Chalk this one up to "you mean this hasn't happened already?"
Despite having aired over 100 episodes to date, Hugh Laurie has yet to direct an episode of House. That's about to change.
In what's become common practice for stars of big shows in the past few years, Laurie will step behind the camera for an upcoming episode set to air this spring. According to EP Katie Jacobs, they've wanted him to do it since season one and the episode Laurie will helm is "very intense and truly a director's piece."
This won't be the first time Laurie has directed a series he also starred in. He previously directed a few episodes of his British series Fortysomething. According to numerous reports, Laurie will direct the 17th episode of House's sixth season, scheduled to air on March 22nd, 2010.
Seems to make perfect sense -- there's no one else more qualified than the man who plays the title role and when you're already an actor and producer, what's one more credit?
Hey, someone should make a TV show about the behind the scenes goings-on at a late night variety show. Oh wait...
Iconic TV director James Burrows has joined the FOX series Back to You as an executive producer and the main director for at least the first season.
While I've personally never been a huge fan of the sitcoms Burrows has been involved with (Cheers, Friends, Dharma and Greg, Will and Grace, Fraiser, Two and a Half Men, countless others), it's no secret the man has a way of propelling sitcoms to new heights, which is undoubtedly what the hope is for Back to You. Also, let me quickly add that I understand the appeal of many of Burrows' series, I'm just not wired for their style of humor. It could be a factory defect, I don't know.
Back to You stars Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton and Fred Willard as members of a news team in Pittsburgh who reunite after their main anchor, played by Grammer, returns after being disgracefully fired from his position in a bigger market.
Sid and Marty Krofft created some of the oddest and most memorable characters for children's television and enhanced many acid trips for those same children's older siblings.
Of course, the brothers couldn't have been on drugs themselves considering all the work that went into productions like H.R. Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost (not to mention countless other productions like Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, D.C. Follies and Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters). Marty Krofft spoke about that and a bunch of other things in a recent appearance on the Sound of Young America. You can listen to the interview here.
It's a great interview, especially if you grew up with these shows. Krofft also talks about the new Land of the Lost movie, which, as I mentioned before, does not yet have a director attached to it. Will Ferrell, however, has been cast in the lead role.
Daniel Sackheim, who recently spent some time directing episodes of the FOX series House, is moving on to NBC to both executive produce and direct the new drama, Life. Sackheim also helmed several episodes of other series, including The X-Files and Law and Order.
Life stars Damien Lewis as a police officer who returns to the force after serving a prison sentence for a crime he didn't commit. The series also stars Adam Arkin, Robin Weigert and Melissa Sagemiller. Life will air Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. this fall.
Conan O'Brien, host of Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Adam McKay, co-writer and director of Talladega Nights and Anchorman and father of the infamous Pearl, have at least one thing in common: they both worked on Saturday Night Live. The other thing they have in common is that they were each interviewed recently by two different publications.
O'Brien was interviewed by StarWars.com to coincide with the recent taping of his show in San Francisco (George Lucas was a guest on the program). This was my favorite exchange:
What was your favorite part of visiting Lucasfilm/ILM when you were here in San Francisco?
The part when Lucas took me into a glass elevator. It smashed through the roof and he told me the entire chocolate factory was mine. That poor man has lost his mind.
Make sure you don't miss the first part of the Supernatural set visit.
Smoke effects lazily float across a packed soundstage. Someone calls for quiet. The camera and sound get up to speed, and Kim Manners belts out a loud, "KICK IT IN THE ASS!" Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki power through a page of dialogue ... and a scene for Supernatural is shot. Wahoo!
Kim Manners is one cool dude. When you first meet him, his diminutive frame and long hair make you think "Wow, this guy must be laid back and mellow." Believe you me, he can turn on his drill sergeant voice and snap you in half if you aren't careful. That includes wasting anyone's time or not taking your work seriously. He's a pro and except the same out of the people he works with. But, he's also incredibly nice. He left me remarkably intact.
He's definitely no stranger to the television world, having directed everything from Charlie's Angels, to Mission: Impossible, to Baywatch, to The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. before he landed on the X-Files team and stayed onboard for the long haul. His brother Kelly has also directed episodes of Buffy and Angel, so it looks like their love for the supernatural (get it?) runs in the blood.
But the success of Borat has been good for everyone, including Charles: Variety is reporting that he has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the ABC TV Studio for what the industry rag said was in the "mid-seven figures." In the deal, Charles will write and direct a number of projects, including "scripted and hybrid comedies and possibly even animation," according to the article. This will be the first time he has worked for broadcast TV in a number of years.
You know how it is when you're visiting your parents and one of them suddenly tells you that on the day of your birth they sold your soul to Satan? I tell you, that's something you never forget, and it's also the premise of a new series for the CW called Reaper. The pilot will be directed by indie filmmaker Kevin Smith and will begin shooting in Vancouver next month.
The series was created by Michele Fazeka and Tara Butters, former writers and story editors for shows such as Ed, Law and Order: SVU and The X Files. The new series, in which twenty-one year old Sam Oliver must pay his debt to Satan by hunting down souls escaped from Hell, is being described as a dramatic comedy.
This new show could actually be really cool, though I must say that if you're the most powerful evil force in the universe you should be able to create a domain from which no soul can escape. What kind of contractors does Satan have working for him, anyway?
[via TV Filter]
What may save this from being another tiresome lawyer/doctor/cop outing is the presence of the cantankerous Leary behind the scenes and Figgis behind the camera for episode one. Figgis is best known for Leaving Las Vegas with Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue, but his most interesting work (or most self-indulgent, depending on your point of view) has been on experimental films like Hotel and Timecode, in which he divided the screen and the narrative into four separate, but equal parts. I'm sure he won't be busting out any formal experiments for a network pilot, but you never know. What's the point of bringing a big name film director over to TV if you're not going to let him play?
David Wain debuted his latest directorial outing The Ten at Sundance. The feature, which sounds like Kieslowski's Decalogue gone zany, puts together ten shorts - each musing on one of the ten commandments. The screening has been getting positive reviews. Those of us without Park City press passes will hopefully be enjoying that film later this year. Keep your eye on The Ten's website for more info.
As connoisseurs of the Whedon oeuvre may remember, Joss got his start writing for the sitcom Rosanne. He earned his television directing chops care of Buffy, Angel and Firefly. What should we expect from this most inspired of pairings - long master shots through the entire office, sequences done entirely in silence and lots of Pam's feet? Probably not, but I bet we're in for at least one guaranteed heartbreaker of a moment between Pam and Jim. Whedon's awfully good at bringing the funny and the waterworks, but so long as he's not actually writing the episode, I feel relatively safe. I wouldn't want anyone to die on us. It's not that kind of show so don't get any ideas, Whedon.
Thanks to reader Brendon Connelly for the tip.
The term is actually "Grand Marshall" but whatever, let's not split Wookiee hairs. George Lucas, the man behind Star Wars, one of the most profitable and popular movie franchises of all time, will be joined by select members of the 501st Legion, a total of 200 Star Wars costume enthusiasts who will be wearing costumes (enthusiastically). There will also be two floats dedicated to Star Wars, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2007: one done up like the forest moon of Endor from Return of the Jedi, and another designed to represent the planet Naboo from the prequels. I would have also created a Dagobah float, but alas, nobody asked my opinion. Also, giant helium balloons of some of the characters would be pretty sweet.
Terry Gilliam, one of my favorite movie makers of all time and the visionary behind such films as Brazil and 12 Monkeys, recently paid a visit to a group of ticket holders waiting outside in New York City for a taping of The Daily Show. Gilliam was there to drum up support for his new movie Tideland, based on Mitch Cullin's novel. Gilliam carried a sign that read, "Studio-less filmmaker / family to support / will direct for food." He also carried a paper cup that some of the fans stuffed with dollar bills. Gilliam hung out with the fans and signed autographs, and was even visited by some of the writers from the show and correspondent Dan Bakkedahl. CC Insider has a report of the event, complete with photos.
Oh yeah, the movie opens October 13th.
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