News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
In easily the most significant original program deal in its history, Netflix just announced that Marvel's "Flawed Heroes of Hell's Kitchen" will come to the streaming service as four separate series, along with a miniseries based on "The Defenders."
Arrival date: 2015, but Netflix and ABC said the shows will roll out over years.
And to quote directly from the news...Read more »
Comedy Central. Long Island. Sitcom.
(Got your attention yet?)
The network of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert has announced that it's developing an Internet series that will be set on Long Island, with Kevin Brown of "30 Rock," titled "Strong Island."
The show is about two brothers who live at home -- yes, on Long Island -- with their mother and will be written by Jon Gabrus and Justin Tyler, both of Upright Citizens Brigade, a famed New York comedy improv group.
Gabrus -- who is from Bellmore, now living in Los Angeles -- has worked mostly as a stand-up. His amusing credit for HBO's made-for-cable movie "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight," which debuted in early October is described simply as "Stoned clerk."
On NBC's "30 Rock," Brown played "Dot Com," Tracy Jordan's (Tracy Morgan) long-suffering driver.
Also in the show is Artemis Pebdani from the FX series "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."
Will the series, now in development, actually air on Comedy Central? That remains to be seen. It will be produced by CC Studios, a new Comedy Central initiative which has supplied online Comedy Central shows ("This is Not Happening") aimed primarily at college students.
The launch date was not announced.
Among the other projects that Comedy Central announced is an animated comedy starring Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov (writers on MTV's "Punk'd") about bad girls who are kicked out of middle school and forced to attend the Special Education Students program.
Blockbuster, which only "yesterday" commanded the attention of anyone who had something called a VCR and who didn't want to spend one more night watching a rerun of "Murder, She Wrote," is closing down.
Dish Network Corp., which owns the rental chain, announced the news Wednesday. Most of the remaining stores, 300 total, will be shuttered by early January, with about 50 franchises around the country remaining open.
A number of locations around Long Island have already closed down over the past few years though the Coram and Elmont locations are still around. Even in recent years they seemed to be everywhere - Smithtown, Ronkonkoma, Patchogue, Selden, Merrick - and the stores were vast... Now, gone.
It's a sad announcement certainly -- except, I suppose, to customers who still have huge outstanding late fee penalties (remember those?) or the dozens, hundreds, thousands of mom-and-pop video stores put down by the advent of 'buster -- but inevitable given everything that's happened to "home entertainment" over the last 12 to 16 months. The revolution swept over -- then swept aside -- Blockbuster, which tried to get into streaming, but too-little-too-late. The chain's streaming service will shut down in December.
"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton said in a statement Wednesday.
Dish Network is trying to keep the Blockbuster brand alive through an Internet video-streaming service that rents movies and TV shows by title, for a set viewing time.
Meanwhile, for a trip down Blockbuster Nostalgia Lane - and a strange lane and trip they are - check out this excellent post from "Entertainment Weekly's" James Hibberd who cites the ten-things-we-won't-miss.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
You have see it everywhere -- everywhere on NBC's air, that is. A stunning midair collision of a plane with another plane over Wisconsin, as sky divers were jumping... Would they all die in the inferno? Would the plane incinerate them...? The outcome as you know was a happy one: A very happy one certainly for the sky divers who got $100,000 for the footage.
So: Good, bad, terrible, or the...Read more »
FX hit "Justified" returns January 7 - I know, good - while "Archer" is getting a new night too. FX just announced the winter schedule, and here's the thru-line on the fifth season of "Justifed":
This season, Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) confronts the Crowes, a deadly, lawless family from Florida intent on settling in Harlan with new criminal enterprises in mind. Meanwhile, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) struggles to free his imprisoned fiancée Ava (Joelle Carter) as he partners with the Dixie Mafia’s Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns).
"Archer?" Moves to Mondays (at 10), starting Jan. 13.
Details are spare, and arrival date unknown, but History Channel has indeed confirmed a report that "Roots" -- the ground-breaking ABC miniseries seen by zillions -- will get a makeover. (Calling LeVar Burton! Where are you? There's a remake out there that needs you...)
"Deadline" had this first, about an hour ago, which had this line in its scoop:
“We would like to revive that cultural icon for a new audience,” said History EVP and GM Dirk Hoogstra.
History Channel has corfirmed, saying only that "we are in development."
"Roots," for those too young to remember, was one of those groundbreaking moments -- actually many moments -- in the history of television, when uber-miniseries producer, David Wolper, consigned Alex Haley's best seller to a 12-hour film that literally seemed to dominate every single conversation in the United States over the week and change it aired. One hundred million watched the finale. A sequel, also successful, arrived a couple years later, but by then "Roots" had already turned the cast into major stars- - Burton, Louis Gossett Jr., Cicely Tyson, and many others. (Even O.J. Simpson had a role.)
History says it secured the rights from Wolper's estate.
Cote de Pablo is leaving "N.C.I.S." and CBS just announced that into this considerable void will step... Emily Wickersham, who will play "NSA analyst Eleanor “Ellie” Bishop, a mysterious mixture of analytic brilliance, fierce determination and idealism who specializes in international threat assessment and global preparation."
Which is quite a mouthful but,...Read more »
Finally caught up this morning with Howard Kurtz's Sunday interview with Barbara Walters on his new show for Fox News — "Media Buzz" — where she indicated that she may not retire after all. Yes, she's leaving "The View" in May — comparing herself here to Frank Sinatra, who kept singing (and singing) in public forums long after saying he would not. "I don't want that to be...Read more »
Impresarios who run important shows know when there's an elephant in the room, or in the case of "Saturday Night Live," on Studio 8H's proscenium.
So Lorne Michaels wasted no time Saturday in tackling the intruder. In a cold open that had guest host Kerry Washington play a pair of very famous black women because "Kenan didn't want to," "Saturday Night Live" not only addressed the one issue that's seemed to dog it all season -- no black female cast members -- but also turned a cold open around on the show itself. That doesn't happen often and it's certainly rare that an open is even particularly funny, as this one actually was. (And clever.)
Here it is, if you missed it. Newsday app readers may want to go over to Newsday.com/tvzone if you want to see Kerry Washington demonstrate that she has a missed career opportunity -- as an Oprah impersonator.
John Noble, one of the best TV actors to have never received an Emmy nod - though he's in good company; the Emmys have ignored plenty of other fine actors, too - will join Fox's "Sleepy Hollow" Monday night.
Noble, as Fringiacs know, starred in "Fringe." His role on Monday will be - as best I can tell - not a radical departure from his Walter Bishop, at least in...Read more »