Television Briefing: Don and Liz, Bravo's 'Runway' Subs, Obama Bests Phillies

liz and don

— You’d wonder whether the internet might swallow itself upon hearing that John Hamm – the one Anne Thompson says could be The Next George Clooney – might spend his break away from Mad Men over on the set of 30 Rock, as Liz Lemon’s neighbor and potential love interest no less. (EW’s Michael Ausiello)

— While they’re fighting what’s likely a losing battle with The Weinsteins that will probably end with Project Runway finally moving over to Lifetime, Bravo has another title in the works – Fashion Show, which sounds suspiciously similar to Runway, though in this case the winner will be selected by viewers American Idol style. Another in development: Celebrity Sew-Off, in which celebs are paired with fashion experts and compete to launch their own clothing labels. (Hollywood Reporter)

Barack Obama’s Wednesday night presidentfomercial was watched by 33.6 million viewers across 7 networks, boosting ratings by 11 percent across the board, and beating the viewership for the final game of the World Series by 70 percent. The candidate did wonders for John Stewart’s numbers as well. (HR)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 31st 2008 | 0 Comments

What the Candidates Watch

Barack Obama has been catching up with Mad Men on the campaign trail as of late, and John McCain is a 24 guy that counts on Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm for laughs, according to Men’s Vogue. Both candidates are said to be big proponents of The Wire. Undecideds, this must have been the piece of info you were waiting for – you can vote with confidence now.

Conversely, if you need to know who The Wire’s Sonja Sohn (Kima), Seth Gilliam (Sgt. Carter), and Gbenga Akinnagbe (Chris Parlow) support in the race, there’s this. And Curb’s Larry David has also made his preference known. (via Time)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 29th 2008 | 0 Comments

Mindy Kaling in House Poor: Episode One

Mindy Kaling stars in this web series for the newly launched video portal, Strike TV. Kaling co-scripted the episode with Office writing staffer Lester Lewis.

Posted by Ted Zee on October 28th 2008 | 0 Comments

Charlie Rose, Charlie Kaufman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Synecdoche, New York

Posted by Ted Zee on October 24th 2008 | 2 Comments

WATCH: 30 Rock, Season 3 Premiere

One week early. Enjoy. (Bigger, U.S. only?)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 23rd 2008 | 1 Comment

Trailer: Michelle Williams in 'Wendy and Lucy'

Written by Jonathan Raymond and Kelly Reichardt (both behind 2006’s Old Joy) and directed by Reichardt. Michelle Williams stars as drifter Wendy, en route to a cannery job in Alaska with her dog Lucy in tow. As her car breaks down in a small Oregon town, her tight-money problems create a ripple of bad decisions and piled-on crises. Scheduled release: December 10, 2008 (limited).

Related: indieWIRE Profile – Williams on Wendy and Lucy (via GreenCine)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 23rd 2008 | 0 Comments

Curb Your Enthusiasm Back for 2009, if Larry David Survives the Election


Larry David’s off again, on again love affair with his own HBO series is back in go mode, as the network has announced that Curb Your Enthusiasm will return to production starting this December. Slated for 10 episodes in 2009, the air date for the seventh season is as of yet, undetermined. (Variety)

Related: “The debates were particularly challenging for me to monitor. First I tried running in and out of the room so I would only hear my guy. This worked until I knocked over a tray of hors d’oeuvres. ‘Sit down or get out!’ my host demanded. ‘Okay,’ I said, and took a seat, but I was more fidgety than a ten-year-old at temple. I just couldn’t watch without saying anything, and my running commentary, which mostly consisted of ‘Shut up, you prick!’ or ‘You’re a fucking liar!!!’ or ‘Go to hell, you cocksucker!’ was way too distracting for the attendees, and finally I was asked to leave.” – Waiting for Nov. 4th, by Larry David

Posted by Ted Zee on October 22nd 2008 | 2 Comments

How to Push a Popsicle

mad men popsicle virgin mary

“I like the way she’s handing out the Pops. The kids are excited.
But, the mom reminds me of something.”

“No, this is original.”

Posted by Ted Zee on October 22nd 2008 | 0 Comments

CBS Enlists Second City

Second City Entertainment has a first-look deal in place with CBS to utilize its over 125 writer-performers, directors, and showrunners across its four stages in Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, and Los Angeles to draft potential comedy pilots for the network.

Alums of the long running improvisational comedy theater and production company include Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Fred Willard, Harold Ramis, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, John Candy, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Tim Meadows, Steve Carell, Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Dratch, Adam McKay, Jason Sudekis, and Tina Fey. (Variety)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 22nd 2008 | 0 Comments

Dexter Upped for Two More Seasons


Picked up by Showtime for two more seasons at 12 episodes each, Micheal C. Hall’s Dexter will restart production this spring. “I thought at best we would attract a devoted cult audience but soon realized that, ironically, this show is so thematically rich and layered with humanity that audiences of all kinds have flocked to it,” said Showtime head Robert Greenblatt. (Hollywood Reporter)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 22nd 2008 | 0 Comments

First Look: 'Hills' Spin-off 'The City'

I want to ignore this – to pretend that I’m above this evolving, now bicoastal MTV saga – this Tale of Two Ciphers. I want to scoff and tell you that Whitney Port’s pop-soundtracked Manhattan adventures won’t mean a thing to me, but that would be a lie. (via LAT)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 21st 2008 | 0 Comments

David Gordon Green to Direct 'Freaks of the Heartland' Adaptation

Having directed one of the best dramas of the year in Snow Angels and a top comedy in the Judd Apatow produced Pineapple Express, David Gordon Green will continue to show off his range by taking on the adaptation of the Steve Niles graphic novel, Freaks of the Heartland (Hollywood Reporter). Add Freaks to Green’s growing list of projects, including writing and exec producer credits for the recently announced Fox TV animated comedy Good Vibes, about California surfer teens. (Variety)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 20th 2008 | 0 Comments

In Summary


Truthful TV Title Cards – Glark (via Fraktastic)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 19th 2008 | 0 Comments

Live From New York, it's the Radical Right

Posted by Ted Zee on October 19th 2008 | 0 Comments

First Look: Edie Falco in Showtime's 'Nurse Jackie'

Posted by Ted Zee on October 17th 2008 | 0 Comments

Best Week Ever: And Then There Was One


This is what it means to use a hatchet when you need a scalpel: VH1 is drastically changing the format of its half hour weekly video clip show Best Week Ever by dropping its twenty-odd comedian commentators down to just Paul F. Thompkins as solo host. The move was intended, in part, to help compete with E! Television’s like-minded The Soup, which pulls in about 890,000 viewers per week to Best Week Ever’s 520,000.

The new show, titled Best Week Ever With Paul F. Tompkins, will retain some of the former in-house panelists for certain segments, but will feature more written content as Thompkins steers the show from a new set, complete with a “podium-desk.” This strips away what was arguably the best element of the show, where the revolving comedians would take off-the-cuff shots at the topic du jour from their respective angles, the way you would imagine a writers room to work. In hindsight, they could have cut the faux Extra-like celebrity gossip segment The Sizzler, which consistently sunk BWE mid-episode like a ton of bricks, and increased the funny by a good 50 percent. (New York Times)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 17th 2008 | 0 Comments

First Look at Diablo Cody's 'United States of Tara'

I’m cold on Diablo Cody until moved otherwise, but any mention of Toni Collete is an immediate ear-perker and amounts to a major coup for Showtime. Collete stars as a mom suffering from multiple personality disorder (or dissociative identity disorder for the stickers among us). Backed by Stephen Spielberg. United States of Tara is slated for a January debut. (via Pop Candy)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 16th 2008 | 1 Comment

HBO: The Presidential Debate You Didn't See

A couple NSFW chuckles in there (via Andrew Sullivan)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 16th 2008 | 1 Comment

Fox, Will Arnett Sign Free Reign Deal for New Series


Arrested Development star and certified scene stealer Will Arnett has signed on for a return to Fox Television, with complete creative control over choices for writers, producers, and directors for the new comedy series. The Hollywood Reporter assumes that Arrested showrunner Mitch Hurwitz would be a favorite for Arnett as a creative collaborator. The two are currently working together on the upcoming animated Fox comedy, Sit Down Shut Up.

Posted by Ted Zee on October 15th 2008 | 0 Comments

Amy Sedaris Preps New Comedy Series


Amy Sedaris and Strangers With Candy writing partner Paul Dinello have signed a deal with Fox and David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants production company to create a scripted, single camera comedy, likely geared towards cable viewers.  Not much more information to glean so far.  (Hollywood Reporter)

Posted by Ted Zee on October 15th 2008 | 0 Comments