That's exactly what TNT did yesterday with the pickup of three new pilots: 'Delta Blues,' 'Rizzoli and Isles' and the still-untitled alien-invasion series from producer Steven Spielberg. Each show received 10-episode orders, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
'Delta Blues,' from producer George Clooney, stars Jason Lee as a Memphis cop who moonlights as a musician and still lives at home with his mother. The Boston-set 'Rizzoli,' based on a series of mystery novels by Tess Gerritsen, stars Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander as detectives, with Lorraine Bracco playing Harmon's tough, but loyal mother.
The novel is about one of those small New England towns that King enjoys writing about suddenly finding itself trapped in a force field. Unlike The Simpsons Movie, the concept is not played for humorous effect.
The idea is reminiscent of those stories where people are trapped in a confined space and lawlessness sets in. There have been many similar concepts done in TV and film, although I can't think of any particular ones off the top of my head.
As he gets older, King's television presence becomes less. For a few years it seemed like a different TV show based on his work was being produced every year. He may be starting that again. So much for retirement.
According to Levy and Katzenberg, this version of 3D is supposed to work, no matter what the delivery method. Well, NBC was kind enough to send me a preview copy of Monday's Chuck (which I sent on to Allison for her episode review), complete with glasses. I've got to tell you... it doesn't work. At least not on TV. At least not for me.
According to King, he wasn't thinking of launching the ladies into a film series, especially since they had such a good run on HBO and are still doing well on cable. "I wrote that movie with a beginning, middle and end because I didn't want to leave the audience unfulfilled. The actresses are great, and if the gods smile and people are still interested, why not?"
Nickelodeon has ordered 26 episodes of the new cartoon The Penguins of Madagascar.
Based on the characters from the film Madagascar, the show will depict the further adventures of the militaristic, adventurous penguins who escaped from the Central Park zoo in the film.
(S01E17) I'm praying that those of us still watching this show witnessed the series finale of On The Lot and not a season finale.
If this show ever gets a second season, I may be forced to boycott all future Burnett and Spielberg productions, and I really want to see the next Survivor and Jurassic Park IV. Well, maybe not so much Jurassic Park IV.
Anyhow, take all the things you disliked about this season and point the world's most powerful electron microscope at them. That's about what these last two episodes have been like.
(S01E16) Initially, I was opposed to the way they planned to do this finale. It just seemed natural that the final three directors should have had to complete some monumental 5-10 minute piece of work that truly exemplified their talents as a director. The prize is a million dollar deal with Dreamworks, after all, not a first place trophy at the local film festival.
Then, after thinking about it for a bit, it actually made some sense for them to do it this way.
To make the directors create a new piece of work, and totally neglect their previous body of work would have been unfair - particularly if they were having an off day. It'd have been nice to what these guys could do given something more than a couple of minutes, but I can see how that could be construed as a little unfair to the contestants who didn't make it to the final three.
(S01E15) It's a sad thing when the reveal of who's leaving a reality show is more interesting than the actual show.
Case in point, Zach went home this week and we were forced to hear his stifled crying while Adam, Jason, Will, and Sam were named the final four. I liked Zach, but his odes to such-and-such director were getting old and lacked any originality.
(S01E14) Throughout the season I've commented on how many of the director's films end up looking more like car commercials thanks to the heavy placement of Ford vehicles throughout their features.
This week the problem was exacerbated because everyone had to make films using "automobiles" as a loose theme. I find it a little suspect that "automobiles" was considered the theme since in previous weeks we had genres like comedy, horror, action, and romantic comedy.
(S01E12) The only romantic comedies my palette can tolerate are of the British variety. This may or may not make me a complete tool. I haven't quite decided.
These comedies usually star Hugh Grant playing Hugh Grant and are full of witty banter, unlikely but enjoyable scenarios, and slightly tolerable romance.
Going with that criteria, none of tonight's films came close for me and that's pretty sad considering I've set a pretty low bar for the genre. For the most part, the judges disagreed with me.
(S01E11) I'm really surprised On The Lot has made it this long without getting yanked.
My suspicion is Fox doesn't quite have the guts to cancel a show produced by the venerable Steven Spielberg, but they're covertly doing everything in their power to get this stinker off the air. Hence, the double eliminations for the last two weeks.
By my calculations, if we continue cutting two people a week, we'll only be subjected to four or five more episodes tops.
I think this may be the first time I've ever consistently watched a show on a weekly basis while simultaneously wanting it to die.
When I say that the new comedy pilot will have multiple personalities I don't mean it will be an ensemble cast. Well, I guess it will, but the ensemble will be in one person's head. And, no, I'm not talking about a new Tracey Ullman series!
The new Dreamworks project, which has been green-lighted by Showtime Networks, is entitled The United States of Tara. It will be a 30-minute, single-camera comedy (do they really just use a single camera anymore) about a mother who has multiple personality syndrome. According to Robert Greenblatt, president of entertainment for Showtime Networks, it will be a family comedy with a twist (aren't they all). Even though she'll be a wife and mother she may also be an aggressive male biker, a horny teenage girl, or a Martha Stewart-like homemaker.
The only way they could possibly be as enthusiastic as they let on is if they think they're getting a free iPhone, a fresh batch of crepes Fedexed in from Paris, or an early copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Seriously, the crowd is in such a frenzy each week, it's nearly impossible to hear Adriana Costa during her introduction. She practically has to shout and the funny part is, she's using a microphone.
There is no way a sane human being could like this show that much. It's against nature.
(S01E09) Last week a reader by the name of Videophile posted a link in the comments to this YouTube video noting the similarities between it and Zach's film Die Hardly Working.
After watching the film, I tend to agree and encourage you to have a look for yourself.
I'm not accusing Zach of stealing from the SecretFunTime crew, but the video was posted on their site on May 1st and apparently, Zach only shot this film last week. Also, On The Lot didn't start airing until May 23rd which presumably means Zach could have seen the video before leaving to participate on the show. Just something to think about.
I apologize for the rampant conspiracy theorizing. I have to keep myself interested in this show somehow.
(S01E08) I hate to sound like a broken record, but once again, On The Lot underwent a few more tweaks this week.
To begin with, thanks to a somewhat revealing outfit, the studio audience was mere millimeters away from finding out what exactly resided on Adriana Costa's lot. I'm pretty sure Garry Marshall would have had a heart attack had this actually occurred.