1
Nov
2014

Bad Judge - Season Pilot

Manhattan Love Story is no longer alone in the pile of canceled freshman shows.

While Manhattan Love Story may have had the “honor” of being the first show canceled this season, it has now been joined by two other new sitcoms. NBC pulled the plug on Friday on both Bad Judge and A to Z. Unlike most cancellations that kick in immediately, both series will be allowed to run out their original 13 episode orders. This is more, in my opinion, due to the lack of having anything ready to step in and take their places on the schedule.

NBC does have a replacement set for after the Super Bowl where the Blacklist will take over its slot, but there’s a lot of time between now and then and no broadcast network is going to lose that much advertising revenue.

The shows were pulling in late night cable channel level ratings, and in this day and age that just isn’t going to cut it.

31
Oct
2014

Supergirl New 52

The Supergirl series being set up over at CBS is moving forward with casting and revealing a bit more of what we can expect from it.

The Supergirl pilot has entered the casting phase and now we know a bit more about what the setup of the series will be. For Supergirl – also known as Kata Zor-El/Kara Danvers – Warner Brothers TV is searching for someone 22 to 26 to play 24. Kara was sent from Krypton to Earth when she was 12 and taken in by the Danvers family who taught her to be careful with her powers. However, when Kara is 24 she will be caught up in an unexpected disaster (because so many are expected?) and have to use her powers in public. This energizes her to do more good in the world and embrace her powers and help the people of her city. As she does so, she will pick up the name of Supergirl.

One other role is also currently being cast, that of Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, Kara’s human foster sister. She is described as gorgeous, brilliant and science-minded. She spent her childhood being jealous of Kara’s powers, but it prompted her to learn all she could about alien anthropology, sociology and culture. She now works for a secret government organization while also helping out Kara with all of the challenges she will face in her new role.

Ali Adler (No Ordinary Family) and Greg Berlanti (Arrow) co-wrote the pilot script and will serve as executive producers on the show should it go to series.

Supergirl still has a long way to go before it makes it to air, but seeing all of the current love being heaped on superhero properties right now, it feels like this one has a good shot.

[ Source TV Line ]

30
Oct
2014

American Gigolo

Paramount Television has announced that it is moving forward with a television adaptation of the 1980 hit movie American Gigolo.

It seems that every studio is raiding its vaults as of late to see what it can turn into a TV series. Real Genius is in development. Bewitched is in the works. At this rate, television is going to start looking like a hit parade of hits of the past.

The current plan calls for Jerry Bruckheimer to be an executive producer on the series, which is fitting since he was a producer on the original film. “With its signature noir aesthetic, American Gigolo has remained a deeply entertaining, psychological thriller and I’m thrilled to partner with (Paramount’s) Brad (Grey) and Amy (Powell) on remaking it into a television series,” said Bruckheimer. Additionally, original director and writer Paul Schrader will serve as an executive consultant.

No word as of yet as to which network may be looking into the property.

The film made a star out of a young Richard Gere, but that is about the only reason it is remembered at this point. Why this needs to make its way to televisions is beyond me. It’s fairly clear to me that the past few seasons have had new shows canceled in droves, and now everyone is looking for established brands that they view as a little less risky, but this certainly just furthers the conclusion that Hollywood has run completely out of ideas.

Check out the original trailer and draw your own conclusions.

[ Source Deadline ]

29
Oct
2014

Avengers Infinity War logo

Marvel took the wraps off on Tuesday on its plans for all of Phase 3 of the Cinematic Universe, and it’s a doozy.

Currently we’re in Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which will wrap up with next year’s Ant-Man. From there on out things are going to escalate to a third Avengers film that will be broken into two parts along with a slew of new characters getting their first movies.

Everything will kick off with Captain America: Civil War which will feature not only Chris Evans, but Robert Downey Jr. showing up as Iron Man and Chadwick Boseman making his first in costume appearance as T’Challa/Black Panther. If this film follows the comic story of the Civil War, prepare for some pretty interesting themes about what it means to be a superhero.

Then we move on to Doctor Strange – no, they did not announce Cumberbatch in the role – which will be the first film for a new character. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 actually moved up two months to make room for the third Thor film, Thor: Ragnarok, to take its place. Then Black Panther enters the scene with his own film.

The first Marvel film of 2018 is where things will get super interesting as the third Avengers film will be split in two. Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 will arrive in May 2018 with Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 wrapping up the story in May 2019. Mixed in during that time will be the first film focusing on a female Marvel character, Captain Marvel, and the introduction of the Inhumans. That will wrap up Phase 3, but something tells me Phase 4 is already being planned.

Phase 3 will be the largest by far with nine films – Phases 1 & 2 both had six each – and will bring the total number of Marvel films to 21. That is just mind blowing to me as a lifelong Marvel fan, but I am thrilled to be living in this golden age of comic book based media.

Also of interest at the press conference was Kevin Feige, president of Marvel studios, confirmed that the upcoming four Netflix shows do belong in the Cinematic Universe continuity. Never made sense why they wouldn’t, but it is now official.

You can see Marvel’s full master plan below, and then I have a gallery of all the new film logos along with concept art for what Black Panther will look like. There are 30 superhero films planned between now and 2020, can the market support that many? Well, we’re about to find out.

Movie
Release Date
Phase 1
Iron ManMay 2, 2008
The Incredible HulkJune 13, 2008
Iron Man 2May 7, 2010
ThorMay 6, 2011
Captain America: The First AvengerJuly 22, 2011
The AvengersMay 4, 2012
Phase 2
Iron Man 3May 3, 2013
Thor: The Dark WorldNovember 8, 2013
Captain America: The Winter SoldierApril 4, 2014
Guardians of the GalaxyAugust 1, 2014
Avengers: Age of UltronMay 1, 2015
Ant-ManJuly 17, 2015
Phase 3
Captain America: Civil WarMay 6, 2016
Doctor StrangeNovember 4, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2May 5, 2017
Thor: RagnarokJuly 28, 2017
Black PantherNovember 3, 2017
Avengers: Infinity War Part 1May 4, 2018
Captain MarvelJuly 6, 2018
InhumansNovember 2, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War Part 2May 3, 2019
28
Oct
2014

Dr Strange

Has Marvel found its Doctor Strange at long last? According to one report, it’s just a matter of getting a signature on the contract.

According to the Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision, Benedict Cumberbatch is in final negotiations to star as Stephen Strange, better known as Doctor Strange. Cumberbatch has been rumored before, but so has just about everyone else under the sun at some point it seems.

To be clear, some outlets are reporting this is a done deal, this is not what the original report is saying at all. It is very clearly stated he is in negotiations, and they always can break down at any point. Add in that Cumberbatch is in demand for just about everything lately, and Marvel usually signs actors for multiple films at once, this is sure to be a lengthy discussion to figure out all of the finer details.

Honestly, I’m just “ok” with this casting. I think Cumberbatch is becoming the lazy man’s casting. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a fine actor, but it seems he’s up for everything as of late, and it’s quickly getting boring. But, he does have a huge fan base, and that is something that an odd character like Doctor Strange will need to introduce the character to the larger movie going audiences.

Doctor Strange is set to hit theaters on July 8, 2016.

[ Source The Hollywood Reporter ]

27
Oct
2014

Ouija Banner

It’s October, so that means a horror movie has to win at least one weekend.

Ouija, based on the old board game of the same name, took the top spot at the box office this weekend with $20 million off of a budget of $5 million. Yep, low budget horror is still all the rage.

Keanu Reeves’ new John Wick took in $14.15 million to come in second this week off of a budget of $20 million.

Fury did well in its second weekend dropping 45.2 percent to $13 million. It now stands at $46 million domestically off of a budget of $68 million.

Fourth place went to Gone Girl with another $11.1 million and has now taken in $124 million domestically off of its $61 million dollar budget.

Rounding out the top five was Guillermo del Toro’s The Book of Life which took in $9.8 million. It’s only at $29.9 million domestically, and with a $50 million dollar budget that means things aren’t looking too good.

Nightcrawler is the only wide release next weekend.

Curious how I think these films will do? Check out my The Movies of 2014 – 4th Quarter report.

26
Oct
2014

Manhattan Love Story

ABC has added Manhattan Love Story to the pantheon of shows that will go down as the first cancellations of the season.

With four episodes under its belt, ABC has pulled the plug on Manhattan Love Story and will replace it soon with double helpings of the other freshman comedy, Selfie. No word as of yet as to what the alphabet network’s long-term plan is for the time slot, however.

Manhattan Love Story was losing numbers every week, but this last episode was the nail in the coffin with only 0.7 (trust me, that’s insanely low for network TV) in the Live+Same Day numbers. The Live+7 numbers – first day airing plus the following seven days of DVR viewing) only increased by 15 percent, meaning this show had less viewers than even something like AMC’s Comic Book Men. And that isn’t a slam to the AMC show, but a slight to ABC for coming in lower than a show that airs at midnight Eastern on a Sunday.

This cancellation comes at an intriguing time. Normally we see the first show sent off long before now, but the scuttlebutt is that all of the networks are lacking confidence in their mid-season replacements. If this is true, there are shows holding on because all that is left to replace them is something even worse. It sounds to me like a lot of shows are going to finish out their first seasons, but they won’t be asked back for a second as the networks try out the fresh shows that will be coming out of pilot season.

Secondly, those numbers I shared above of Live+Same Day and Live+7 are something the networks are having to teach themselves. This is a fairly new concept because it used to only matter if you watched the show when it aired, but hardly anyone does that anymore. The vast majority of people are timeshifting their shows now, even if only by minutes to make it more convenient for themselves. The most important number, from what I’ve heard, is actually Live+3 meaning the three days following the initial airing. Anything over that means people are watching it just because it’s been on their DVR for ages.

With the first week of November kicking off the sweeps period, I imagine we’re going to see a few more cancellations as the networks look to clear out some dead weight.

25
Oct
2014

Suicide Squad comic logo

It looks like we may be getting a hint that Lex Luthor could be the connective tissue for at least the first few DC Cinematic Universe films.

As we all know, Jesse Eisenberg will be playing Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. A new rumor from Deadline, however, says that Warner Brothers is already exploring the possibility of him showing up in Suicide Squad.

When Warner Brothers announced its plans for DC movies through 2020, it seemed odd that Suicide Squad was next up on the list after the establishment film. It doesn’t feature any of the big name heroes, and is in fact about a bunch of super criminals. We’ve now heard about the Will Smith being courted to star, but that would still make it difficult to show how all of these films fit together. Having Eisenberg show up as Luthor would go a long way to doing that, and could possibly set up a larger story arc as we build towards the Justice League films which kick off in 2017. Perhaps Luthor is there on a recruiting mission? We won’t know for a while yet.

What I do find a bit disturbing is the rumor states that Warner Brothers is negotiating with Eisenberg for this appearance. Marvel is famous for locking folks down for multiple films out of the gate to avoid this very issue. Samuel L. Jackson’s original contract for Nick Fury locked him down for nine films in that role. Chris Evans’ Captain America contract guaranteed they could use him six times. Did Warner Brothers not follow a similar model? It would have only been smart.

There’s a part of me that thinks Warner Brothers is still making all of this up as it goes, and that is never a wise idea.

[ Source Deadline ]

24
Oct
2014

Archie Comics

Fox has begun development on Riverdale, a new take on the Archie comics characters for a potential slot on its schedule.

Greg Berlanti – executive producer on Arrow and The Flash – is the man behind this new take on Archie. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Riverdale will follow the core love triangle of Archie Andrews, Berry Cooper and Veronica Lodge. This doesn’t mean you won’t see appearances from the likes of Reggie Mantle, Jughead Jones, Kevin Keller and even Josie and the Pussycats, however.

Where things seem to go a little off the rails of what you would expect of a TV series based on America’s oldest teenager is that apparently things are not as they seem in the fictional town of Riverdale, New York. Apparently there will be “surrealistic twists” in small-town life as well as “darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.”

Honestly, at first blush I would have zero interest in this project, but Berlanti has earned my trust with his other projects, and the idea of an off-kilter Archie story intrigues me. Is it enough to make me tune in for multiple seasons? Highly doubtful. Add in that Berlanti is also working on SupergirlThe Things They Left Behind at CBS,  and The Mysteries of Laura & Blindspot at NBC, he and his team are going to be spread pretty darn thin in the not too distant future.

We’ll see where this goes, but apparently with Gotham already airing at Fox, and Riverdale in development, the names of cities in comic books is all the rage.

[ Source The Hollywood Reporter ]

23
Oct
2014

Bewitched original logo

The sequel series to Bewitched we’ve all been demanding looks to be happening!

… said no one ever.

The networks are currently gearing up for the next pilot season, and the common thread seems to be mining old properties. There was talk of a series based on the film Say Anything, but an outcry of disdain caused that one to be killed quickly. Then there was talk of a series based on the John Candy film Uncle Buck which met with a similar response. And now? Now it’s a sequel to Bewitched.

According to Deadline, the pitch is that the series will follow Daphne, the granddaughter of Samanta, and the daughter of Tabitha. Apparently Daphne has used her powers to live a good life, but the one thing she can’t conjure up is, you guessed it, love.

The original Bewitched series ran from 1964 to 1972, and there was a one season Tabitha spin-off in 1977 that landed with a large thud. There was a film with Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell in 2005 that did not fare well at the box office, but the original series continues to be popular in syndication.

As much as I think this idea is silly, when writers Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein started shopping it around last week, a bidding war apparently broke out between ABC and NBC with the latter finally winning out. Currently it only has a pilot commitment, so no clue if this will make it to series or not, but it seems the networks are hot to trot on the idea.

I can definitely live without this concept, but something tells me it will be on the schedule next fall.

[ Source Deadline ]

22
Oct
2014

Avengers Age of Ultron logo

Due to numerous leaks, Marvel has delivered an early treat in the official Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer.

The second Avengers film is on its way next May (April in some territories) and it’s time to get the promotion train rolling for the sequel to the third highest grossing film of all time. The Avengers themselves don’t get a lot of lines in this trailer, but that’s fine as James Spader’s line delivery as Ultron is just too fun to listen to.

And, oh yeah, the Hulkbuster armor looks awesome.

But man Ultron sounds so good.

Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters in the U.S. on May 1, 2015.

22
Oct
2014

The Flash promo poster

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as it had the strongest numbers for a premiere episode in the history of the network, but The CW has picked up The Flash for a full season order.

The road for a TV series is never an easy one:

  • Get a pilot.
  • Film the pilot.
  • Hope it gets picked up for series.
  • Hope it doesn’t killed off in that in-between time.
  • Get your initial episode order.
  • Start filming those episodes.
  • Pilot airs.
  • Hope it does well.
  • Hope it keeps doing well.
  • Receive the order for the remainder of the season.

At any point in that chain your show can get the axe. So just making it to air is usually a miracle, and keeping it there isn’t a small task either. So when The Flash had its huge debut, things looked good, but The CW still needed to make it official. On Monday it did so and the new series will stay on the air for the rest of the season (barring a bizarre cancellation, of course.).

The CW also picked up Jane the Virgin… why is anyone’s guess.