SKY BLUE, WATER WET, BALDWIN STAYING ‘30’
It was the bullshit that made the internet nearly explode. Making the traditional tv talk show rounds asking America’s apologies for showing his daughter what Glengarry Glen Ross II: Blake Goes Hawaiian would look like, Alec Baldwin told the ladies of The View he wanted out of his contract on the freshman sitcom 30 Rock. Coming on the heels of people getting angry at Baldwin over something that was none of their business to begin with and the 49-year-old’s departure from CAA, Baldwin’s desire to leave the show was sent into the Cycle ‘O’ Spin and came out as “Alec Baldwin is leaving 30 Rock omg wtf Will Arnett has a beer and cheets on his wife Tina Fey is the sexiest tomboy beanpole on the planet first!” to certain denizens of the internet.
However, official confirmation has finally come from an NBC representative, who told Yahoo that the struggling network has absolutely no intent of letting Baldwin out of his contract, saying, “Alec Baldwin remains an important part of 30 Rock. We look forward to having him continue his role in the show.” The same Yahoo article says Baldwin intends to honor his contract under these circumstances, but I wonder if he’s going to be that happy about it. Let’s hope – part of what makes 30 Rock great is the sense that everyone is having fun with their roles, and you can really feel the joy Baldwin brings to the sillier moments. (Also, for you gossip fans, Alec Baldwin once hit on one of my friends at a charity fundraiser.)
NCIS IN HARM’S WAY?
Equally unhappy with his life right now is NCIS star Mark Harmon, who I like to fondly remember as The Dumbest Secret Service Agent In The History of Fictional Portrayals of the United States Secret Service. (Everybody knows that you check out the rest of the store once you subdue a suspect, even Jeff Buckley, and he’s dead.) Michael Ausillio reports that the former star of Magic in the Water is “feuding” with NCIS producer Donald Bellisario, to the point where he’s threatening to walk off the show. Harmon is unhappy with the “chaotic management style” of the NCIS set, and “industry insiders” that the situation must really be bad to piss off the hard-working, well-behaved Harmon. My only investment this saga is that if Harmon leaves, maybe it means that the hot Israeli chick will get a promotion, but that’s because my Irish Catholic ass has this inexplicable thing for hot Israeli chicks. (Go figure.)
USE THE FORCE, CHICKEN
Adult Swim’s stop-motion show Robot Chicken beat them all, the animated series, the live-action series, everyone – Mark “the Joker” Hamill is set to reprise his role as Luke the Duke Skywalker in Robot Chicken: Star Wars, a special for Adult Swim. According to the Hollywood Reporter, former wolfman and Chicken co-creator Seth Green is directing the special, which will spoof scenes and characters from the Star Wars universe. I’m betting that there will be at least one Star Wars Holiday Special and at least one internet fanboy joke in there. Maybe two, but that’s being very generous.
Green and his co-creator Matthew Senreich have also lined up quite a cast of voice actors for the special. In addition to Hamill, guest stars include Conan O’Brien, Robert Smigel, Hulk Hogan, James “Forehead” Van Der Beek, Donald Faision (who I am almost sure plays Lando due to the Scrubs/Billy Dee connection) and Malcolm McDowell. Any mention of McDowell allows me to say that despite the sheer unoriginal suckocity of Heroes, the dude is making the material work for him – his delivery of “How would you like to save the world today?” in those promos almost makes me think that it’s an ad for a better show.
Oh, and George Lucas is playing the animated version of himself, which should be slightly less terrible than his cameo on The O.C., which was pretty meta but also very, very bad. (Let’s recap: Lucas is playing the Wolfman Jack/American Graffiti role in that episode, which was since borrowed by Kevin Smith for the Stan Lee scene in Mallrats, except when the episode aired, everyone thought The O.C. was ripping off Mallrats, a fact which pissed me off to no end. I live a sad life.) Robot Chicken: Star Wars was developed with Lucasfilm’s approval, and airs June 17th at 10 p.m. on the Cartoon Network.
ASK NOT FOR WHOM THE DOINK-DOINK DOINK-DOINKS…
Like one of those urban legends that gains power the more times you tell it, I’ve been avoiding the cancellation rumors that have been swirling around Law & Order all season. NBC, which sinks lower in the ratings just when you think it can’t, is looking at canceling the long-running crime show that spawned the successful spin off Special Victims Unit. I maintain that Dick Wolf, who’s a keen businessman with a sharp eye for budgets, will present a way to keep the Mothership on the air long enough to break Gunsmoke’s record for longest-running primetime drama, but it’s still depressing to think about. Law & Order is probably one of the more expensive shows NBC has on right now, and they’re looking to slash dollars wherever they can.
Still, the show has become somewhat of an institution, as well as pumping millions of dollars into the economy of New York City over its seventeen-season run and giving thousands of struggling actors a shot at a SAG card. When I was in college, a part on Law & Order was the brass ring for a lot of my friends – onscreen was great; a speaking part was fucking fantastic. Not to mention that the show drew from the theatre community of New York – including the legendary Jerry Orbach – which gave the show a level of quality that was pretty great for its budget. I can only hope NBC decides to let the series stick around for just four more years – breaking Gunsmoke’s record is within striking distance, and there are still many more former child actors to feature in bizarre guest starring roles out there.
FISHER, RATNER ARE ON THE LOT
Anyone who’s been watching FOX recently has seen the completely lame and ridiculous promos for their new reality series On The Lot, which makes me think the show is going to be one giant exercise in me yelling at my television. Isn’t this just like Project Greenlight with Special Guest Producers Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett? Still, expect it to be wildly successful and much griping from your friendly neighborhood frustrated independent filmmaker (me). Anyway, the Beard has corralled some of his H-Town buddies to serve as judges in the first round of the competition, and they are: Carrie “Obligatory Princess Leia Joke” Fisher, Brett “David Fincher Appreciates Me, Therefore, I Must Be An Artist, So Suck On It, Fanboys” Ratner, Garry “Pretty Woman Really Is An Inspirational Story For Young Women, and So Is The Princess Diaries” Marshall, and Jon “Nobody Fucking Cares” Avnet.I actually like three out of four of those guys for pure entertainment – and a Fisher/Ratner/Marshall combo is very American Idol. You would think that Fisher would be the Paula Abdul of the three, but I see her as the Simon Cowell – she’s very catty. I like catty. Ratner is the Randy Jackson, desperately trying to be hip, despite the fact that he was in Journey (Ratner’s Journey has to be The Family Man). Marshall, I can’t really make a Paula comparison to, except that they are both out of touch and they both praise everything, but I’d much rather see Marshall be the cranky old guy who yells all the time and keeps bringing up some obscure film from the thirties. So I guess that makes Avent Brian Dunkleman. On The Lot premieres on FOX on May 22nd before moving to its regular timeslot on May 24th.