My Name is Earl
The set-up is that Jimmy Chance (Lucas Neff) has sex with a woman who turns out to be a murderer. The young lady gives birth to Hope, and then the mom is -- killed in the electric chair. Next, Hope's life is constantly put at risk by the incompetence of Jimmy and his white trash relatives. So already we've got murder, execution, and child endangerment as a combo. Not necessarily a perfect template for a cutesy sitcom.
While the concept might be in poor taste, the 'Raising Hope' panel at the TCA press tour itself was full of hilarious moments, mostly due to kooky Cloris Leachman and her on-stage antics, demanding that reporters stand while they asked their questions and switching chairs with Garret Dillahunt until creator Greg Garcia was making 'musical chairs' comparisons.
After a comparison to another iconic female, Betty White, Leachman dramatically declared, "I'm so sick of Betty White, I never liked her!" which was met with great appreciation from the humor-starved TCA audience.
More panel highlights after the jump.
Admittedly, the name Jaime Pressly springs more to mind one of the 'Poison Ivy' movies rather than her Emmy-winning role on 'My Name is Earl,' but obviously other people feel differently. She's just been cast in a supporting role in the as-yet-untitled comedy pilot from the creators of 'How I Met Your Mother,' about an unmarried couple that live in Pittsburgh.
It's somewhat understandable why Pressly didn't get the lead role. For one thing, it's about a younger couple and sadly Pressly is only aging upwards. For another, a supporting role would likely allow her to use her terrific comedic acting chops much better than a straight-laced lead role. In the right circumstances, television supporting characters can be more memorable than the leads and make the show more of an ensemble.
After her terrific acting in 'Earl,' it's only surprising it took this long to get another role. Considering that both Jason Lee and Ethan Suplee have already landed other television roles as well, there must be life after 'Earl.'
The actress will play a potential surrogate mother for long-time marrieds Jeff (Patrick Warburton) and Audrey (Megyn Price). The series, which looks at different stages of relationships between men and women, also stars David Spade, Oliver Hudson and Bianca Kajlich.
Well, at least they grabbed someone good for the role. My Name Is Earl's Jason Lee is going to play the lead character, and I can definitely picture that. Now I just wonder if he's going to dress up as younger, thinner Elvis (circa 1959) or older, wider Elvis (circa 1975).
The pilot will be directed by Clark Johnson, who worked on The Shield.
Lee will star as Dwight Hendricks, a Memphis police officer who lives with his mother and lives a second life as an Elvis impersonator. Clark Johnson ('The Shield,' 'The Wire') will direct the pilot, written by Liz M. Garcia and Joshua Harto.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Garcia's upcoming Fox pilot, 'Keep Hope Alive,' concerns Jimmy (played by new name Lucas Neff), a first-time dad who'll need a village to raise his tot. Jimmy barely knows the mom, who has somehow ended up on Death Row, and his own youthful mother (played by Martha Plimpton) doesn't want to be anyone's granny.
Tonight, Jim and Pam head to Niagara Falls to (finally!) tie the knot.
In honor of Dunder Mifflin's long-awaited union, we count down some of TV's memorable matrimonial affairs.
It's a clever list, and includes the new vanity plates each car would have.
Fox just picked up Garcia's untitled single-camera comedy. The show will revolve around a young man raising an infant, the result of a one-night stand with a death row inmate, with the help of his dysfunctional family. Garcia tells Variety that his new characters will be "the same type of people" we saw in Earl and that they'll inhabit a world not unlike Earl's hometown of Camden.
Count me out if the show will rely on the same mean-spirited bathroom and gross out humor we saw in the last few seasons of Earl. Hopefully, Garcia will deliver something fun, fresh and clever instead of rehashing the same crude jokes and stories that got his old show cancelled.
NBC unceremoniously canceled Earl a few weeks ago when it announced its new fall season during its Upfront presentation. TBS already has Earl repeats lined up for the fall, as part of a deal with the show's producer, 20th Century Fox, but it's still unclear if the network will be able to produce new episodes of the show on a basic cable budget.
He hasn't approached them, but he's said "I'm in the book" about them approaching him. "We'd definitely look," he says about trying to work out a deal to keep the show on the air. Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Friday Night Lights have already found new life in cable deals, though theirs involved sharing with NBC, so it's not unprecedented. And with TBS trying to ramp up its original slate it wouldn't be a bad move to take an established property to anchor the schedule.
The show debuted to impressive ratings in 2005, and went on to win four Emmy awards for its first season, including awards for writing and directing. But despite an additional Emmy for co-star Jaime Pressly in 2006, 'Earl''s ratings deteriorated over time, placing it on the bubble for a good portion of this year.
'Earl' ends after four seasons on NBC.
However, there is a chance 'My Name Is Earl' will go on -- at least on a different network. According to the Hollywood Reporter, ABC and Fox are in talks to bring 'Earl' to their network.
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