'Camelot' boasts an all-star cast including Joseph Fiennes ('Shakespeare in Love'), Bond Girl Eva Green ('Casino Royale') and Jamie Campbell Bower ('The Twilight Saga') as King Arthur. Canadian up-and-comer Peter Mooney co-stars as Arthur's loyal brother Kay.
AOL TV caught up with Mooney while he was driving to pick his Dad up from the airport (awww). We chatted about what makes this 'Camelot' so different, his newfound appreciation for leather pants and the inevitable 'Game of Thrones' comparisons.
The costume drama, which shot in Ireland, was experiencing scheduling conflicts with several of its actors, Deadline reports. The King Arthur legend retelling drew 1.5 million viewers for its season finale earlier this month, but Starz declined to bring back the series for a second season anyway.
In other TV news ...
Can't get enough of those TV singing competitions, can you? If so, you're in luck. If 'American Idol,' 'Canadian Idol,' 'The Voice,' 'The X-Factor' and 'America's Got Talent' aren't whetting your whistle, you now have one more option. This fall, CBC is rolling out 'Cover Me Canada,' an elimination-style singing contest.
To separate itself from the rest of the singing contests out there (consider this its version of 'The Voice's swivel chairs), 'Cover Me Canada' will feature contestants singing only songs by Canadian artists. Nicole Appleton, former member of '90s girl group All Saints, will host. Judges haven't been announced yet. (I think Shania Twain would be an excellent choice to be "the nice one." Just sayin'.)
'Cover Me Canada' was the biggest news coming out of the CBC's 2011-2012 season preview earlier this week. George Stroumboulopoulos ran through the new line-up (and even threatened to sing at one point) while Ceeb luminaries like David Suzuki, Wendy Mesley and Rick Mercer waved from the sidelines.
In the two-hour premiere, Arthur climbs the slick rocks and attempts to pull the sword from the stone face. It won't budge. Finally he hears a voice: "Stop pulling at me, and start pushing yourself."
He does what he's told, pushing the sword further into the mountain. It easily sinks in, then launches out from the mountain, carrying Arthur with it. He's a little scratched and bruised, but nothing a king can't handle.
"Send a signal. Light the beacon," says Merlin (Joseph Fiennes). "Tell everyone the new king has come."
In a terrific performance, Jamie Campbell Bower makes Arthur seem both naive and impetuous, and Joseph Fiennes' Merlin doesn't go in for magical solutions; he's more a political operative consciously building a myth around the untested Arthur as ancient Britain threatens to descend into tribal anarchy. There's even a clever take on sword-in-the-stone tale.
Yet there are some tonal clashes within this handsome series, and there's an unfortunate stop-start quality to 'Camelot's' momentum. The first couple of episodes of the Starz drama have a relatively brisk pace, but the third one has elements of mawkish soapiness that slow down the action considerably.
In our discussion of 'The Killing,' Ryan McGee and I shared some thoughts on AMC's emerging house style, and in our conversation about 'The Borgias,' we talked about how Showtime is in need of some fresh energy. Other shows discussed in this week's podcast include 'Body of Proof' and 'Camelot.'
For a breakdown of the topics in this week's conversation, see below.
As soon as 2011 rolled around, the networks unleashed a bumper crop of new and returning shows, and only in the past couple of weeks did the relentless pace of premieres and returns simmer down to a manageable level.
We can't get complacent, however, because in the next few weeks, cable and broadcast networks will release yet another barrage of notable new shows, from 'Game of Thrones' to 'The Killing' to 'The Borgias.'
To make sure you don't miss anything, here's a handy list of 19 notable March and April programs. I've put a * next to new programs I've seen at least one episode of. Look for full reviews of most of these programs on TV Squad in coming weeks.
But you'll have to be patient if you like the first installment of the sword-and-sworcery epic: 'Camelot's' real premiere, which will be two hours long, arrives April 1.
No doubt you want to know whether 'Camelot' is worth checking out, either tonight or in a few weeks. I wish I could help you, but I haven't seen this latest iteration of King Arthur's tale (critics won't receive advance DVDs until next week). Still, there's good reason to be intrigued by this new version of the saga of Merlin, Morgan and Arthur. There are five good reasons, in fact:
'Camelot,' which debuts April 1, features Fiennes as Merlin, Jamie Campbell Bower as Arthur, Eva Green as Morgan and Tamsin Egerton as Guinevere. Chris Chibnall of 'Torchwood' fame is writer and executive producer on the project, along with 'The Town' veteran Graham King and Michael Hirst.
The pedigree of the cast and crew not enough to get you interested? Check out a preview below, which includes behind-the-scenes footage along with cast and crew interviews that dissect the plot and discuss why this series is different than every other Arthurian tale.
Apparently the comedian underwent a successful surgery on Dec. 10, but the writers of his hit show are allowing extra time for him to recover. He'll be missing from several episodes set to air in March.
Grizz Chapman, who plays a member of Morgan's entourage on the show, also underwent a kidney transplant this year.
In other TV news ...
• Mary Lynn Rajskub is returning to Fox. The '24' actress will play Cousin Mike's wife in a February episode. In other casting news, Billy Baldwin will reprise his role as William van der Woodsen on 'Gossip Girl' in at least two more episodes, while Jason Wiles will guest star on 'Castle' in February. [Deadline]
• Starz set a premiere date for its new series, 'Camelot.' The period drama -- a 10-episode retelling of the King Arthur myth -- will debut on Fri., April 1 at 10PM ET. [Starz]
• Britain's 'The X Factor' is under investigation for performances by Christina Aguilera and Rihanna that featured scantily clad ladies. The clips aired before 9PM, the "watershed" hour when children stop watching, drawing ire from the public. Both the network and Ofcam (the British FCC equivalent) received thousands of complaints. [The Hollywood Reporter]
• The first half of 'Glee' season 2 will be released on DVD Jan. 25. The set will contain bonus featurettes like 'The Wit of Brittany' (some of the character's best quips) and 'Getting Waxed With Jane Lynch' (about Sue Sylvester being immortalized in wax for Madame Tussaud's). [Zap2it]
• Syfy's new series 'Alphas' has found its showrunner. Ira Steven Behr will take on the role, and will serve as executive producer alongside Zak Penn and BermanBraun's Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein. [Deadline]
Barely a month after 'FlashForward ' was canceled, Joseph Fiennes already has a new job. He and Eva Green ('Casino Royale') have signed on to star in Starz's new series, 'Camelot'.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fiennes and Green will play legendary sorcerers Merlin and Morgana in what Starz calls a "fresh look" at the legends of King Arthur. Sources suggest their characters will be the main focus of producer Graham King's ('The Departed', 'The Young Victoria') epic period piece.
The roles of King Arthur and his wife Guinevere have gone to younger actors Jamie Campbell Bower ('The Prisoner') and Tamsin Egerton ('St Trinian's').
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Starz has greenlit 'Camelot,' a contemporary retelling of the King Arthur legend from a producing team led by Graham King ('The Departed,' pictured) and 'Tudors' creators Morgan O'Sullivan and Michael Hirst.
Well, this is unfortunate news. We told you last week that singer and actor Robert Goulet was in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, sedated and awaiting a lung transplant. Now comes news that Goulet passed away this morning.
Goulet had a really long career on stage, TV, and in film. He gained fame playing Sir Lancelot on Broadway in Camelot in 1960 with Richard Burton and Julie Andrews. He went on to many other stage productions (Carousel, Meet Me In St. Louis, La Cage Aux Folles, The Pajama Game, and others), movies (Toy Story 2, Atlantic City), and TV shows (everything from The Love Boat and Murder, She Wrote to Mission: Impossible and Howdy Doody). In the past several years he enjoyed spoofing himself, in movies such as The Naked Gun 2 1/2 to talk show appearances to stints on ESPN and those weird Emerald Nuts ads. He sings the theme to Jimmy Kimmel Live too.
Goulet suffered from Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis. He leaves his wife of 25 years and three children.
BroadwayWorld.com is reporting that stage, film, and television star Robert Goulet has been in the hospital for over three weeks and is in critical condition. The star was experiencing shortness of breath a couple of months ago and found out that he has Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis, which is fatal.
Goulet had been in a Las Vegas hosptial when it was determined that he would not survive without a lung transplant. They don't do that in Las Vegas so he was moved to Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles on October 12. He's waiting for a transplant.
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