MAGNUM GOES TO VEGAS
Sorry, Magnum, P.I. fans – Tom Selleck isn’t donning the Hawiian shirts for a reunion movie with everyone’s favorite wisecracking Vietnam Vet. (Does anybody even do reunion movies anymore?) But the man who rocks a mustache almost as hard as Sam Elliott is contemplating a return to series tv as the new star of NBC’s “oh, is that still on?” Las Vegas. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Selleck is in talks to replace James Caan as the series’ lead. Selleck will play the Chairman of the National Conference of People Dissed By Rosie O’Donnell, which takes up residence in the series’ Montecito Hotel. When he’s not keeping Donald Trump from taking a shot at Donny Osmond, Selleck would also serve as the “smart, fun loving new owner” of the Montecito. I like Selleck, and I liked Las Vegas in its first season. If this deal goes through, it may be – and I’m not guaranteeing anything – just enough to get me to watch at least a few episodes of the show again. Vegas is also looking to replace Nikki Cox as it heads into production on its fifth season, so if you know any “beautiful concierges”, give NBC a ring.
FLASH! AAAAAHHH! FORDMAN!
Hey, you masochists also known as Smallville fans, remember Eric Johnson? He played Whitney Fordman, the first of many love interests to cock-block Clark Kent and his kryptonite condom, back when the series was entertaining enough not to completely suck, but didn’t have enough John Glover to get me to rationalize watching it on a weekly basis. Turns out that Johnson’s headlining the Sci-Fi Channel’s latest original series, a “contemporary” update of the classic comic strip and serial Flash Gordon. Unfortunately, Robert “The Butcher” Halmi, Sr. is producing the new series, so don’t get Battlestar-sized hopes up on this one. While Johnson is the first member of the cast to be announced, the characters Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov have been confirmed as characters, as well as the “I can’t believe it’s not an Asian sterotype!” Ming the Merciless. Come on, Halmi. You put pirates into the story of Noah’s Ark, but you couldn’t be bothered to get rid of Ming? That’s some fucked-up logic, dude.
THE PANTHERS [SPOILER] THE PENNANT! THE PANTHERS [SPOILER] THE PENNANT!
Allow me, if you will, a moment to personally address NBC Universal: Hey guys, it’s me, the guy who thinks you’re the gold standard of networks. Got a favor to ask? Can you please release Friday Night Lights on DVD, like, yesterday? Or fix your fucking media player so I can watch the episodes online? Because I’m really sick and tired of hearing how wonderful this show is, whether from old man my friends or readers or people on the CHUD message boards, and especially my old man, who will not, will not, will not shut up about how amazing it is (but he’s the same guy who thought Crash was better than Brokeback Mountain). I want to see for myself. Since Mike “Let Me Condescend To You In Order To Prove I Am Hip With The Kids” Ausillio says you ordered six new scripts today, I think you know and I know that you’re going to be picking this up for a second season. You already picked up 30 Rock. And you guys really don’t want to look like a bunch of douches when this thing sweeps the TCAs this summer (I’m not kidding). I’m pretty sure I’m going to love your show, NBC U. I already use “clear minds full hearts can’t lose” way too much. So can I get those DVDs sometime soon, or do I have to resort to piracy? Thanks a bunch. Love, Brendan.
BACK TO YOU, JAY MOHR
A recent article in the New York Post claimed that the four-camera “insult comedy” is dead, or on its last legs. Like most things in the New York Post, I thought it was bullshit – network executives will go for what works, and for every Office or 30 Rock or How I Met Your Mother (which is just quirky enough to be considered “out of the mold”), there will be a Back to You or the latest Kohan/Mutchnick comedy, both of which announced casting in today’s Hollywood Reporter. Ayda Field, aka Jeannie, the hottest member of the cast of Aaron Sorkin’s After School Special, has joined Back to You, the hot new FOX show starring craaaaaaazy Patricia Heaton and craaaaaaazy Kelsey Grammer as bickering news anchors. Field will play a former Little Miss Sunshine turned weather girl. (Not the kind who reports on raining men, though.)
Jay Mohr, on the other hand, has joined Brian Austin Green on the untitled Kohan/Mutchnick show, as one half of a gay-straight writing team. The co-creators previously brought us Will & Grace, which was not as unfunny as some of y’all made it out to be (or at least I thought so when I watched it at 1:30 every morning in January ’06), but man, did it end about three years too late. Mohr will play the straight half of that team, a “guy’s guy” who “reads a lot.” I don’t know how they’ll reconcile those two sitcom sterotypes, but I’m gonna go with it for now.
UGLY RITA, GAYHEART LAME
Like Friday Night Lights, ABC’s Ugly Betty is a show that I haven’t watched a lot of, but I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about. As someone who enjoyed soaps like The O.C. and faithfully watches Grey’s Anatomy, this, too, is a show that I know I’ll enjoy, and I may even have to watch the upcoming episode where Rita Moreno guest-stars as a relative of the titular Betty (America Ferrara). Moreno also stars in Why is the Rum Gone?, the Jimmy Smits pilot from CBS. Also announced as guest starring during Betty ‘s May sweeps is Rebecca “Big Hair Full Breasts Can’t Drive” Gayheart, who probably only got the gig because she’s married to one of ABC’s star hunks, Eric “McSteamy” Dane. It certainly ain’t because of her talent. (Sometimes I write these things and I wonder how I am ever going to have a career in television.)
SEDGWICK, SHEEN GO TO ACTORS STUDIO
And since I’m on this rant about DVDs, hey, Inside the Actors Studio, do me a favor and get your fucking act together, okay? A four-episode set of every six months is not a decent DVD release for Bravo’s longest running series. I realize that there are probably all kinds of issues regarding music and footage and whatnot, plus Lipton holding out for a piece of the ancillary pie, but come on! I’m betting dollars to donuts that the releases would probably be a lot more successful if you put them out that way – I know it’s why I haven’t picked up any of the sets so far. And if you insist on sticking to cutesy themes like “the legends” or “the leading men,” at least expand the set beyond four episodes.
And while we’re on the topic of Inside the Actors Studio, let’s talk about your latest round of actors as announced at the Bravo Upfronts – Kyra Sedgwick, Charlie Sheen, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I actually have no problem with any of those – they’re all actors with long careers who have done at least a few projects of notable work, but please, please, please, don’t ask Sheen about Two and a Half Men or Louis-Dreyfus about The New Adventures of Old Christine. Nobody cares. Nobody. I realize you let Lipton kiss ass for three hours or more, and I realize you let him in the editing room. But come on, guys. I’ve been watching your show faithfully for years, and I’ve defended it many a time. But lately, your show – especially after the embarrassing debacle where you let Tom Hanks talk about The DaVinci Code for half an hour – has become just another stop for actors on the promotional circuit. It’s becoming self-parody and it’s beneath you. I know it and you know it. Get your head out of your ass, Inside the Actors Studio. You’re better than that.