Jason Isaacs is preparing to return to TV screens with the lead role in NBC's new drama pilot, 'REM.'
Isaacs was one of the hottest properties around this pilot season, and he was reportedly offered a half-dozen roles to pick from before plumping for 'REM.' It's described as an 'Inception'-style thriller, which centers on a cop (Isaacs) who wakes up after an accident to find he is living in two different realities.
The new drama is the latest creation from 'Lone Star' writer Kyle Killen, and will be exec-produced by former '24' showrunner Howard Gordon. In addition to starring, Isaacs will also serve as producer on the project.
'Lone Star' Leads James Wolk and Eloise Mumford Book Pilots, David Arquette to Sit Down With Oprah and More
The charming James Wolk will play young speechwriter Andrew Pierce in Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage's Washington, D.C.–set ABC pilot, 'Georgetown.' According to Vulture, the casting breakdown describes the character as a "handsome, effortlessly charming, sophisticated, brilliant, Yale graduate" and "the youngest presidential speech-writer on record."
Eloise Mumford, who played Wolk's sweetly innocent girlfriend on 'Lone Star,' is the first one cast in the ABC thriller drama 'The River.' She'll star as a "fearless helicopter pilot" searching for a missing TV explorer and his cameraman (who also happens to be her father) in the Amazon, according to Deadline.
In other TV news ...
• Disney isn't letting the 'High School Musical' franchise die with its cast's innocence, not with 'Madison High' in the works. The new series will follow drama teacher Ms. Darbus as she moves from East High to the titular school to rebuild the drama program there. [Variety]
• David Giuntoli will solve mysteries as the handsome detective lead on NBC's 'Grimm.' Like many other pilots this season, the drama's got fantastical elements: characters from the Grimm brothers fairy tales exist, and Giuntoli's Nick Burckhardt is tasked with protecting humans from the beasts. [Deadline]
• David Arquette will replace Michael Vick on 'Oprah' next week. The fresh-out-of-rehab 'Scream 4' star will replace the Eagles quarterback, who abruptly cancelled his appearance two days ago. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Kristin Davis Returns to TV With 'Happiness Project,' Fox Orders More 'Human Target' Scripts and More
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Davis will star and executive produce the series based on Gretchen Rubin's memoir. Rubin started a blog about her year-long journey to find happiness. She employed scientific studies and other tips in her quest.
Kristin Newman of 'Chuck' and 'How I Met Your Mother' fame is in negotiations to write and executive produce.
In other TV news ...
• 'The Whole Truth' may have just one more week left. ABC has scheduled a country music special in the ratings-challenged show's timenslot on Nov. 3. The following week all of ABC's regular Wednesday night schedule will be put on hold for the Country Music Awards. [Entertainment Weekly]
• Former 'One Tree Hill' star Chad Michael Murray and 'Dollhouse' veteran Enver Gjokaj are in consideration for a new role on 'Torchwood.' 'Greek' star Amber Stevens is also being considered for a new role when the series launches on Starz. [Ausiello Files]
• Omari Hardwick of 'Dark Blue' fame will guest on NBC's 'Chase.' Hardwick will play Chris Novak, a criminal who escapes and seeks revenge on the people who betrayed him. [TV Guide]
The show in the most imminent danger of cancellation is Friday night's 'Outlaw,' which only earned a 1.0 rating and 4.7 million viewers last week. Since 'School Pride' is set to launch next Friday, the network could air a two-hour 'Dateline' afterwards in 'Outlaw''s place. Since 'The Apprentice' is not performing well either, NBC could possibly move the reality show to Wednesdays at 9PM, put new hit 'Law & Order: Los Angeles' in its Thursday night at 10PM place, then push 'Law & Order: SVU' into the Wednesday night at 10PM digs.
But maybe it's a good thing that the networks are quick on the draw and not willing to coddle shows that can't survive the Darwinian fall schedule without help. Maybe it's actually merciful, not merciless, to euthanize shows that fail the sink-or-swim test. Maybe it's actually the smart thing to do, both from a business perspective and for TV fans as well.
Fox felt they had no choice but to drop the show in favor of 'Lie to Me,' which takes over the Monday 9PM ET time slot.
For the record, in week one, 'Lone Star' netted 4.1 million total viewers, while week two was down to 3.2 million. Still, was cancellation the only solution for Fox? We don't think so; the network had options. Here's four ways the network might have saved or kept 'Lone Star' on the air ... at least for a while.
The network announced that 'Lie to Me' will occupy the show's former time slot as of Monday.
It's depressing that a promising, complex show got canned after just two episodes. But what's truly troubling is that the death of 'Lone Star' is a symptom of everything that has gone wrong at the broadcast networks.
Any critic who sat through all the fall pilots this year will tell you the same thing: They were mostly bad.
This news follows reports that Bravo has already asked Giudice's sister-in-law, Melissa Gorga, to join the show. According to Radar, Giudice is not pleased that either woman is poised to become a regular 'Real Housewives' cast member. "Teresa isn't happy that her family is being asked to join the cast," a source told Radar. "She feels as if her entire family is being approached to be a part of the show."
Production on season 3 is set to begin soon, though Giudice has still not signed her contract for the show.
In other TV news ...
'Lone Star' tanked in the ratings yet again, falling 23 percent from last week's dismal debut. NBC's 'The Event' was also down, but 'Castle' and 'How I Met Your Mother' were both up. [The Hollywood Reporter]
'The O.C.' veterans Rachel Bilson and Josh Schwartz have teamed up again for a new NBC show called 'Ghost Angeles.' The Schwartz-written show will star Bilson as a woman who can communicate with the dead. NBC committed to a producing the pilot despite the fact that no script has been written yet. [Deadline]
Yet another report is claiming that 'The Real Housewives of Miami' is a done deal. Like previous stories, an anonymous source claims the series was originally intended to be another reality series for Bravo, but the network decided to expand its franchise instead. [E! Online]
These memorable TV characters, from shows of the '80s, '90s, '00s and present -- very married or allegedly monogamous -- broke their vows in most spectacular fashion.
Heroes, anti-heroes and villains, they have one very naughty thing in common -- two-timing.
Roger and Joan, 'Mad Men.' Mr. Sterling and Mrs. Harris have elbowed now-divorced Don aside as the show's super-cheaters. Fans wanted Roger (John Slattery) and Joan (Christina Hendricks) to forget their spouses and reunite – so why do we feel so queasy after last weeks post-mugging tryst (and resulting pregnancy)?
Only 4.1 million viewers tuned into the show's premiere, leaving its future in serious jeopardy. On Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter speculated that Fox could even yank the show before its second episode aired. However, the network is giving 'Lone Star,' one of the best-reviewed new shows of the season, a second shot.
Killen is hoping viewers will give it a second (or first) shot too. "Maybe, just maybe, it's one of those moments where the thing everyone said COULD NOT HAPPEN actually just...does," he pleaded in his post, titled "You're Invited To Our Stunning Upset."
In other TV news ...
• 'Modern Family' topped the ratings last night with its season 2 premiere. The Emmy-winning show nabbed 12.6 million viewers, a 19 percent increase from the series' debut last fall. 'Cougar Town,' 'The Middle,' 'Better With You,' 'The Defenders' and 'Law & Order: SVU' all saw solid premieres, while 'The Whole Truth' and 'Undercovers' performed disappointingly. [The Hollywood Reporter]
• Lifetime has renewed 'Drop Dead Diva' and 'Army Wives' for 13 more episodes each. 'Diva' season 2 and 'Wives' season 4 will premiere in 2011. [Deadline Hollywood]
According to TV by the Numbers, the season 2 premiere was seen by 12.3 million viewers and received a 5.5 rating in the coveted 18- to 49-year-old segment. That was 50 percent higher than its September premiere last year.
'NCIS' on CBS was the big winner, drawing 18.92 million viewers, its spinoff, 'NCIS: LA,' was seen by 15.68 million and 13.60 million in its second hour.
Meanwhile, on Fox, 'Raising Hope' debuted to 7.48 million viewers and 'Running Wilde' drew 5.87 million viewers.
In other TV news ...
• The talk of canceling 'Lone Star' is a bit premature. Fox will give the struggling Texas drama another chance, airing a new episode next week. The series has been hailed by critics as one of the season's best new shows, but premiered to lousy ratings. [Vulture]
• Acclaimed choreographer and 'Fame' star Debbie Allen has signed on to direct an episode of 'Hellcats.' The CW drama has tapped Allen to direct an episode that features a huge musical number. [E! Online]
• ABC has picked up Jerry Bruckheimer Productions' 'The Lost Girls.' The project is based on the blog and novel of the same name by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner. The trio ditched their corporate jobs, boyfriends and city life to go on a year-long journey. [Deadline Hollywood]
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show's dismal debut means that 'Lone Star,' about a Texas con man juggling his wife and girlfriend, will inevitably be canceled -- it's just a matter of when. "No one in TV should be happy about this," an agent of a 'Lone Star' writer told THR. "This is going to have a chilling effect on networks taking chances on anything but cookie-cutter shows."
[Warning: Spoiler alert.]
Bob Allen (James Wolk) is two different people. In the suburban town of Midland, Texas, he's "Robert" -- a grifter who cheats local investors while living with his cute (yet clueless) girlfriend Lindsay (played by Eloise Mumford). Meanwhile, 400 miles away in the big city of Houston, he's "Bob" -- and he's married to Cat Thatcher (Adrianne Palicki), the daughter of an ultra-rich oil magnate. In Houston, he plays the part of the "perfect" husband, although he's also trying scam money from Cat's father Clint (Jon Voight).
But 'Lone Star's' first installment inevitably invites questions: Should it have been the first half of a two-hour movie? Can the stories at its core sustain a full season of television?
After all, any con, even a long one, has a built-in expiration date.
The season premiere of this new series introduces us to Bob/Robert, a con man living two separate lives on opposite sides of Texas. In one, he lives with a naive girlfriend and bilks the locals of their savings, and in another he's married to an oil heiress played by Adrienne Palecki of 'Friday Night Lights.' Her dad is played by Jon Voight. Based on the previews, it's hard to tell if we're supposed to love or hate this guy, but I'll tune in to just to watch Voight chew the scenery, at least the first time.
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