First Piece of the TV Pilot Puzzle Put Together

I keep meaning to alert people when I won’t be posting on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday, but I never get around to it. I have to work on Saturday, so I was off yesterday and didn’t post. Sorry.

good luck topping dark knight. no, seriously, good luck. we want to see something just as good

good luck topping dark knight. no, seriously, good luck. we want to see something just as good

A couple days late on this, but just saw that the next Batman — I refuse to call it Batman 3 — will be opening July 20, 2012. That’s the same weekend Dark Knight opened two years ago. While it’s still two years away, it’s good news that the studio felt comfortable announcing a release date. All the guys from the first two — the Nolan brothers, David S. Goyer— just recently got together to start shooting ideas at the wall to see what they could come up with. Apparently, whatever they came up with was good enough for Warner Brothers. With something this important, there’s no way they’d want to announce a release date, get everyone excited, then pull it back at the last minute. They were under no pressure to announce that date — everyone already assumed that’s where it would open, and no other studio would schedule a big, summer movie there for fear they’d just be moving it later because of the latest Batman. With how badly the studio screwed up Batman, there’s no way it would get started with perhaps the most anticipated sequel of all time without a good working model. So making it official now has to be a clear sign that the idea the group has is a very good one. That’s worth at least getting a little excited over.

well hi to you too, jj abrams

well hi to you too, jj abrams

TV’s Upfront Week, where fall schedules are announced for the upcoming season, isn’t coming for another two weeks, but that didn’t stop NBC from starting to announce its first new show for next year, though it’s not that much of a surprise. The Peacock announced it has picked up Undercovers, a spy show from J.J. Abrams. The show was pretty much a guarantee to be on the fall schedule when it was announced last year that Abrams was developing the series. Not that Abrams will have much of anything to do with it — he gave up control of Lost after about a year and never gave up control of Fringe — because he never had it in the first place. From the jump, Fringe was the property of co-creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the writing partners who have worked with Abrams since Alias. With network TV being such a crapshoot these days, this is the direction it will be going — attach names to the shows, whether to the cast or to the production team, that will be able to immediately garner attention and get people watching right from the start. Abrams doesn’t have to be involved at all, he just has to have his name on the show. Keeping control is important, though, because the second he starts attaching his name to projects that flop, he’ll be stuck pitching Star Trek 12. It’s the first pick-up of the new season, and there probably won’t be that many more — if any — before the new season. Although going just on name-recognition basis, there are a couple others almost destined to be picked up, stolen from a pretty extensive break-down from last Friday’s Wall Street Journal:

–The as-yet untitled Criminal Minds spin-off. Making it a Criminal Minds spin-off would have been enough because it’s the kind of procedural CBS feasts on. Then they got an Oscar winner (Forrest Whitaker) to star in it. Then CBS introduced it with a back-door pilotlast month. There isn’t more of a sure thing during upfronts.

–Hey, look, it’s the first Twitter TV show! Bleep My Dad Says — created from the more foul-sounding Twitter account— will be CBS’s attempt to get younger and already has a hook. C’mon, tell me you aren’t already curious just hearing something like, “Created from the world-famous Twitter feed!” When its 1.3 million followers tune in to the show followed by millions of other curious people in between How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory some Monday in September, CBS will gleefully proclaim it has the biggest new hit of the year. It will be up to William Shatner to keep them hanging around.

–Two that aren’t on the WSJ list that are pretty good bets to make the fall schedule on name-recognition only: Hawaii 5-0 at CBS and Rockford Files at NBC. Reboots are ridiculously popular in movies these days, so why not TV too? It hasn’t gone well so far, especially at NBC since Bionic Woman and Knight Rider were nearly unwatchable. Actually, eff that, they were unwatchable. But they’ve got what other shows don’t — a built-in audience that watches from the start, if for nothing else, out of morbid curiosity. Will Hawaii 5-0 keep the same cool theme music? Is there really someone who can replace James Garner as Jim Rockford? So they watch the pilot and who knows? Maybe they like what they see. With every other show, you’re throwing darts at the board just hoping someone happens to tune in. With these, you’ve got millions of people who will tune in — at least that the start. The aforementioned Kurtzman and Orci are creating 5-0, a good start. I’m glad these shows will be coming back at the same time so I can debate which original had a better theme song. Right now, I’d go Hawaii 5-0, but it’s close between two of my favorites. Feel free to vote for your favorite down below:

I just don’t see what fans of Justified see, because I think it’s pretty average. I’m just not a procedural kind of guy, I need something a little deeper to keep me interested. But as far as procedurals go, it’s better than most so I don’t mind if it gets another season on FX. Just as long as it’s not blocking the path of the next Nip/Tuck, Sons of Anarchy or Rescue Me, or even The Riches or any other of the great serialized, story and character-heavy shows FX churns out.

Remember two seconds ago talking about reboots being the rage? Wasn’t lying. The evidence is Nightmare on Elm Street’s $32 million this weekend at the box office despite p!ss-poor reviews and the announcement that a sequel is on the way. These are the kinds of things that should be assumed at this point. When a movie is made for $35 million and makes that back in its opening week, there will be a sequel. I’m going to go ahead and guess that the good guys weren’t able to kill Freddy in this one. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just used the same trailer the next time around and no one would know the difference.

It’s been about 12 years since the first time Garth Brooks hosted one of my favorite Saturday Night Lives, including a sketch about how ridiculously long it takes for a movie to start with more trailers and commercials being added to the start of every show. It ended with the theater crowd stuck inside the cinema being forced to watch a couple days worth of trailer, all of which starred Shelly Long and started with James Brown’s I Feel Good. You would think theater owners would have realized they were being made fun of, and that people were starting to get turned off by how long it took to get to the movie. Nope, they added more. I love trailers, I’d watch them all day if I could. And sometimes I do. But I want to watch them on my own time, not when I paid $10 specifically to watch something else. I can’t even fathom how many trailers might be attached to Iron Man 2 this weekend, but I’ll put the over/under at 9. And since that particular SNL skit isn’t online anywhere, it’s always a good idea to hit up some Mango:

I never touted my knowledge of Broadway plays, but I at least thought I could tell you which big stars were there. Apparently, I was completely wrong because I had no clue Denzel Washington was on Broadway, let alone that he would be nominated for a Tony. There’s an easy lesson here — don’t listen to a word I say about Broadway.

still pumped fro first class, but these aren't good signs to start with

still pumped fro first class, but these aren't good signs to start with

The generation that introduced directors like Bryan Singer, Sam Raimi and Christopher Nolan into the mainstream when they directed comic book movies in the early 2000s looks like it’s starting to step aside for people like Marc Webb (director of the new Spider-Man) and now Matthew Vaughn (about to take over X-Men). Webb’s signing was based on his him being the “next big thing” but the hiring of Vaughn for X-Men: First Class is a little weird since he turned down the chance to direct the third X-Men the first time around. X-Men already was busy wiping egg of its face for the Singer PR nightmare, and now they’re going back to the guy who screwed them five years ago? That just doesn’t make sense and it’s not how Hollywood works. OK, so I’ve never ever been further west than Vegas, but I hear things about how Hollywood works, and this isn’t it. Normally, a studio would come back to the director who bent them over if there were icicles in Hell or if they had nowhere else to turn. I haven’t heard about any new developments down below, but Vaughn couldn’t have been any better than 20th on their list of directors to restart the X-Men franchise. He probably had a fantastic vision for Last Stand and really understands the characters, but the studio must have exhausted all other options before they came back to him. That’s not good when one of the most profitable franchises of all time has to come around to its 20th choice.

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