'The Riches' star has signed on to headline CBS's 'Hail Mary.' According to the Hollywood Reporter, Driver will star in the private investigator drama about a single mom who solves crimes with a hustler. The pilot was written by Jeff Wadlow. He'll executive produce along with with Joel Silver and Ilene Chaiken.
Driver was previously in talks to star in NBC's 'Free Agents,' from 'Party Down' producer John Enbom.
In other casting news ...
• Ashley Judd is nearing a deal to star in ABC's 'Missing.' The drama, previously slated to air this summer, now looks like it'll get a fall launch. Judd will play a former CIA agent who goes to Europe to track down her missing son. Sounds just like an Ashley Judd movie -- all she needs is Morgan Freeman. [Deadline Hollywood]
• 'Firefly' actor Alan Tudyk has joined 'Suburgatory.' The ABC comedy pilot follows a family who moves from Manhattan to the suburbs. Tudyk plays the patriarch's friend who has been living the 'burbs for years. [Deadline]
• Patrick Wilson is heading to TV. The 'Watchmen' actor will star in a medical drama pilot on CBS. Wilson will play a surgeon whose ex-wife dies "and begins teaching him what life is all about from the here-after." [TVLine]
The old band is getting back together, so to speak.
Jaime Pressly and Ethan Suplee, who costarred on Greg Garcia's 'My Name Is Earl,' are scheduled to drop by Garcia's new show, 'Raising Hope,' toward the end of the season, Entertainment Weekly reports.
The pair will play a married couple who lives down the street from the Chance family. "Burt and Virginia sort of become involved in their life more than they want to," Garcia told EW. "They become entangled in some drama that's going on at the Suplee-Pressley household."
In other TV casting news ...
• Jesse Metcalfe has landed a lead role on TNT's 'Dallas' reboot. The 'Desperate Housewives' actor will play Christopher, the adopted son of Bobby and Pam Ewing. [Deadline]
• Amanda Peet and Minnie Driver are in talks to join two different NBC pilots. Peet will likely join the cast of 'Bent,' a single-camera comedy about a single mom trying not to fall for her hunky contractor. Driver is in talks to join 'Free Agents,' the romantic comedy from 'Party Down' co-creator John Enbom. [The Hollywood Reporter]
• 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' is getting a new boss for season 10. Jay O. Sanders is joining the final season of the show, which is scheduled to premiere on USA May 1. [TV Line]
The two-hour finale and one-hour live reunion show for 'Survivor: Nicaragua' finally roll around after what has felt like a very long season. I'm still a fan of 'Survivor' but this latest batch of castaways certainly tested my patience. It's like they purposefully self-selected down to the most boring players. Maybe that's what watching 20 seasons of 'Survivor' does to people: convinces them to vote off strong personalities early. Note to Mark Burnett: fix this.
The action this week was split between Jay and Cameron heading off to the gym to play racquetball, Mitchell helping Gloria with a traffic-related legal problem, and Claire's reunion with an old work colleague from before Claire became a stay-at-home mom. Minnie Driver was well cast as the friend, Valerie, but her performance was completely overshadowed by the brilliance of the episode itself.
But the show's potential was never realized, either creatively or in the ratings. The show always had trouble balancing dark comedy and intense drama, and it strained to make the audience care about the Malloys, who were dealing with the consequences of stealing the American Dream. At the end of its aborted second season, FX had not committed either way to bringing the show back. Well, now we know: Mike Ausiello of EW confirmed yesterday that The Riches has been cancelled.
(S02E07) I debated whether or not I should follow that post title up with a "kind of" or an "unfortunately." Because really, it is unfortunate that season two was cut short by the strike. If we were gearing up to watch the next six episodes of season two, this would have been a pivotal episode.
With Dahlia's breakdown, Didi rebelling against her father, and the growing tension between Wayne and Quinn, things are building nicely. As a season finale though, I'm left feeling disappointed. Still, "The Lying King" did offer up some good bits to the story. More on that, after the jump.
(S02E06) Here we are, with the next to last episode of the season, and I found it just a little strange. Perhaps I was reading too much into the fact that there is only one more episode to go. Or, perhaps the strike just did more damage to the flow of the season than I am giving credit for. But this didn't feel like an episode setting us up for a big conclusion/cliff hanger. I'm left thinking there are a whole lot of irons in that fire that need to be dealt with next week. While it wasn't what I expected, there were some very interesting developments in Eden Falls this week.
(S02E05) Right about now, some of the Malloys should probably be having some second thoughts about returning to Eden Falls. The lure of big money is hard to resist, but it's certainly not going to be easy money. The dark turn to their adventure continues in episode five as we find Dahlia continuing to struggle with her new triple life, Pete causing more trouble for Wayne, and young Cael striking out and getting some story all his own.
That's the situation we have in this episode. Wayne's trying to keep the big deal Hugh brokered alive while Hugh searches for his mojo. Dale is stalking around Panco looking for a job so he can be in on the deal. Only we know that the lummox has some information and a hell of a lot of muscle behind him. And Dahlia is having yet another crisis involving her sense of place in the world. Oh, and then we have the kids: Cael wants out, DiDi wants to fit in, and Sam wonders why there's blood stains on the stairs.
Looks like we're entering the darkest part of the tunnel in this show, aren't we?
What this sets up is, in a lot of ways, a "scam of the week" episode, something we saw a lot of last season. But I get the feeling this might be the last one we see for a while, mainly because the "big scam," which is Hugh's massive development deal, is going to swallow up not only the Malloys, but everyone around them.
I think Dimitry Lipkin realized this, as the abbreviated second season of The Riches brings us a number of seedy characters that are so heinous that it makes the Malloys look like heroes. The season premiere just sets the table for what's to come.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, FX's spring series Dirt and The Riches will both have shortened second seasons, airing only the seven episodes each series made before running out of scripts. The network is citing economic realities in the decision; I'd imagine rebuilding sets and getting new permits, etc. is a pretty expensive thing to do, especially for a cable network.
(S01E13) Well, there you have it. The big finale for the first season of The Riches. The thing that strikes me about the season is how much it was not what I was expecting. What we ended up seeing was very different than what the promotion FX tossed out all those months ago led one to expect. And I think that was a good thing.
This was a much darker show than those voiced over commercials with Wayne and Dahlia walking down the staircase hinted at. The Malloy family has some serious issues. But at the end of the day, they are a family, and that drives everything they do.
Give the writers credit for some nice planning with Pete (Arye Gross). Cael found the emails from him early on and I had wondered if and when they were going to deal with that. Wayne's plan to just play dumb seemed a little crazy, but what other option did they really have? It did make for quite the crazy scene for the "Mont Pierres."
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