'Eastbound & Down' star Danny McBride and co-creator Jody Hill told the audience at the show's PaleyFest 2011 panel yesterday that they don't foresee anything past a third season for the show, Entertainment Weekly reports.
"We never really had an interest in turning the show into anything traditional," McBride said. "We approach each season like it's one long movie."
Season 3, which McBride and Hill are writing right now, will most likely air in 2012.
In other TV news ...
• The 'Hawaii Five-0' cast is safe and sound on high ground in Hawaii following the major earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Also reportedly safe: '90210' stars Jessica Stroup and Shenae Grimes, who are in Japan, and Jimmy Kimmel, who is vacationing in French Polynesia. [EW]
• TNT announced the summer premiere dates for its original shows. Mon., July 11 will see the seventh season of 'The Closer' and the second of 'Rizzoli & Isles.' 'Memphis Beat' and 'HawthoRNe' will premiere on Tues., June 14, and 'Leverage' will bow on Sun., June 26. 'Men of a Certain Age' and the debut of 'Franklin & Bash' will air on Wed., June 1. Finally, the two-hour premiere of 'Falling Skies' will occur on Sun., June 19. [TV Guide]
• Steve Carrell's impending departure from 'The Office' is becoming all the more real now that NBC has set his exit date. Carrell's last episode will air April 28. [EW]
I come not here to bury 'The Cape,' though by all accounts what we saw tonight was the last episode of the series that will ever air. What started out as an unencumbered show that promised a relatively light and colorful approach to the superhero genre ended with an episode that featured gang violence, torture, and at least two characters with significant mental instability. 'Razer,' like so much of the show, wasn't Must See TV so much as Must Take Aspirin TV.
That's a cheap joke, but it's as instructive to look at where shows go wrong as where they go right. It's fitting that this show featured the least amount of Tripp Faraday to date, since the show's initial reason for being (a father giving hope to a son) was lost in a series of Characters in Search of a Rogue's Gallery. One-name villains like Chess, Scales, Dice and Razer dotted the landscape. But so did a carnival, a carnival with a shady leader who had a plan of his own. There was also an attempt to look at the first police state in America, and a vigilante blogger threatening to expose everything, and ... yea, my head hurts too.
At this point, 'The Cape' has gone so far over the top that its weird storytelling almost works. Emphasis on "almost," but since the show's previous superpower was "boring the audience into submission," I'll take the freakiness of this new brand of show.
'The Lich, Part 2' had all of the ambiance of the first part last week, and if it didn't quite have the propulsive forward movement of that initial half, it introduced some mysteries that I actually want solved.
It's impossible to imagine 'Lost' without Michael Giacchino's distinctive score, or '24' without Sean Callery's pulse-pounding music. The best scores not only add emotion and tension to good stories, they are thoughtful, creative endeavors well worth listening to on their own.
Bear McCreary created a percussive, evocative and operatic score for Syfy's late, great 'Battlestar Galactica.' If you watched the show, you no doubt recall its infamous "poundy drums," its poignant themes and its distinctive rendition of 'All Along the Watchtower,' which became a major thematic element in the show's final season.
OK, now that's more like it. 'The Cape' hasn't exactly been Emmy-caliber in its early goings, but 'The Lich, Part 1' was the strongest episode to date. I realize the bar for this show hasn't exactly been set terribly high, but in terms of overall mood, it was at times as hypnotic as the psychotropic drug at the heart of this initial hour of a planned two-parter.
The show has always worn its influences on its sleeve, but tonight, it basically wore them as a three-piece suit. Throw in a little 'Batman Begins,' some 'Lord of the Rings,' and then a dash of 'The Usual Suspects,' and you had this hour.
A toxin that can turn citizen's minds to pudding? Check. A man having an argument with himself including the line, "Go away"? Check. A crippled man revealing himself to be both healthy and the Big Bad? Put a check in that box as well. But here's the thing: If you're gonna steal, steal from the best. And since I like all of those movies, I ended up liking an episode of 'The Cape' that poured all three into a blender and gave me a superhero smoothie.
Deadline.com reports that falling ratings --this week's episode was a series low -- have forced the network to step in. As the drama is currently wrapping its tenth episode, production will now stop altogether.
The tenth/final episode of 'The Cape' will reportedly air Feb. 28, and after that the Monday 9PM ET time slot will be filled by 'The Event,' returning for the second half of its debut season.
When 'The Cape' began, it had quite a bit of promise. Sure, it was tightroping the line between cheese and earnest action, but it managed to start out with the right footing. But as we reach 'Dice,' the show seems to be looking down, not unlike Vince Faraday, and flailing about a bit for some sort of through-line that connects comic book heroics with a father's search for justice. It's about as plodding as the metaphor I've strewn throughout this introductory paragraph.
Ideas generally aren't the problem on 'The Cape' so much as execution. Having a person who can essentially see into the future? A fine idea. It was also a fine idea a few months ago over on 'Fringe,' but that iteration of the tale managed to wrap that particular version around some compelling human drama. Tonight's take featured two villains playing a game, with Vince Faraday left dangling (sometimes literally) off to the side. Faraday need not be the center of every episode, but 'Dice' essentially carted him off to make more room for guest star Mena Suvari.
Trains work as well as courtrooms in terms of setting the scene for a drama. In both cases, the people inside have an awfully hard time leaving. Anytime someone can simply walk away from a scene, he or she drains it of all tension. So the idea of an episode of 'The Cape' taking place aboard a Monte Carlo-inspired train should have been a slam dunk for the show. Larger than life characters trapped inside a larger-than-life locomotive? Sounds like a recipe for a fun hour. Too bad a few missing ingredients left a slightly sour taste.
On a macro level, 'Scales' set up two larger conflicts that now complicate the largest conflict all season: The Cape vs. Chess. Each now has a new enemy on what should potentially be the same side of the law: Vince now sees his carnival compatriots for the lawbreakers they truly are (and, as Max acknowledges, have always been), and Chess now has to deal with Scales as more than a man unwittingly paying double to have his dock deals go down smoothly in the Age of Ark. Watching Vinnie Jones and James Frain try to outdo each other in terms of scenery chewing was pretty fun, and Keith David added some menace to Max's ever-twinkling eye.
"Me and Vinnie are basically slugging it out for the top spot right now," Frain told TV Squad at the BAFTA Tea Party. "I found that out by doing the P.R. event where he said he was aiming to be the number one villain. So, from that point, it's on."
"She created her own character, and we ran into her, and I said 'Really?' and she said 'Yes!' so we're going to do that," Murphy told E! Online. "We love her."
Executive producer Brad Falchuck added, "[With] someone like her, it's sort of hard to say no!"
In other casting news ...
• Lily's sister will still drop by 'Gossip Girl,' but she'll be played by a different actress. Illeana Douglas, who had previously been cast in the part, had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. The character is in the midst of being recast. [TVLine]
• 'The Talk' has been on the air for less than five months, but it's already losing a cast member. Marissa Jaret Winokur announced she was leaving the CBS daytime show to work on her own projects, including developing a cable show and launching a clothing line. [People]
• The main character on NBC's 'The Chase' is getting a father. He'll be played by William Frost, who also played the ill-fated father of a lead on CBS's 'Hawaii Five-0' earlier this season. [TV Guide]
Comic books almost always have origin stories. And if the pilot episode of 'The Cape' featured the origin story for Vince Faraday's transformation into the titular hero, then 'Kozmo' sought to fill in some origin stories for that fabulous piece of superhero wear as well as for Orwell. There wasn't a whole lot of forward motion in terms of reclaiming Palm City as a whole, but as Vince tells his son Trip at episode's end, "Justice takes time." (You know, roughly 13 episodes or so of time.)
Becoming a superhero is just one piece of the puzzle. Figuring out the new world order of things after announcing his presence to the world is quite another. This holds true not just for Vince, but everyone else in the city as well. Stopping an exploding tanker earns The Cape a virtual merit badge, to be sure, but it doesn't leave him better equipped to know how to take down Peter Fleming. His attempts to shake down a dirty cop from his freight yard arrest don't yield any more information, just an unwitting exposure of Orwell to Chess. And while we may not know Orwell's real first name, we now know her last.
['The Cape' - 'Tarot']
Early in the pilot episode of 'The Cape,' our titular hero (played by David Lyons) wakes up inside a creepy carnival. He looks around at the three-ring circus and has a look on his face that betrays a thought potentially shared by many watching at home: "Oh no, I got knocked out and woke up inside the fourth season of 'Heroes,' didn't I?"
Comparisons between the two are inevitable, as this is the first superhero franchise launched by NBC since it finally put 'Heroes' (and what fans were left) out of its misery.
Are the comparisons fair? Not especially. It's a useful starting point, to be sure. But a side-by-side comparison shows that little, other than the "superhero" label, truly links these two shows, and even THAT link is tenuous at best. In 'Heroes,' having abilities meant a life of misery, solitude, and being targeted by evil government agents and/or a brain-slicing serial killer. 'The Cape' has the aspirational aspects of 'Heroes,' to be sure, but keeps those on a much smaller scale. And frankly, that scale fits the show.
Can you blame me? Given NBC's frequently abysmal track record with drama pilots, given the residual 'Heroes' bitterness so many of us share, given that most networks have had a hard time executing the superhero concept well, it was difficult not to regard 'The Cape' with a great deal of wariness, if not outright fear.
Yet, wonder of wonders, the pilot for 'The Cape' (9 PM ET Sunday, NBC) turned out to be a nimble, engaging, fleet-footed bit of fun.
'Cake Boss' Buddy Valastro Gets Another Show, Jorge Garcia Comments on 'Lost' Lotto Numbers and More
According to Deadline, 'Kitchen Boss' will feature Valastro cooking his traditional Italian recipies. The show's already gotten a 40-episode order, and will premiere at 5:30PM on Jan. 25.
A sneak peak will air after the 'Next Great Baker' finale on Jan. 24.
In other TV news ...
• Jorge Garcia has a message for everyone who played the 'Lost' numbers in the Mega Millions lottery last night. "When will you people learn? The numbers are bad!" he wrote on his blog. [Further Dispatches]
• 'Grey's Anatomy' is welcoming yet another 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' alum. Adam Busch, aka Warren, aka the guy who killed Tara, will play a resident assigned to shadow Christina. [E! Online]
• 'Jerseylicious' is getting a third season. The show's Jan. 2 episode gave Style its highest-rated telecast ever. The new season will air later in 2011. [Deadline]
For those of us covering TV, the new year ushered in one of the busiest mid-seasons in recent memory. A lot of new shows are debuting, many notable shows are returning and Ryan McGee and I tried to cover quite a few of early January's offerings in this week's super-sized Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan podcast.
We gave our impressions of 'V' (and you can find my season 2 review of that ABC show here), 'Southland,' 'Downton Abbey,' 'Bob's Burgers,' 'Shameless,' 'The Cape' and Matt LeBlanc's new Showtime series, 'Episodes.' Just for fun, we also talked a bit about the recent 'Doctor Who' special that aired on Christmas Day.
Please note that in the next few days, I'll be posting full reviews of many of these programs (though not for 'Bob's Burgers' or 'Southland'). Read on for the running times of the various podcast dicussions, and also for news on notable reruns beginning this week.
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