new set of ‘feminist’ heroes (you know, in that Meredith Grey way, except brought to you by the guy responsible for Snoops), is shutting down production after its seventh episode. ABC’s Six Degrees, the show that gave Campbell Scott and Bridget Moynahan steady work, is done, effective immediately. (I don’t have a crack about Six Degrees, but I can tell you I was the O.H. Somers/Mogadore Junior High Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon champion three years running.) Finally, the CW’s Seventh Heaven will quit impersonating Jesus at the end of this season (because it was cancelled last season, had a finale, and then the CW chose to bring it back). Heaven is also the last show produced by the late Aaron Spelling to leave the air. After the “four sets of twins” finale they did last year, the only way they can top that is a Seventh Heaven/Saved! crossover. Everybody loves handicapped Macauley Culkin. Come on!
PEABODYS. NO SHERMANS.
In addition to the three awards for dramatic programming handed out to NBC last week, the following programs were among the other winners of the 2006 Peabody Awards, the Pulitzers of Broadcasting: This American Life (radio), for its story on Guantanamo bay and Habeas Corpus; 60 Minutes (CBS), for the late Ed Bradley’s piece on the Duke rape case; ABC News’ piece on the Rep. Mark Foley scandal; American Masters: Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film (PBS), for Ric Burns’ documentary on the artist and pop culture trend setter; HBO’s Baghdad ER documentary, Elizabeth I, and Spike Lee’s When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, which they called an “epic chronicle of destruction and broken promises”; Brotherhood (Showtime), the Rhode Island Irish mob series about “morally compromised pursuits of the American dream”; the “Return of the King” episode of The Boondocks (Cartoon Network), to which I say, “hell yes!; and ABC’s Ugly Betty.
COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO ECO YOUR AUTO
Gov. Arnold “I was the Motherfucking Terminator before you even knew what a Steamroller was, Gov. Elliot Spitzer of New York” Schwarzenegger of California will guest star on the season premiere of Pimp My Ride, which airs April 22nd. Pimp My Ride Spoilers Ahead! Gov. Schwarzenegger and star of XXX: State of the Union Xbizt are pimping a 1965 Chevy Impala (belonging to one Sam and Dean Winchester), outfitting it with an engine that runs on biodiesel fuel as well as a Playstation 3 powered by solar energy. (Okay, I made that part about the Playstation up.) In between the pimping of the ride, Schwarzenegger will take a page from the Captain Planet and the Planeteers handbook to educate viewers on how to conserve energy and the problem of greenhouse gas in honor of Earth Day. Oh please, oh please, let him say “The power is yours!” (Yes, car nerds, I realize the Bros. Winchester drive a ’67 Impala. Send your car hate mail to someone who drives.)
A FRANK AND LIVELY DOCUMENTARY THAT WILL COST NO ONE THEIR JOBS
Documentarian Kenneth Bowser is going back to the Saturday Night Live well this May. Bowser, who previously directed Live From New York: The First Five Years of Saturday Night Live and Saturday Night Live in the ‘80s: Lost and Found, will chronicle the next decade in SNL’s history – the 90s. The documentary, called Saturday Night Live in the ‘90s: Pop Culture Nation, finds SNL named a “national institution” by the Peabodys to being called “Saturday Night Dead” two years later before the mid-90s explosion that gave the world Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Chris Rock, and Adam Sandler. Those four – plus many more – are among the stars and writers of the show who will be interviewed during the documentary, which will also feature clips and musical guests. Sounds like a time – and for you controversy fans, they will cover the firing of Norm MacDonald. With commentary from Alec Baldwin to David Koechner to Robert Smiegel and Adam McKay, this documentary looks like a lot of fun.