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2013 Movie A Day Review #2: The African Queen

In Uncategorized on February 13, 2013 at 2:06 am

the african queen

IMDB Description: In Africa during WW1, a gin-swilling riverboat owner/captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.

#65 on AFI Top 100

The African Queen does not break any new ground when it comes to story. It is the basic good girl / gruff guy story. But as often happens in films, the simplest things, when done properly, are usually the best.

The legendary John Houston takes a very basic script and works it with his normal delicate balance of wit and suspense. Humphrey Bogart, though not his best role in my opinion, still outshines most actors working today. And Katherine Hepburn is outstanding as the prim and proper lady forced totally out of her element. There is obvious onscreen chemistry between these two Hollywood legends, and that is one reason the movie works so well. When you have a limited script to work with, the actors must use facial and body expressions to portray their feelings.  Don’t take the limited script to mean it is not a good script, because it is exactly what it needs to be.

The running time of the movie is just at an hour and half, which is exactly where it needs to be because any longer and the storyline would be stretched thin. For the time the film was shot, it is a visual feast. The African jungles and wetlands come to life under Houston’s expert eye.

The ending is a bit contrived, which does leave the viewer a bit disappointed, but overall, this is a film anyone who enjoys storytelling in its purest form can enjoy immensely.

A strong 4 out of 5 stars

2013 Movie A Day Review #1: Young Guns

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2013 at 8:47 pm

young guns

IMDB Description:

A group of young gunmen, led by Billy the Kid, become deputies to avenge the murder of the rancher who became their benefactor. But when Billy takes their authority too far, they become the hunted.

An expression you will see a lot in my reviews is “I don’t get it”….this normally will refer to how I can not understand a movie carrying the popularity it does. Young Guns is a fine example of this expression. Not that I thought the movie was bad, it was just I did not think it was THAT good to earn the cult like status is has garnered throughout the years.

Granted, it does have a stellar cast for the time it was made (think of putting Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman in a movie together today and that is what the cast of Young Guns was back in it’s time). But to me, only one of the big stars of the movie is properly cast (Lou Diamond Phillips). The other big 3 of the film are totally out of their element. Charlie Sheen is obviously in it just for the payday, Keifer Sutherland looks like he needs to be woken up every time he is saying his lines, and worst of all is Emilio Estevez, who is just flat out annoying.

The best parts of the movie are Terrance Stamp and Jack Palance, but their roles are so minor it is not enough to make the overall viewing experience enjoyable. The secondary love story between Sutherland’s character and the Chinese slave is totally unnecessary, and actually drags the movie to a halt whenever it is onscreen. Plus, the five minute peyote using scene is just typical Hollywood trying to make drugs look funny and cool (a trend that continues to this day in films).

If you have not scene Young Guns, it is worth watching once, because the story of redeeming a father figure is good enough to get you through the movie. But you will most likely not want to go back for a second helping of the film.

2 out of 5 stars

Project 400 In 365 #10: Larry Crowne

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2011 at 2:36 am

When you look at it on paper, this movie should be a breath of fresh air into the dull, effects laden madness Hollywood turns out today.  There are no explosions or slow motion action shots.  There are no gratuitous sex scenes.  There is no over the top cursing.  Taking these things out of a movie can make for some great viewing (Taken and 21 are two prime examples of this).  On paper, this is a film you should like….but, as they say in sports, that my friend is why games are not played on paper.

The  issues with this movie are plentiful, starting right off with the concept of the film itself.  Yes, you can see why the company (which is obvious just a Target clone) Larry Crowne works for would not advance him because of not having a college degree, but NO company is going to fire you for not having a degree if you are good in the position you are in.  The notion that “you have reached an advancement ceiling and therefore we are going to fire you” is ludicrous.

If that was the only issue, I could over look it.  But this movie is so inconsistent in both its message and delivery, it is painful.  Larry Crowne goes to register for college, and just happens to bump into the dean of student affairs and the dean tells him which classes to take….adding about the Julie Robert’s taught class “you will really like the teacher” with a dirty old man voice.  No meeting with counselors to set up a schedule or even determining what Crowne will actually be studying.

Now, let’s jump to the Julia Roberts character, who manages to be completely unlikable and totally forgettable at the same time (a rare movie feat).  I am actually stunned Roberts agreed to play the role as terrible as it is written.  She has a no working husband (you never really do figure out what Bryan Cranston does for a living in this) who is addicted to porn, and obviously has been for a quite some time.  But it takes a night of 30 seconds of making out with Crowne to realize you want to get a divorce from him? Combine this with the absolutely ridiculous treatment of her students in class, and you just want to start jamming pencils in your eyes so you will not have to watch anymore.

Oh, but it does not stop there.  You have to add the wacky neighbor, in this case Cedric The Entertainer.  It seems he won $500,000 in some type of game show, and now never has to work again in his life.  Instead, he simply runs a 365 day a year yard sale in his nice neighborhood.  Yeah, I will give you a minute to digest that one.

The entire time I was watching this, I could not stop thinking “why?” As in, why did such a talent like Hanks not spot these glaring missteps and fix them? There is a great story buried in the pile of garbage that is this script.  I would love to have been told the story of  Crowne setting out to find a new path in life through college in middle age.  That is a story I would sit down and watch and enjoy.  But that is not what you get here.  Instead, you get a half-hearted middle ages crisis tale.

1.5 out of 5…simply because as bad as the script is, Hanks is still completely engaging in the role.

Project 400 In 365 # 7: Across The Universe

In Uncategorized on October 23, 2011 at 10:01 pm

 

Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows 2 things:  I think The Beatles are the only musical act to ever matter in history….and I am a musical (Broadway) enthusiast.  When you combine those two things, it is easy to see why I was so excited when I heard this movie was coming out in 2007.  But I must confess, I have not watched it since my initial viewing 4 years ago.

There are several key components to making a good, quality musical film.  The first is of course the music.  Well, really can not go wrong when you are working with Beatles material.  The second is direction.  Julie Taymor is a Broadway veteran who knows how to use the slightest touches to bring out a big payoff.  Her camera work in this film is simply spectacular.  It is true artistry in motion.  The musical numbers are filmed like they are pulled directly from the stage, and the non-musical sequences are done with an eye to detail you simply do not see in most movies today.

Another aspect to create a good, quality musical film is the story.  There has to be something besides the music to carry you from scene to scene (see the movie version of RENT as an example of how NOT to do this).  Here, the viewer is engrossed into both a love story and a Vietnam era peace story.  The Vietnam storyline is the weaker of the two, and would be a slight bit over bearing if it were not for the strong performance from Joe Anderson as Max, the reluctant college drop out draftee forced into duty.  Luckily, Taymor knows just how much is enough, and does not burden the viewer down.

The more compelling storyline is the relationship of Lucy (Max’s sister) and Jude (Max’s friend).  Once the trio becomes entrenched into New York City life, the movie really takes off.  The cast is filled out with a few minor bit players (a Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix close, and a lesbian convientantly named Prudence, which comes in handy for one of the better musical numbers in the film).  But at it’s core, this is a story of Lucy and Jude.

Taymor does a brilliant job of seamlessly incorporating some of the Beatles best work into the movie.  As you watch the film, you feel that the music could actually be spoken as just dialog and still fit right into the script.  This is not an easy task.  The standout example of this is Jude’s blistering rendition of “Revolution”, which to me was my favorite musical sequence in the movie.  The other stand outs are “Let It Be” and “It Won’t Be Long”.

So, is this the first 5 star rated movie for 400 in 365? Unfortunately, no.  And it is because of one thing and one thing only.  There is a 12 minute section of this film which does not need to be there.  It simply adds NOTHING to the story, plot or character development of anyone in the movie.  As much as I love Bono, his “I Am The Walrus” number, and subsequent acid trip bus right scene do no belong.  The scene actually grinds the movie to a harsh stop, and it takes a few minutes to get back into the groove of the film.

Outside of this little section, this movie is absolute perfection.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Fall TV Preview: The Good, The Bad, and The Maybe

In Uncategorized on August 30, 2011 at 5:28 pm

It’s my favorite time of the year. For a month solid, I can sit in front of my TV and be bombarded with experiences my eyes and ears have not seen before. Yes, it is always nice to have the old favorites back (come on Big Bang and Modern Family!), but I also love diving into all the new shows the networks offer up. As I have said in the past, I watch every new show at least once…or should I say attempt to watch every one at least once. Sometimes, the show is just so bad, I can not even make it through the first episode (as we the case of last year’ Raising Hope, which is am still amazed became a hit).

So here you a go, a breakdown of the 30 new shows about to hit the small screen, and my predictions as to which ones will be hits…which ones you better watch while you can before they are yanked….and which ones the networks will need to show a little patience with.

THE HITS

The X-Factor (Fox)

Idol guru Simon Cowell is bringing the U.K. talent competition hit to America, with judges Paula Abdul, Nicole  Scherzinger and L.A. Reid.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 21, at 8/7c.

If there is a more secure guaranteed hit about to air, I don’t know what it is.  The country is obsessed with these talent shows, and there is no bigger name in the talent show game than Simon.

Terra Nova (Fox)

Fox’s adventure epic takes place in both the future and the past, with a family in the year 2149 joining an emigration back 85 million years to prehistoric earth for a fresh start. Jason O’Mara and Stephen Lang star in the Steven Spielberg-produced series.

Premieres Monday, Sep. 26, at 8/7c.

FOX better pray this is a hit, if not, they will be in big trouble.  Already the most expensive TV pilot ever created, and beset with massive productions issues from the start, it appears the Spielberg led series is finally back on track.  Sci-Fi fans will flock to this show….but FOX needs others too as well.

New Girl (Fox)

Zooey Deschanel proves once again that she’s got the “adorable” market cornered in Fox’s new comedy. She plays a newly single woman in her mid-20s who moves in with three male roommates, creating a new, wonderfully dysfunctional family.

Premieres Tuesday, Sep. 20, at 9/8c.

This will be a hit only if two things happen: the writers don’t completely rely on Zoey Deschanel’s cuteness to get them by, and they writers don’t turn this into an all sex and relationship show.

Up All Night (NBC)

With an all-star comedy cast, Up All Night follows new parents (Christina Applegate and Will Arnett) as they try to balance their new lives as parents and their work lives. Maya Rudolph also stars in the new comedy.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 14, at 10/9c.

Outside of X-Factor, this is the only other “sure thing” about to hit the air.  The cast is so packed with talent, the only way this show could fail is if they have monkeys writing the scripts.  The time slot may also be the show’s other issue.

Alcatraz (Fox)

Lost’s J.J. Abrams returns as executive producer featuring one of America’s most notorious prisons. But it wouldn’t be a show tied to J.J. Abrams if there weren’t a little mystery tied in. Rebecca Madsen, a police officer (Sarah Jones), and Dr. Diego Soto (Jorge Garcia), a “hippy geek” who is the world’s foremost expert on Alcatraz, team up to find out why the 302 prisoners of Alcatraz that suddenly disappeared 50 years ago have returned in modern day.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 21, at 8/7c.

It’s Hurley back with Abrams, do I really need to say anything else?

Allen Gregory (Fox)

The animated comedy stars Jonah Hill (who also co-created the series) as Allen Gregory DeLongpre, a snobby child being raised by his two dads.

Premieres Sunday, Oct. 30, at 8:30/7:30c.

For some completely unknown reason, FOX can put any adult style cartoon on in Sunday night and people will flock too it.  Johan Hill is a rising star in Hollywood, so his name alone will guarantee at least a full season pick up.

Last Man Standing (ABC)

Tim Allen returns to comedy TV, but it’s not Tool Time. He plays Mike, a marketing director for an iconic outdoor sporting goods store. At home, Mike is outnumbered by his female household of his wife and three daughters.

Premieres Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 8/7c.

It’s Tim Allen doing what Tim Allen does best: be a guy.

Person of Interest (CBS)

Based on a screenplay by J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan, the thriller stars Lost’s Michael Emerson as a billionaire who built a program that can predict when a person will be involved in a crime before it happens. However, the program can’t determine if the person will be the victim or perpetrator, or where he or she is, so the billionaire genius enlists elite former CIA agent (Jim Caviezel) to help him prevent violent crimes before they happen.

Premieres Thursday, Sep. 22, at 9/8c.

This is my most anticipated new show.  The concept is very original, the cast is perfect, and you have a great time slot.

Hell on Wheels (AMC)

It’s the 1860s, and Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), a former Confederate soldier, is determined to exact revenge on the Union soldiers who murdered his wife. His hunt has him moving westward to Nebraska’s “Hell on Wheels,” the lawless towns that move with the construction of the railroad.

Premieres Sunday, Nov. 6, at 10pm.

AMC does period pieces better than any other network….and TV has been in need of a great western for some time now.

American Horror Story (FX)

The co-creators of Glee, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, go in a much a darker direction with the psychosexual thriller, which more closely resembles the tone of Murphy’s Nip/Tuck than the happy high school musical show. Friday Night Lights’ Emmy nominee Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott and Taissa Farmiga star in the creepy new series.

Premieres Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 10pm.

The Cast is STRONG, the creators know how to put original concepts on the air, and FX knows how to take a series like this and push the boundaries.

WILL NEED TIME

Ringer (CW)

Not only is Buffy the Vampire star Sarah Michelle Gellar returning to the small screen – but fans are getting double the dose. Gellar will pay twins Bridget and Siobhan in the CW’s new drama. When her sister suddenly disappears, Bridget, a recovering alcoholic on the run from the mob, decides to take her place, but soon finds out that Siobhan’s life was not as simple as it seemed.

Premieres Tuesday, Sep. 13, at 9/8c.

Gellar fans will flock to the first episode to see what the show is about.  But will they stick around? The biggest obstacle facing this show is going to be to not make the storylines so complicated that they will be impossible to follow.

The Secret Circle (CW)

Cassie (Life Unexpected’s Britt Robertson) suddenly loses her mother, and has to move towns to live with her grandmother. Cassie’s new high school friends seem mysterious and yet also know more than she expected about her. They then explain that they are all descended from powerful witches, and they’ve been waiting for Cassie to join them and complete a new generation of the Secret Circle.

Premieres Thursday, Sep. 15, at 9/8c.

CW has the market cornered on supernatural shows, and this one going keep them at the top….if they don’t try to turn it into 90210 meets The Craft.

Prime Suspect (NBC)

She played a tough-as-nails bar owner in Coyote Ugly, and now Maria Bello is throwing on a detective’s badge for the new crime drama from director Peter Berg based on a British television hit.

Premieres Thursdays, Sep. 22, at 10/9c.

Have you seen the commercials for this? Have you seen the original Helen Mirren series? If you have seen both….you know where I am going here.  This show is NOT Prime Suspct, but it has Peter Berg and a talented actress in Maria Bello, so given time, it could become the next good police drama on TV.

Free Agents (NBC)

Based on a U.K. series by the same name, Hank Azaria (The Simpsons, Huff) stars as newly divorced Alex, who is missing his kids and trying to keep himself together. Alex’s co-worker Helen (Kathryn Hahn, Hung) thinks she has it together, but she drinks too much in order to cope with her fiance’s untimely death. After these two newly single co-workers share a night together, they must deal with the awkward work environment and the challenges of finding a new way of living.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 14, at 10:30/9:30c.

Anyone remember Matthew Perry’s show last year…..yeah, that’s the problem I see here.  This is in a HORRIBLE time slot, and has a cast so big, everyone has the potential to just get lost and trip over each other.

Grimm (NBC)

Mythology meets detective drama in Grimm, in which Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers he’s part of an elite line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms,” charged with keeping balance between humanity and the mythological creatures of the world.

Premieres Friday, Oct. 21, at 9/8c.

Most of the time, the world of mythology does not fair to well on network television, simply because it is a niche market.

Pan Am (ABC)

Pan Am follows the tumultuous lives of the flight attendants of the airline giant during the 1960s. Christina Ricci stars in the period drama.

Premieres Sunday, Sep. 25, at 10/9c

This is ABC trying to ride the Mad Men wave…and it is a complete coin toss.

Revenge (ABC)

Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) heads to the Hamptons, but this is no vacation. While she seems like a stranger to many of the residents, Emily was actually raised there, until something bad happened that ruined her family and their reputation. Now, she’s back to get even.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 21, at 10/9c.

Love the concept of this show, and ABC has proven it will allow these types of shows to find an audience (can you say LOST).

A Gifted Man (CBS)

A surgeon that’s talented but self-absorbed? Never seen that before. Patrick Wilson stars as the doctor, who begins to question his life when he is greeted by the ghost of his ex-wife.

Premieres Friday, Sep. 23, at 8/7c.

Patrick Wilson is a very underrated actor, and ghost angle makes this one look interesting.

EARLY EXITS

Man Up! (ABC)

What does it mean to be a man in the modern age? That’s what three family men are trying to figure out in Man Up! They’re trying to beat their childish habits to become what they think a man should be in this new comedy.

Premieres Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 8:30/7:30c.

Is there a more tired out premise than men behaving like children? This is “According To Jim Part2”, and it wasn’t funny the first time around.

H8R (CW)

You know that celebrity that drives you nuts? What if you could tell them to their face. CW’s H8er, hosted by Mario Lopez, lets celebrities meet the people who hate them in an attempt to win them over. Kim Kardashian and The Jersey Shore’s Snookie are two of the first celebrities on the show.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 14, at 8/7c.

You know why people hate them? Because they are famous for simply being on TV….so why would putting them on more TV sway people’s minds? What an idiotic concept for a show.

I Hate My Teenage Daughter (Fox)

Two best friends (Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran) are single moms struggling to raise their difficult and over-privileged teenage daughters. The moms fear that their daughters are turning into the girls they hated in high school.

Premieres Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 9:30/8:30c.

“Over-priviledged teenage daughters” simply translates into “unwatchable spoiled brats”

Hart of Dixie (CW)

New York city girl Zoe Hart (The O.C.’s Rachel Bilson) is on the fast-track to a successful career as a cardiothoracic surgeon. When a turn of events ruins her plans, Zoe ends up working at a small practice in Bluebell, Alabama. She soon discovers that Southern hospitality is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Premieres Monday, Sep. 26, at 9/8c.

I like Rachel Bilson…I think she is an ok actress….but never in a million years would I think “hey, she would make a great HEART SURGEON!!!” Are you kidding me here? My pick for first show canceled of the season.

Whitney (NBC)

Whitney (Whitney Cummings, Chelsea Lately) and her long-term boyfriend Alex (Chris D’Elia, Glory Daze), explore the modern-day trials and tribulations of love and relationships in NBC’s new comedy.

Premieres Thursday, Sep. 22, at 9:30/8:30c.

New flash to network exectutives: foul mouthed comics are funny to their fans because they are foul mouthed.  When you strip that away….you get what this show will be…a half an hour of a not funny comic trying to say things as dirty as she can to get by the censors.

Charlie’s Angels (ABC)

A reboot of the 1976 series stars three new women as the beautiful bad-girls-turned-good crime fighters. Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights), Annie Ngasi Ilonzeh (General Hospital) and Rachael Taylor (Transformers) star as a street racerm Miami cop who fell from grace and a world class their, respectively.

Premieres Thursday, Sep. 22, at 8/7c.

There are only two words to describe why I would want to watch this show: Minka Kelly….umm…what was I saying, I got discrated there for a minute

Suburgatory (ABC)

Moving to the suburbs was supposed to make single father George (Jeremy Sisto) and his 26-year-old daughter’s lives easier, but they find a while new set of problems in their Stepford Wives-esque surroundings.

Premieres Wednesday, Sep. 28, at 8:30/7:30c.

Read that description again….Jeremy Sisto (who I like as an actor)….and his 26 year old daughter?? What the hell is she still doing living with him and following him around when he moves!!!

Once Upon a Time (ABC)

Based on the most famous fairytale words that ever existed, Once Upon a Time brings the most magical tales of old into the modern world. When Emma Swan (House’s Jennifer Morrison), a bail bonds collector, is found by the son that she gave up tens years ago, she learns that she holds the key to saving the Real World and the Enchanted Forest.

Premieres Sunday, Oct. 23, at 8/7c.

This could possibly be the dumbest premise for a show I have ever heard.

Unforgettable (CBS)

Poppy Montgomery stars as Carrie Wells, an enigmatic former police detective with a rare condition that makes her memory so flawless that every place, every conversation, every moment of joy and every heartbreak is forever embedded in her mind. The only details she can’t remember those that would help solve her sister’s long-ago murder.

Premieres Tuesday, Sep. 20, at 10/9c.

She can remember everything except events about what is problem the most important thing to happen in her life? Can you say contrived?

How to Be a Gentleman (CBS)

Based on a book by the same name, the comedy series follows an uptight manners columnist (David Hornsby) and his freewheeling trainer (Entourage’s Kevin Dillon).

Premieres Thursday, Sep. 29, at 8:30/7:30c.

Kevin Dillon is (or should I say was) tolerable on Entourage because you got him in small doses…..just imagine having to watch him for a half an hour….yeah, I got chills thinking about it too.

2 Broke Girls (CBS)

Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) and relative newcomer Beth Behrs star as two New York waitresses who dream of opening a cupcake shop together. Creator Michael Patrick King was a significant participant (as an executive producer, director and writer) on another show that showed young women living in New York, Sex and the City.

Premieres Monday, Sep. 19, at 9:30/8:30c.

The last 4 words are all you need to read

The Playboy Club (NBC)

Bunnies are running wild in this drama, set in 1963 at the first Playboy Club in Chicago. Hugh Hefner has the opportunity to look at any scripts, and a younger version of Hef will be seen in the show, but only from the back.

Premieres Monday, Sep. 19, at 10/9c.

While the concept of the show is interesting…..the boycotts will kill it before it ever has a chance to find an audience.  Several NBC stations are already refusing to air the pilot.

Movie Review: Trust

In Uncategorized on August 9, 2011 at 1:41 am

If you follow this blog, or even follow me on Facebook, you know I watch a lot of movies. From old classics to the cheesiest modern day teen stuff, there is pretty much nothing I will not at least attempt to watch. I bring this up because of the following statement I am about to make: I can not remember seeing a more riveting, emotional, intense, daring, and socially relevant movie ever than this film.

David Schwinner (yes, I am talking about Ross from Friends here) tackles head on one of the most uncomfortable subject matter out there today: older men preying on teens through internet chat rooms. But rest assured, this is not your typical “Chris Hansen with the hidden camera” approach. This is a bold and daring approach of seeing the topic through the eyes of the victim, in this case played superbly by newcomer Liana Liberato.

The movie shines in not focusing too much on the actually incident, or the older perpetrator. Instead, you are thrust into the middle of the family crisis, as the parents (Clive Owen and Catherine Keener) try to come to grips with what is happening, and trying to understand how their daughter can see nothing in wrong in what happened. This is Owen’s best acting job to date. The anger, pain and revenge he feels just comes seeping out through the screen as Keener attempts to re-establish some sense of normalcy to the family’s lives.

This film shoots right to the top of my list for best movie of the year and is a must see for any parent with tween or teen daughters.

5 out of 5 stars, an absolute must watch.

Movie Review: Friends With Benefits

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2011 at 2:13 am

This movie proved two things to me. First, a good, enjoyable adult comedy can still be made without drinking and drug references every 2 seconds. Second, Justin Timberlake is no longer “that musician guy that acts”, but is a truly gifted actor.

While Timberlake and Kunis are the headlining stars of the film, the movie is powered by an outstanding secondary cast. From the opening scene hilarity of Emma Stone dumping Timberlake (don’t worry, not really giving anything away there) to the poignant performance of Richard Jenkins as Timberlake’s father (saying anymore would be giving too much away), the movie is driven by the little breaks from Timberlake and Kunis together. The best of the second billed characters is with out question Woody Harelson. As the gay sports editor of GQ, he has the best off the cuff one liners in the entire film and will leave you crying from laughing so much.

But the main two in the film, Timberlake and Kunis, are really what makes this movie so fun to watch. From the first time they are together onscreen, it is instant chemistry. I never had seen Mila Kunis in anything I enjoyed (could not stand That 70s show) but I was impressed by her ability to both play the comedic and the dramatic. Timberlake, coming off his scene stealing performance in The Social Network, shines with the raunchy material he is given. And make no mistake about it, this is a RAUNCHY movie. While you get mostly TV grade nudity, you get XXX grade dialog and descriptions of what is going on, most of the time with hysterical results.

If anything did not work for me, it was Patricia Clarkson as Kunis’s mother. The character seemed like a last minute addition to the script as someone to give Kunis some type of direction. This role would have been filled much better by a younger actress as her sister or best friend. Even as raunchy as this movie was, there was an uncomfortableness watching a mother and daughter onscreen the way there scenes were written.

Overall, for me, this is the funniest movie to come out of Hollywood since Wedding Crashers, and is well worth the watch.

4 out of 5 stars

The Sexiest Female Celebrity Tournament….round 1

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm

So, today on the show, I was joined my buddy Eric for our annual “who is the sexiest female celebrity” tournament. If you have not listened to this episode in years past, here is how it works: we created a list prior to the show of the lovely ladies we want for consideration. Then all the names go into a hat, and we each draw a name out one at a time, and that is how the brackets are determined. This year there was a new twist….we added a few “not so sexy” girls into the hat as well….which did result in a few….well…surprising pairings. Here is how the first round broke down….with who we determined to be the winner in parentheses.

Jordana Brewster vs Katie Holmes (Katie Holmes)
Lea Michelle vs Audrina Patridge (Audrina Patridge)
Hayden Pant. Vs Rebecca Black (Hayden)
Emma Watson vs Julianne Hough (Julianne)
Natalie Portman vs Maggie Gyllenhaal (Natlie Portman)
Kaley Cuoco vs Yoko Ono (Kaley)
Jennifer Lawrence vs Kelly Osbourne (Jennifer Lawrence)
Autum Reeser vs Kathy Griffin (Autum)
Paris Hilton vs Mila Kunis (Mila)
Jessica Alba vs Britney Spears (Jessica Alba)
Eva Mendes vs Cynthia Nixon (Eva Mendes)
Anna Farris vs Hope Dworaczyk (Hope Dworaczyk)
Elisha Cuthbert vs Olivia Munn (Elisha Cuthbert)
Rose McGowan vs Anna Kournikova (Anna Kournikova)
Hillary Duff vs Anna Paquin (Hillary)
Renne Zellwigger vs Lady Gaga (Renne Zellwigger)

you can listen to the full podcast and how it all played out here:

http://patrickryanlewis.podomatic.com/entry/2011-08-01T10_22_02-07_00

And the finalists are….

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2011 at 8:46 am

Ah yes, summertime. That great time of the year where the sun melts away at you….plus the best time of the year for another reason: it’s the annual “who is the sexiest / hottest female celebrity” show on the podcast!! We have narrowed the contenders down, and tournament will be on Monday’s show! Here are the finalists 🙂

(yes, we get that this is completely tasteless and sexist…and we don’t care, because it is FUN people!! Loosen up and take the stick out of your ass already)

Kate Upton
Pippa Middleton
Hope Dworaczyk
Nicky Whelan
Autumn Reeser
Arianny Celeste
Emma Watson
Anna Paquin
Elisha Cuthbert
Kelly Brook
Audrina Patridge
Christina Hendricks
Ashley Greene
Minka Kelly
Julianne Hough
Emmanuelle Chriqui
Anna Faris
Emma Stone
Hilary Duff
Brooklyn Decker
Amanda Bynes
Sofia Vergara
Lea Michele
Michelle Trachtenberg
Kate Middleton
Brittany Snow
Jessica Alba
Taylor Swift
Anna Kournikova
Eva Mendes
Megan Fox
Leighton Meester
Olivia Wilde
Scarlett Johansson
Kaley Cuoco
January Jones
Jordana Brewster
Jennifer Lawrence
Anne Hathaway
Mila Kunis
Katy Perry
Olivia Munn
Rosie Huntington Whiteley

Notes from the podcast 5.13.11

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2011 at 2:46 am

Fired up the podcast again, with the tv upfronts being the focus of the first show back.

http://patrickryanlewis.podomatic.com

Enjoy, and here are the notes from the show:

Artists featured: Thompson Square, Sanai, Dogstar, U2, Van Halen, Cake, Bowling For Soup

ABC
WHAT’S IN:

Charlie’s Angels

A modern take on the 1970s series starring Annie Ilonzeh (Melrose Place), Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and Rachael Taylor (Grey’s Anatomy) as Charlie’s (Robert Wagner) new Angels. The Miami-set drama, from Sony Pictures Television, is written by Smallville duo Alfred Gough and Miles Millar and produced by Nancy Juvonen (Whip It), Leonard Goldberg (the Charlie’s Angels features) and Drew Barrymore, who appeared in the big-screen reboot. Marcos Siega (The Vampire Diaries) directed the pilot. The project scored strong buzz throughout pilot season, with the benefit of its built-in franchise name.

Last Man Standing

The project centers on the former Home Improvement star, who is fighting for his manhood in a world increasingly dominated by women. Nancy Travis (So I Married an Axe Murderer) co-stars in the multicamera comedy from 20th Television. Jack Burditt (30 Rock) penned the pilot, with Marty Adelstein (Prison Break), Becky Clements and Shawn Levy (Date Night) on board as producers. Insiders believe the mutlicam Allen vehicle, which has had “lock” status for weeks, will launch a second ABC comedy block, likely on Tuesdays (Improvement’s old stomping ground). While it’s not Friends money, Allen didn’t come cheap, with two sources with knowledge of his deal suggesting he’ll be paid $220,000 per episode with a 7.5 percent backend (off adjusted gross).

Pan Am

From Sony, the sexy soap set in the 1960s focuses on stewardesses and pilots, some of whom live double lives as spies. Christina Ricci stars in her first series regular role in the drama written and produced by Jack Orman (ER). Also producing are Sid Ganis, Nancy Hult Ganis and Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing), who helmed the pilot. Though there has been buzz about casting troubles and potential retooling, say insiders, both its Mad Men-esque world and the names attached were a selling point.

Apartment 23

The a single-camera comedy from 20th TV centers on a Midwestern girl (Dreama Walker, The Good Wife) whose big-city dreams are dashed after her first week in New York, where she finds herself living with her worst nightmare (Krysten Ritter, Breaking Bad). James Van Der Beek (Dawson’s Creek) co-stars as himself in his first series comedy role. Nahnatchka Khan (American Dad) and Dave Hemingson (Traffic Light) penned the pilot and will produce along with Jeffrey Morton (Traffic Light). Jason Winer (Modern Family) helmed the pilot. The project has been considered a lock for some time, with several insiders giving Van Der Beek’s performance high marks. Another noted its status as one of 20th’s highest testing comedy pilots in years.

Good Christian Belles (formerly Good Christian Bitches)

The soap revolves around a former high school “mean girl” (Leslie Bibb, Popular) who returns home to Dallas after her marriage ends in scandal. The series, from ABC Studios, also stars Kristin Chenoweth (Glee) and Annie Potts (Designing Women). Robert Harling (Laws of Attraction), who penned the pilot, produces alongside Darren Star (Sex and the City) and Aaron Kaplan. Alan Poul (Six Feet Under) directed the pilot. The series is based on the book by Kim Gatlin. A lock from the beginning, the show, dubbed “Desperate Housewives in Dallas,” could be paired with Housewives, which currently occupies the Sunday block alongside (now-canceled) Brothers and Sisters.

Revenge

The Count of Monte Cristo-inspired soap from Mike Kelley (Swingtown), centers on a woman (Emily VanCamp, Brothers and Sisters) who moves to the Hamptons. The ABC Studios pilot, which was directed by Phillip Noyce, counts Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey as executive producers. The project gained momentum internally in recent weeks, insiders tell THR.

Once Upon a Time

A fantasy drama that revolves around a woman (Jennifer Morrison, How I Met Your Mother) who, after a boy who claims to be her son shows up, is drawn into a town where fairy tales might be real. Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love) co-stars as Snow White in a cast that also includes Robert Carlyle (Stargate Universe) and Josh Dallas (Thor) as Prince Charming. Lost’s Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz penned the pilot and will produce alongside Steve Pearlman (V) and Mark Mylod (Shameless), who directed the pilot from ABC’s sister studio. Working in its favor: the built-in names and marketing/merchandising potential of its characters.

Scandal (formerly Damage Control)

The drama revolves around the life and work of a professional fixer (Kerry Washington) and her staff. Lost’s Henry Ian Cusick co-stars as her right-hand man and Tony Goldwyn plays the president. It is based on the career of crisis management consultant Judy Smith, who serves alongside producers including Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice) and Betsy Beers (Grey’s Anatomy). From ABC Studios, the pilot was directed by Paul McGuigan (Lucky Number Slevin). Though buzz surrounding the project cooled some in the recent days, Rhimes is a very valuable producer for the network and her voice has connected with its viewers.

The River

A stylized project that follows a crew through the Amazon in search of a missing adventurer. Eloise Mumford (Lone Star) stars in the ABC Studios drama written by Michael Green (Kings) and Michael R. Perry (Persons Unknown). Executive producers include Oren Peli and Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity), Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (United States of Tara), Zack Estrin (No Ordinary Family) and Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity). Jaume Collet-Serra directed the pilot, which was shot in Puero Rico. There was buzz in recent weeks about the high quality of the show’s footage.

Work It

The cross-dressing comedy from Warner Bros. TV and Andrew Reich and Ted Cohen (Friends), revolves around two out-of-work car salesmen (Amaury Nolasco, Ben Koldyke) who dress as women in order to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Beth McCarthy Miller directed the pilot. The multicam laugher has gained buzz in recent weeks.

Suburgatory

The project stars Jane Levy as a New Yorker who moves to a cookie-cutter community and discovers that the suburbs is more frightening than any horror movie she’s seen. Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order), Alan Tudyk (Firefly) and Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) co-star. The single-camera comedy from Warner Bros. TV was written by Emily Kapnek (Hung, Parks and Recreation), with the pilot directed by Mike Fresco (Raising Hope, Better Off Ted). The laugher has garnered good buzz for weeks, and Lee hasn’t been shy in development meetings with Madison Avenue buyers about his desire to add comedy.

Man Up

The single-camera comedy from ABC Studios and Chris Moynihan (Coupling) is a look at what it takes to survive as a modern man, as told through the eyes of three best friends and the women in their lives.

WHAT’S DEAD:

Georgetown

From Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl) and Warner Bros. TV, the project starred James Wolk (Lone Star) in a relationship drama revolving around young Washington power brokers. One source said the soap series would seem a better fit for the previous ABC regime, which lined its schedule with series glossy, female series like Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy. If the current development season is any indication, Lee is set to infuse the ABC schedule with high-concept fare.

Grace

A dysfunctional family drama set in the world of professional dance starring Eric Roberts (Crash) as a hotshot choreographer looking to reclaim his place at the top. Fame’s Debbie Allen co-starred in the series from ABC Studios. Krista Vernoff (Grey’s Anatomy) penned the pilot and will produce alongside Carrie Ann Inaba (Dancing With the Stars) and Flody Suarez (8 Simple Rules). Leslie Glatter (The Chicago Code) helmed the pilot. It was carried along despite weak buzz because of its potential to be paired with juggernaut Dancing with the Stars, multiple sources told THR.

Hallelujah

Despite the equity Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry has at ABC, his music-infused drama failed to excite Lee and his team. The show, from the net’s sister studio, revolved around a stranger who brings justice to a Tennessee town with episodes infused with gospel choirs. Donal Logue (Terriers) and Jesse L. Martin were among the show’s stars.

Identity

The police procedural revolveed around an elite unit formed to fight identity-related crime. Angela Bassett (ER) and Orlando Jones (The Replacements) starred in the series from ABC Studios. John Glenn penned the pilot and produced alongside Mark Gordon (Grey’s Anatomy) and Deb Spera (Criminal Minds). Gary Fleder (Life Unexpected) directed the pilot.

Partners

The ABC Studios police drama from Ed Bernero (Criminal Minds) revolved around two female detectives who are secretly sisters. “It was dead before it shot,” sniped one insider.

Poe

A supernatural police procedural in which Edgar Allan Poe (Chris Egan, Kings) investigated mysterious crimes in 1840s Boston. From Warner Bros. TV, the pilot was written by Chris Hollier (Kyle XY) and was produced by Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes). Alex Graves (The West Wing) directed the pilot. While insiders said it was a favorite of Lee’s, one suggested it was essentially “Castle set in the 1800s.”

Lost and Found

The multicamera comedy from Warner Bros. TV and Jeff and Jackie Filgo starred Jordana Spiro as a narcissistic New Yorker who has her life turned upside-down when her conservative son she gave up for adoption shows up.

Other People’s Kids

The multicamera comedy from ABC Studios and executive producer Peter Traugott (Samantha Who?) starred Jesse Bradford as a carefree 32-year-old who falls in love with an older woman (Bonnie Somerville) with two kids.

Bad Mom

The single-camera comedy from ABC Studios centered on a mother of two (Jenna Elfman, Accidentally on Purpose) who must raise her kids on her own after her mother (Frances Conroy, Six Feet Under) decides she wants her life back. Tom Everett Scott (Southland) co-starred in the comedy from writer Sharon Horgan (Free Agents) and executive producers Aaron Kaplan, Gabrielle Allan (Scrubs) and Jennifer Crittenden (The New Adventures of Old Christine). Chris Koch (Modern Family, Traffic Light) directed the pilot.

My Freakin’ Family

A single-camera comedy from ABC Studios, the project was a look at how two young parents’ lives change after they have a baby and struggle to deal with four grandparents with different cultural backgrounds. Peter Traugott (Samantha Who?) executive produced.

ABC Renewed: Body of Proof, Castle, Cougar Town, Grey’s Anatomy, Happy Endings, Modern Family, Private Practice, Shark Tank, The Bachelor, The Middle

ABC Canceled/Ending: Brothers and Sisters, Detroit 187, Mr. Sunshine, My Generation, No Ordinary Family, Off the Map, Skating With the Stars, Supernanny, The Whole Truth, V

ABC Likely to Be Renewed: 20/20, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Dancing With the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

ABC On the Bubble/In Limbo: Better With You, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Primetime, Secret Millionaire, Wife Swap

NBC

WHAT’S IN:

Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea

NBC adds another femme-skewing comedy, which centers on a group of twentysomethings living and working together, headed by a very outspoken young woman (Laura Prepon, That ’70s Show). The multicamera comedy from Warner Bros. TV was inspired by Chelsea Handler’s life, and is based on her best-selling book. Handler is on board as an executive producer and will appear in the series as the older sister. Julie Larson (The Drew Carey Show) and Dottie Zicklin penned the pilot and will serve as exec producers alongside Tom Werner (The Life and Times of Tim), Tom Brunelle (After Lately), Mike Clements (The Life and Times of Tim), Rick Messina and Richard Baker. Gail Mancuso (Rules of Engagement) directed the pilot. Like Whitney, NBC brass hopes Vodka will draw a younger, female audience. Adding more leverage: Handler is already part of the NBCUniversal family through her E! shows, and has the potential to trot out her cast on her nightly talk show.
With the pickup, Prepon joins fellow That ’70s Show co-stars Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men) and Wilmer Valderrama (Awake) on the 2011-12 schedule.

Free Agents

The single-cam comedy centers on two quirky co-workers who fall in love. The series is based on a U.K. format, rebooted by UMS and exec producer/director Todd Holland and executive producer/writer John Enbom, among others. Hank Azaria, who sources say garnered high marks from NBC brass, co-stars.

Bent

The UMS comedy stars Amanda Peet as a recently divorced type-A mom who tries hard not to fall for the sexy surfer-dude contractor (David Walton, Perfect Couples) that she hires to redo her kitchen. Arrested Development’s Jeffrey Tambor co-stars in the single-camera laugher from wrier Tad Quill (Perfect Couples) that was directed by Craig Zisk (United States of Tara). Multiple sources suggest the laugher could get a midseason slot.

BFF (aka Best Friends Forever, formerly the untitled Parham/St. Clair)

From UMS and Jessica St. Clair, the single-camera comedy centered on a woman and her live-in boyfriend who wind up taking in her distraught and pushy best girlfriend after a divorce. The project failed to garner attention this development season, say sources.

The Playboy Club

The drama revolves around working-class bunnies (Amber Heard, Jenna Dewan) and the men who love them (Eddie Cibrian) in the 1960s, where crooners, mob bosses, politicians and Chicago’s elite play. The drama, a 20th TV and Imagine production, counts Chad Hodge (Runaway) and Brian Grazer (Lie to Me, Friday Night Lights) among its executive producers. The pilot was directed by Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones). Working in its favor: name recognition — and a vast empire of products, print and reality series to remind viewers about the show.

Awake (formerly REM)

Lone Star creator Kyle Killen delivers another dual life drama, this time a procedural hybrid starring Jason Isaacs (Brotherhood) as a police detective who can’t let go of any aspect of his fractured family after a car crash. Cherry Jones and Wilmer Valderrama co-star in the drama from 20th TV. Howard Gordon (24) executive produces with the pilot directed by David Slade (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse). The project, from 20th TV, is said to be both smart and compelling, though fears about its complexity have been raised.

Grimm

The dark cop drama with fantasy elements is set in a world in which Brothers Grimm fairy tales exist. David Greenwalt (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) & Jim Kouf (Ghost Whisperer) are writers and executive producers on the series, from UMS and Hazy Mills Productions. Marc Buckland (My Name is Earl) directed the pilot. It was one of two fantastical police dramas (17th Precinct was the other) the network was considering this development season.

Whitney

The multicamera comedy, from Universal Media Studios, is based on the stand-up comedy of Whitney Cummings and revolves around the ups and downs of a young couple in a committed relationship. Cummings penned the pilot and will executive produce with Betsy Thomas (My Boys), Scott Stuber (Your Highness), Quan Phung and Barry Katz (Good Luck Chuck). Andy Ackerman (Perfect Couples) directed the pilot. The series garned strong buzz in recent weeks, with network interest in femme-skewing comedies.

Up All Night (formerly Alpha Mom)

Another single-cam comedy that takes an irreverent look at parenthood through the point of view of an acerbic working mother (Christina Applegate) who never thought she’d be a mom, along with her stay-at-home husband (Will Arnett) and opinionated parents. Maya Rudolph co-stars in the UMS project. Spivey wrote the pilot and will executive produce along with Lorne Michaels (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock). The combo of talent on and off camera was a major selling point.

Smash

The musical drama, based on an idea by Steven Spielberg, revolves around a cross-section of characters (Debra Messing, Katharine McPhee) who work to put on a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. Theresa Rebeck penned the pilot with Spielberg, Justin Flavey, Darryl Frank, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron on board as executive producers. Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman will contribute original songs. Smash, which many have dubbed Glee for adults, hails from UMS and DreamWorks TV. The project was said to be a sure thing all along. Working in its favor: Spielberg’s engagement, a high-profile cast and the early involvement of NBC boss Bob Greenblatt, who developed the show while still at Showtime.

Prime Suspect

The adaptation of the British miniseries stars Maria Bello as a female detective who has to make her bones in a tough New York precinct dominated by men. The reboot counts Alex Cunningham, Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights), Sarah Aubrey and Julie Medel Johnson as executive producers. Greenblatt was a big fan of both the long-gestating reboot concept and Bello, sources tell THR.

WHAT’S RETURNING:

Chuck

The Warner Bros. TV spy dramedy has been a perennial bubble show, with fans successfully mounting a campaign to save the show for a third and fourth season. It seems they’ve done it again, with the poorly rated fan favorite among younger male — and thus advertiser beloved — viewers. Sources say it will return for a fifth and final season of 13 episodes.

Parenthood

The drama from UMS and Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights), recently wrapped its second season in the Tuesday at 10 p.m. slot, where it performed modestly against strong competition from CBS’ The Good Wife with 6.7 million viewers, on average, tuning in. The show has garnered critical praise, through the size — and thus cost — of its ensemble cast, which includes Peter Krause and Lauren Graham, has been a concern internally, sources tell THR. The renewal was expected.

Harry’s Law

The midseason legal drama starring Kathy Bates will be back for a second season. The project, from David E. Kelley and Warner Bros. TV, has averaged 11.6 million viewers in its 13-episode run, a hit by the fourth-place net’s current standards. Kelley’s other project, pilot Wonder Woman, is unlikely to get picked up, multiple sources tell THR.

WHAT’S OUT:

Outsourced

After critical pans and early accusations of racism, the workplace comedy starring Ben Rappaport muddled along on a night otherwise knoqn for critically adored comedies (see Community, 30 Rock) on NBC.

The Event

The freshman serial premiered strong to early buzz and hefty promotion, only to free fall in the months to follow. The Jason Ritter series has lacked buzz and viewers since its return from its three-month hiatus.

Law & Order: Los Angeles (LOLA)

From Dick Wolf and Universal Media Studios, the freshman drama didn’t resonate with viewers after its creative hiatus that increased screen time for Alfred Molina and Terrence Howard. Around this time last year, NBC called it quits on the franchise’s original.

Wonder Woman

Despite having the most buzz of any pilot this season, the David E. Kelley reboot failed to score a pickup. The news comes after lackluster buzz and a network screening that went poorly, multiple sources tell THR. The drama, produced by Warner Bros. TV, is a reinvention of the iconic DC comic in which Wonder Woman (Adrianne Palicki) is a vigilante crime-fighter in Los Angeles but also a successful corporate executive trying to balance all the elements of her extraordinary life. Joining Palicki is Elizabeth Hurley, Tracie Thoms and Cary Elwes. Jeff Reiner (The Event) directed the pilot. In recent weeks, sources had suggested that the network would renew Kelley’s first season drama, Harry’s Law, instead.
Thoms, who would have played Wonder Woman/Diana Prince’s best friend Etta, voiced her disappoinment on Twitter, saying, “I am very sad that NBC passed on Wonder Woman. But that just goes to show you: There is no such thing as a “sure thing” in this biz.”

A Mann’s World

The ensemble drama, from Warner Bros. TV and Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City), centered on a celebrity hair stylist (Don Johnson) as he navigates the complexities of LA salon and family life. Early on, Greenblatt is believed to have had concerns about the project, which co-starred Ellen Barkin, says sources.

17th Precinct

The ensemble police drama was set in a town where magic and supernatural elements rule over science, and had been deemed a mini-Battlestar Galactica reunion show. From Ron Moore and Sony, the cast featured Jamie Bamber, Tricia Helfer and James Callis. In the battle for fantastical dramas this development season, pilot Grimm won out.

Reconstruction

The drama, which centers around a Civil War soldier (Martin Henderson, Off the Map) who crosses the country and settles in a complicated town where he is welcomed as its savior — whether he likes it or not– would have been a shift for NBC. Josh Brand (Northern Exposure) wrote the pilot, which was executive produced by Aaron Kaplan (Terra Nova) and Peter Horton (Lone Star), who directed as well. Though the project had a fan Greenblatt, says sources, there had been questions about how to position and market a Civil War series on a net better known for series like The Biggest Loser and The Office.

Metro (formerly S.I.L.A.)

The Jimmy Smits drama is set in the world of crime, law enforcement and politics in sprawling modern-day Los Angeles. Stephen Gaghan (Traffic) wrote, executive produced and directed the pilot, from 20th TV. Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope also were on board as executive producers. In an increasingly crowded landscape, many had questioned whether a pilot one source called “too smart” could cut through.

Brave New World

From Peter Tolan (Rescue Me) and Sony Pictures Television, the single-camera workplace comedy followed a group of characters (Nick Braun, Ed Begley Jr., Will Greenberg) at a theme park that specialized in re-creations of 1637 New England. NBC passing was expected.

Lovelives

The multicamera comedy from 20th Television and Chris Sheridan revolved around two couples and their challenges in love and infidelity. Passing on the project, which lacked industry chatter, is hardly surprising.

Help Wanted

The workplace comedy revolved around a relationship-challenged woman (Sarah Paulson) who, with the help of her co-workers, guided people through unexpected career transitions. The Warner Bros. TV multicamera comedy was from Kari Lizer.

I Hate That I Love You

The single-camera comedy from Jhoni Marchinko and 20th Television was based on a straight couple who introduced two of its lesbian friends to each other. Buzz was said to be cold for weeks.

My Life as an Experiment

From Sony Pictures Television, the single-camera comedy starring Adam Campbell and Donald Sutherland revolved around a magazine wrier who immersed himself and his family in unusual situations for his stories. From Cathy Yuspa & Josh Goldsmith, the comedy was based on the book by A.J. Jacobs and counted Jack Black as an executive producer.

NBC Likely to Be Renewed: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Saturday Night Live, The Voice

NBC On the Bubble/In Limbo: Dateline NBC, Minute to Win It, The Apprentice

Fox

WHAT’S IN:

Alcatraz, from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Prods. and Warner Bros. TV. The crime drama revolving around Alcatraz and the team investigating the mysterious reappearance of its 1960s inhabitants in the present stars Lost’s Jorge Garcia. The drama gained early buzz and a fan in Fox’s Peter Rice, according to sources, though some questioned whether the net had room for another mystery drama with Abrams’ Fringe already on the schedule.



The Finder, a Bones spinoff from sister studio 20th TV. The drama, which centers on a military-trained “finder” (Geoff Stults) who helps locate lost items or persons in the Florida Keys, recently rolled out to solid ratings as a back-door pilot. The project won high marks internally, particularly by those who wanted to find a way to continue the recently renewed Bones franchise once the long-running — and thus pricey — original ends.


The New Girl, a Zooey Deschanel comedy from 20th, will appear on Fox’s fall schedule. The single-camera series, which is believed to be a Kevin Reilly favorite, centers on a quirky female teacher who becomes roommates with three guys: a man-child, a player and a cynic.

I Hate My Teenage Daughter, a Jaime Pressly/Katie Finneran comedy from Warner Bros., is a go. The multicamera laugher centers on two women who have daughters like the girls who once picked on them in high school.

WHAT’S OUT:

Pilot Locke & Key, a thriller about a family in crisis as they move into a haunted house, is dead. Miranda Otto and Nick Stahl starred. There was talk about a limited event, but that too is unlikely given the cost. A second source says it will be shopped elsewhere.

Pilot Weekends at Bellevue, starring Lauren Ambrose, is said to be dead. In recent days, there had been talk about Fox brass looking at the series, set in a psych unit at Bellevue hospital, as a potential complement — and eventual successor — to the recently renewed House.



Pilot Iceland, a romantic comedy from Sony, is said to be dead. The Zach Gilford starrer had been low on buzz — positive or negative — in recent weeks.

Pilot Outnumbered, a British family comedy adaptation starring Cheech Marin and Ugly Betty’s Ana Ortiz, is dead. The single-camera comedy was from 20th TV and Chernin Entertainment.

Pilot Council of Dads, a single-camera comedy about a group of men united by death, is also out. A pickup for the Kyle Bornheimer vehicle from Sony was not expected.

Pilot Tagged, a hybrid comedy starring Gary Cole as an emotionally absent father from Sony, is also dead.

WHAT COULD BE RETOOLED:

Exit Strategy, a dark spy thriller with Ethan Hawke and director Antoine Fuqua, will likely be retooled. A potential wrench in Fox’s plans: Fuqua is slated to begin filming the Tupac biopic this summer.

Little in Common, a Rob Corddry single-camera comedy from Warner Bros. TV, has the potential to be retooled for a pickup later.

Family Album, another single-camera comedy starring Glee’s Mike O’Malley and Rachael Harris, might be retooled as well.

WHAT’S DEAD:

Freshman comedy Breaking In, starring Christian Slater, is believed to be dead. This marks Slater’s third first-year series in a row to get the ax — NBC’s My Own Worst Enemy in 2008-09 and ABC’s The Forgotten in 2009-10.

Shawn Ryan’s freshman police drama The Chicago Code with Jason Clarke, Jennifer Beals and Matt Lauria is done. This is The Shield creator’s second cancellation this season; the first came with FX’s Terriers, which was not renewed for a second season. The showrunner reacted on Twitter, “Fox suits loved the show, but have a business to run.”

Freshman buddy comedy Traffic Light, based on an Israeli format, has also been canceled, sources say.
Sophomore drama Human Target, starring Mark Valley, Chi McBride and Jackie Earle Haley has been canceled, sources say.





Lie to Me, the Tim Roth drama now in its third season, is also dead, according to a source.

CBS

WHAT’S IN:

Person of Interest

Stars Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) as a presumed dead former CIA agent who teams with a mysterious billionaire (Michael Emerson, Lost) to prevent violent crimes in New York. Taraji P. Henson (Boston Legal) co-stars in the Warner Bros. TV drama from scribe Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight), who produces alongside J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk (Fringe), Ben Brafman (The 4400), Margot Lulick (Kings) and Greg Plageman (Chase). Dave Semel (No Ordinary Family), who directs. This is Abrams’ second series pick-up this week, with Alcatraz getting a series order at Fox on Tuesday.

Two Broke Girls

Revolves around two 22-year-old women (Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs) who tackle life in New York as they try to make their dreams come true. The multicamera comedy from Warner Bros. Television is written by Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) with stand-up comic Whitney Cummings on board as a producer. James Burrows directed the pilot. Cummings’ comedy pilot for NBC also was picked up to series on Tuesday. This marks Cummings’ second project to get a green-light for next season; her self-titled comedy will appear on NBC’s schedule this fall. King’s hairdresser drama A Mann’s World didn’t get the go-ahead at NBC.

CBS Renewed: How I Met Your Mother, NCIS, Survivor, The Amazing Race, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a
Half Men, Undercover Boss, Rules of Engagement

CBS Canceled/Ending: Chaos, Live to Dance, Medium

CBS Likely to Be Renewed: 60 Minutes, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, Hawaii Five-0, NCIS: Los Angeles, Mike & Molly, The Good Wife, The Mentalist
CBS On the Bubble/In Limbo: 48 Hours Mystery, $#*! My Dad Says, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, I Get That A Lot, Mad Love, , The Defenders