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DirecTV’s newest original show Kingdom has only aired two episodes of its 10-episode first season, and it’s already made its mark on the network.
DirecTV has ordered 20 more episodes of the MMA-centric series from creator Byron Balasco. Although DirecTV hasn’t released ratings, it said in a release that Kingdom “has proven to be one of Audience Network’s most popular shows of all time.”
Production on the new episodes will begin in spring 2015, with the first round of 10 episodes airing that fall. The following 10 episodes will then air in 2016.
NBC has given a put-pilot commitment to Marley & Me, a single-camera comedy that will serve as a sequel to the 2008 comedy-drama film of the same name, EW has confirmed.
The film’s director, David Frankel, is set to direct the pilot; Jenny Bicks will write the script. Bicks, Frankel and film producer Karen Rosenfelt will executive produce the show under the 20th Century Fox Television banner. READ FULL STORY
Lin-Manuel Miranda now has what he considers a “superpower” thanks to his years rapping with his hip-hop improv group Freestyle Love Supreme. That “superpower,” an ability to rhyme with ease on a deadline, has not only affected his own work for the stage, it’s also one of the reasons he was tapped to compose closing raps for two of Neil Patrick Harris’s Tony hosting stints. And now that superpower, along with the others who possess it, has a platform: a Freestyle Love Supreme TV show premieres on Pivot tonight.
EW chatted with Miranda—best known as the star, composer and lyricist behind In the Heights, who rapped when he won the Tony for Best Original Score—about bringing Freestyle Love Supreme to the small screen.
In August, Dating Naked contestant Jessie Nizewitz filed a lawsuit against VH1 operator Viacom and production companies Lighthearted Entertainment and Firelight Entertainment claiming that the show flashed her crotch when she was wrestling with another contestant on the beach. Nizewitz claimed she’d been humiliated on social media following the event and therefore sued for $10 million.
Susan Sarandon is coming to a small screen near you.
EW has confirmed that Sarandon has joined Marilyn, Lifetime’s upcoming four-hour miniseries. Based J. Randy Taraborrelli’s New York Times bestseller, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, the miniseries promises to reveal “what the iconic superstar succeeded in hiding from an all-too-invasive world.”
Sarandon will play Monroe’s mentally ill mother. The official description adds, “Marilyn is both the personification of sex, whose first marriage ironically collapses because of her frigidity, and a fragile artist who seeks the approval and protection of men. But after tumultuous marriages with Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, she realizes she has the strength to stand on her own. She becomes the Face and Voice of an era, yet wants most of all to be someone’s mother and someone’s little girl. She’s the Marilyn you haven’t seen before, the artist who, by masking the truth with an image, gives her greatest performance.”
Marilyn will be written by Stephen Kronish (24) and directed by Laurie Collyer. It’s expected to premiere in 2015.
Bravo released an extended trailer for their first scripted series, Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, where “girlfriend” finds out about getting it on outside of marriage.
When IFC ordered a series from Los Angeles sketch-comedy group the Birthday Boys, the septet wasn’t starting from scratch: Not only did it have eight years of performance experience under its belt, but it also had Bob Odenkirk—a man whose face belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of sketch comedy—as a collaborator, frequent star, and executive producer. That said, television remained a new frontier for the Birthday Boys, and the 10 episodes they made last year—now available on Netflix—provided a crash course in TV production for them.
Ahead of the season 2 premiere of The Birthday Boys tonight at 11:30 ET on IFC, EW sat down with Jefferson Dutton, Dave Ferguson, Michael Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Matt Kowalick, Mike Mitchell, and Chris Vanartsdalen at IFC headquarters in Manhattan to talk about what they learned.
1. Standards & practices doesn’t do jokes about child molestation.
TIM KALPAKIS: There was a fun sex romp comedy movie trailer called Molesters. [Everyone laughs.] That one made it through the group, made it to IFC, and came right back. [Laughs.]
JEFFERSON DUTTON: When they rejected it, [they said] “We don’t even have to tell you why this won’t work.”
KALPAKIS: It was the only time ever that the note was “We can’t do this.”
DUTTON: It was “No, we can do no version of this.” [Laughs.]
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was the premise?
KALPAKIS: It was in the dog days of summer, and seven adult guys are hanging out in the cul de sac of a suburban neighborhood.
DUTTON: “Another bummer summer.”
KALPAKIS: “Man, this summer is boring.”
DUTTON: A van pulls up.
KALPAKIS: A cherubic new boy in town struts by [Laughs.] and everyone goes “Whoa!”
DAVE FERGUSON: Like Michael J. Fox when he sees the 4-by-4 [in Back to the Future].
KALPAKIS: With some cool music. And then it was just a hard cut to prison. They’re like, [dejected] “Man, this summer…”
FERGUSON: The only thing that’s unfair about shooting that down is they do get their comeuppance.
On Sunday night at 8 p.m., after it gets all dark and creepy, The Simpsons will offer up a Fright of 1000 Laughs (or however many laughs can technically fit in a 30-minute episode). In the animated Fox comedy’s 25th annual Halloween installment, “Treehouse of Horror”—that’s XXV for Roman numeral lovers— Bart will attend a school located in a southern and unsavory neighborhood (hell), the Simpsons will be haunted by… the Simpsons from The Tracey Ullman Show, and a Stanley Kubrick parody/homage (paromage?) will make your eyes go wide before they shut.
Check out a scene from the trilogy of terror in which Bart accidentally summons a devilish dude who is decidedly non-dangerous. READ FULL STORY
Last year, NBC lost The Office and 30 Rock. It canceled Community, and sometime next year, we’ll see the last of the Parks & Rec gang. The future has seemed bleak for NBC’s once-lauded comedy content, so maybe that explains why it’s digging through old projects to turn things around: Deadline reports that Cougar Town and Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence has signed on to produce an NBC adaptation of the popular British sitcom The IT Crowd.
NBC has been here before. It picked up an IT Crowd pilot starring Joel McHale (and Richard Ayoade, from the original British version) in the 2006-2007 season, but no more episodes were filmed. Lawrence will be joined by the writing team of Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, who started on Scrubs and served as executive producers on Community from 2009 to 2012.
The IT Crowd follows the misadventures of two socially inept male computer nerds who work at a big company, and their interactions with their female boss, who’s computer illiterate. The original version starred Ayoade, Chris O’Dowd, and Katherine Parkinson.
Lawrence is a busy guy these days. He’s also working on a primetime adaptation of Rush Hour, although a network has yet to pick up the project.
The mid-2000s were some pretty damn good years for Dane Cook. In ’06, the Comedy Central alum’s Retaliation became the bestselling comedy album in 28 years, going platinum; Rolling Stone named him Hot Comic of the Year. Cook was the comic messiah of frat boys.
Then in late ’07—the same year Cook became the second comedian ever to sell out at Madison Square Garden—the tides began to turn against him, as they often do. Of course, Cook always had detractors—but at some point, the loathing reached critical mass, tipping the scales of public consensus. Dane Cook-fatigue set in. Accusations of stealing jokes from the likes of Joe Rogan and Louis C.K. were hurled, and an ugly blitz of online haters ensued.
Then Cook, 42, hit a rough patch personally, too. “I lost both my mom and dad to cancer within nine months and it was brutal. I was close with them—my mom was my best friend. I took a year off in 2010, and my goal was [to] work as hard on myself as I ever have on my standup. And I’m glad I did that, because I can honestly say that I feel now very similar to how I felt before the first CD broke, which was all love.” READ FULL STORY
Haven’t the characters of Once Upon a Time learned that all magic comes at a price?
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