News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
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 »
Finally some news that indicates NBC's long national comedy nightmare may be nearing an end: Ellie Kemper just got her own show, to be produced by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.
No word on launch date or even what the show will be about, other than there will be 13 episodes devoted to it. But the fact that these three are involved is only for the good and betterment of NBC's lineup, which continues to gasp on the comedy front.
Carlock's one of the geniuses behind "30 Rock" -- I'd go so far as to say "30 Rock" would never have existed without him. And we know all about that other talent. You know, the one named Tina...
But Kemper now becomes the first star that I'm aware of to emerge from "The Office" to land a series deal -- I don't even think Rainn Wilson has this kind of commitment yet (and no, the "Annoying Orange" doesn't really count, does it?). Nor even Jenna Fischer or John Krasinski -- though he is in Cameron Crowe's new movie, so nothing wrong with that.
Kemper was great on "The Office." The wonderful, funny, ditzy, sweet, romantic, effervescent, lovable, gullible Kelly Erin Hannon.
Here's a quick clip from "Bridesmaids"... It's racy, but amusing: (And Newsday app readers please go to newsday.com/tvzone if you want to see what my definition of "racy" is...)
"Downton Abbey" returns Jan. 5, which means... time for the teases! A good one arrived from PBS late Wednesday.
(Newsday app readers, please gto to newsday.com/tvzone)
In this great precooked world of celebrity chatter, in which famous people are carefully coached by their well-paid team of publicists about what to say and how to say it, candid commentary — particularly about Oprah Winfrey, the most powerful woman in television — is absolutely unheard of. That's why Jenny McCarthy's comments on "Watch What Happens" the other day are — if not "significant"...Read more »
James Wolk finally has the hit most of his fans think he was destined for -- though most of them didn't figure this would be the hit: "The Crazy Ones," which is easily the standout success of the new fall crop. (The lead-in doesn't hurt, but a success is a success...)
In this clip posted by CBS, Wolk does briefly address his "Mad Men" role -- Bob Benson, one of those wonderfully ambiguous characters who drove an army of TV writers in fits of speculation last season. But "The Crazy Ones" success also raises the whole issue of Bob's continued tenure at Sterling Cooper. His "Zach Cropper" is obviously a key reason why "Ones" is working, yet how would this sync with the "Mad Men" universe? Probably wouldn't which is why we have either seen the end of "Bob" or the beginning of the end of Bob. That's OK: The mysterious Bob has now been solved anyway...
The clip... Newsday app readers know the drill -- head to newsday.com/tvzone to watch Zach talk Bob...