Real-life married couple John Ross Bowie and Jamie Denbo are set to play one on TV. The husband-and-wife duo has been tapped for a multi-episode arc on NBC‘s new comedy series About A Boy, based on Nick Hornby’s feature. The show centers on bachelor Will (David Walton) and his new neighbors, needy single mom Fiona (Minnie Driver) and her 11-year-old son. Bowie and Denbo will play a married couple and business partners in an organic toy company, who hire Fiona to work with them. Denbo, a standout in the hit Melissa McCarthy-Sandra Bullock feature comedy The Heat, along with Jessica Chaffin, are getting a spinoff movie, with Paul Feig and Peter Chernin producing for Fox.
Related: ‘Sound Of Music’ Ratings Big For NBC
NBC’s live The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood had a few hitches tonight. The orchestra occasionally drowned out the singers in the early going, the sound sputtered a few times, the accents were all over the place, and they really should have re-thought those Von Trapp family-esque Walmart ads. Stephen Moyer and that Nazi bigwig fumbled their will-you-or-will-you-not-join-the-Navy cross-talk act, some guy momentarily pinned The Baroness when he stepped on the train of her beautiful evening gown (“Whoops!” giggled Laura Benanti, handling it like a pro). And, as an actress, American Idol alum Underwood is an enormously talented singer.
On the other hand, had NBC gone with the real Von Trapp family’s choice to play Maria – Anne Hathaway — that little cute little actress playing Gretl would not have come across as the next Ethel Barrymore. Nor would Moyer be up for a Medal of Freedom for his valor during that garden love scene. And maybe Audra McDonald’s “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” would not be remembered as the emotional high point of an otherwise emotionally flat show.
Yeah, live TV is wonderfully messy.
Martin Bashir has resigned from MSNBC after the drum beat failed to die down after he apologized on air for having suggested, on air, that someone might defecate in Sarah Palin’s mouth. “Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the president of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation,” Bashir said in an email first posted by Mediaite today. “It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments.”
Meanwhile, MSNBC president Phil Griffin, whose weeks-long silence on the subject of Bashir has been deafening, said today in a statement: “Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately. I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with MSNBC. Martin is a good man and respected colleague — we wish him only the best.” Before this morning’s news, MSNBC — which fired Don Imus in 2007 for referring to members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos” and suspended David Shuster for two weeks in 2008 for suggesting that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign had “pimped out” daughter Chelsea by having her make phone calls to celebrities and convention delegates — had said the Bashir “matter” was being handled internally and it would have no comment.
This brings to two the number of on-air talent MSNBC has shed in the past several days. Late last week, the cable news network issued a joint announcement with Alec Baldwin’s camp, saying they had mutually decided to end Baldwin’s Up Late interview show.
Eddie Izzard, who starred in NBC‘s Mockingbird Lane pilot last season and has been recurring on NBC’s Hannibal, is formalizing his relationship with the network via a talent holding deal. Under the one-year pact, he will receive an executive producer credit if cast in the lead of an NBC series. The Emmy winner is repped by APA and UK’s Conway van Gelder.
Robert Wisdom (Nashville) is set to co-star opposite Paul Giamatti in Hoke, FX’s darkly comedic drama pilot based on Charles Willeford’s series of novels. Written by Scott Frank, who will direct and showrun the pilot, Hoke is a story of mid-life crisis and murder that features the hardboiled and possibly insane homicide detective Hoke Moseley (Giamatti) in pre-chic Miami circa 1985. Wisdom, repped by Don Buchwald & Associates and KLWGN, will play Hoke’s boss Major Brownley, the head of the Homicide Squad. He’s known Hoke for a very long time and knows all of Hoke’s strengths, weaknesses, eccentricities and prejudices. Wisdom just shot a guest star/recurring role on Syfy’s 12 Monkeys pilot, based on the Terry Gilliam movie, playing Jeremy, a former CIA operative who’s content to apply his talents in the kitchen. He is filming his fifth episode of NBC’s Chicago PD as Commander Perry and will next be seen in Universal’s The Loft.
UPDATE, 4:45 PM: NBC just released a statement in response to Johnny Weir’s comments this morning that he feels “remorse” for insulting protesters during an appearance Monday at Barnard College. “We’re supportive of Johnny’s apology for his choice of words last night in an emotional setting. As we’ve previously stated, NBC will cover all newsworthy issues as they are relevant to the Games, including the LGBT law”, NBC said.
PREVIOUS: Bob Costas will have to up his game to maintain his reputation as the mouth that roars at NBC Sports during the Winter Olympics, since two-time Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir was added to the on-air team. Costas, who’s known for his outspoken commentary, sounded more like a neutered pit bull the other day when he told the Associated Press he won’t comment on Russia’s so-called “gay propaganda” law because he’s hoping to land an interview with what AP called “responsible people” (read: Russian President Vladimir Putin). While the media wonders what happened to the Costas who vowed in 2012 to rip the International Olympic Committee over its refusal to hold a moment of silence honoring Israelis killed at the 1972 Games in Munich, Weir’s out there making headlines even though the Games don’t happen until February. This week, Weir’s “news” took the form of calling those who protested his refusal to boycott the Russian Games “idiots like the ones outside dumping vodka in the street.”
NBC, meanwhile, hasn’t gotten back to us about Weir, who announced on Today in late October that he was retiring from competition and joining the the network’s team for the Sochi Olympics. Protesters made the connection during Weir’s appearance Monday at Barnard College in New York; some of those those who were there protesting Weir’s assertion that the Games “are not the place to make a political statement” held a banner that read, “Weir: Russian Olympic Clown; NBC: Naïve Bloody Collaborators.”
This morning, Weir was back in the news again, this time writing in the Falls Church [Va.] News-Press: “I felt, and still feel, a great deal of remorse for allowing myself to insult other people, fighting in their own way, and for using insulting words instead of my usual cheerleading antics for one and all.”
On the heels of a strong ratings finish of its fall run last night, NBC‘s hit freshman drama The Blacklist has been given an early second season renewal with a 22-episode order. The Sony TV-produced series starring James Spader is the No. 1 drama and the No. 2 scripted series on the Big 4 networks in the 18-49 demo, averaging a 4.9 rating/13 share (most current). It is the No. 1 new show in 18-49 and total viewers and NBC’s most watched new drama in 19 years, since Earth 2 in 1994. In addition to a strong Live showing, The Blacklist is a monster DVR gainer. Its November 4 episode delivered the largest total-viewer increase from Live+Same Day to Live+7 ever, growing by 6.589 million (from 10.337 million to 16.926 million). The Blacklist, which commanded the highest ad price for a new series this fall, now holds the top three L+SD to L+7 rises among total viewers in U.S. TV history. “The success of ‘The Blacklist’ demonstrates that inspired storytelling is alive and well in broadcast television,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said. “With gratitude to both our partners at Sony Pictures Television and our NBC development executives who took a great script and shepherded it into a great series, I hope that Red Reddington never runs out of names to bring down on his list!”
The Blacklist, produced by Davis Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures TV, …
After taking a lot of flak over the four-month break it imposed on freshman Revolution last season, which seemed to hurt the serialized drama, NBC vowed not to repeat the mistake with its new hotshot in the Monday 10 PM slot, The Blacklist — especially given that series’ more procedural nature. There had been talk of an extra batch of Blacklist originals airing between the fall and spring runs behind The Voice. NBC has now scheduled those for January. Following a Blacklist marathon of back-to-back repeats from 8-11 PM on January 6, three originals of the James Spader-starring drama will air on January 13, 20 and 27 behind a two-hour American Ninja Warrior special and fresh episodes of Hollywood Game Night. NBC will broadcast a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit special on February 3 before heading into two weeks of Olympics coverage. The network has not announced its Monday post-Olympics plans yet but, given the amount of promotion it is expected to give both The Voice and Blacklist, it makes sense for them to return right after — on February 24. That also would give support to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon which will have launched the previous Monday, February 17. The Voice‘s spring cycle premiere has varied widely, from March 25 last year to February 6 (after the Super Bowl) in 2012. The Blacklist‘s fall finale airs tonight. The two-part closer was pushed by a week after a …
EXCLUSIVE: NBC is developing a contender for it Friday supernatural block anchored by Grimm, which is currently paired with Dracula. It hails from Dracula executive producer/head writer Daniel Knauf and is based on Universal Pictures’ Scott Stuber-produced 2010 feature The Wolfman starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins, which in turn was a remake of the 1941 movie. The WolfMan is one of two projects Knauf has at NBC, along with a supernatural telenovela produced by Electus that is part of the company’s 3-for-1 telenovela deal at NBC, intended to result in a 13-episode order.
The WolfMan, produced by Universal Pictures sibling Universal TV and Stuber’s studio-based Bluegrass Films & TV, is described as a supernatural thriller that explores what it means to be a man and to be human. It centers on Lawrence Talbot, who is afflicted by an ancient curse and jacks into the powerful, primordial soul of the alpha-predator (watch the trailer for the 2010 movie below). Knauf is writing and executive producing with Stuber and Quan Phung. Bluegrass also has a comedy at NBC with writer Will Calhoun.
The untitled telenovela is an original concept that chronicles the ruthless supernatural machinations of the six governesses of an exclusive Hancock Park women’s club, the true powers behind every throne in The City of Angels. Knauf is writing and will exec produce with Electus’ Ben Silverman and Jimmy …
EXCLUSIVE: Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who are behind NBC‘s upcoming live staging of The Sound Of Music, are developing another ambitious event program for the network. The duo has teamed with NBC for Nemesis, an eight-hour miniseries about famous Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, who was portrayed by Kevin Costner in Brian Fe Palma’s Oscar-winning The Untouchables. The project, from Sony Pictures TV — where Zadan and Meron’s Storyline Entertainment has a long-form deal — is based on the book Nemesis: The Final Case Of Eliot Ness by William Bernhardt. It tells the true story of Ness in 1935, post-Untouchables, as Cleveland’s newly appointed Director of Public Safety. Bodies have started turning up — each one decapitated and dissected with a doctor’s skill and a madman’s bent. The police are baffled and the population is terrorized over America’s first serial killer, the so-called “Torso Killer.” Though it’s not his turf, Ness is forced to take over the case, but the more energy he pours into the investigation, the more it takes over and threatens to destroy his life.
Dan Patrick, Rebecca Lowe & Lester Holt Join Bob Costas And Al Michaels As Hosts Of NBC’s Olympics Coverage
Dan Patrick and Rebecca Lowe will host NBCSN’s live weekday and weekend coverage and Lester will anchor weekday afternoon coverage of the XXII Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia, NBC Olympics said today. They join previously announced Bob Costas, NBC’s primetime and late night host, and Al Michaels, who will serve as host for NBC on weekend afternoons and NBCSN on weekdays. Patrick is co-host of NBC’s Football Night In America and previously hosted NBC’s daytime coverage at the 2012 London Olympics. Lowe joined NBC Sports Group this year as host of its exclusive Premier League coverage in the U.S. And Holt is anchor of Dateline, weekend anchor of NBC Nightly News and co-anchor of NBC’s weekend edition of Today. He previously served as a sports desk reporter for the 2012 London, 2010 Vancouver, 2008 Beijing and 2006 Torino Games. The Winter Games begin on February 6.
Roseanne Barr Slams NBC, Anderson Cooper & Hollywood In Twitter Rant: “I’m Never Going To Work In Television Again”
Roseanne Barr might not be heading back to primetime after all, according to the comedienne’s own Thanksgiving weekend Twitter rant. Earlier this year NBC set Barr to develop and star in a new sitcom co-written with Nurse Jackie showrunner Linda Wallem, but in a series of Tweets over the holiday Barr made her discontent with that project known. “I’m never going to work in television again. I’m never going to even attempt it,” she Tweeted. Without naming Wallem specifically, Barr wrote of a female showrunner who disappeared on her for seven weeks and turned in a script she didn’t like:
“[The] development process went like this: show runner disappeared for 7 weeks-never returned any calls from me-I was told she ‘goes in2 a cave’. I was also told that this was ‘her process’-and that the result would be fantastic. I asked why I had been removed totally from the process. They had less than no interest in including me in the development of a show that was built on ‘my brand’. It was horrible, but I kept on bc i kept on bc I had 2 C it thru-out of a bizarre interest in the insane outcome. The script didn’t resonate with me-I tried 2 b kind about it There were hardly any jokes in the script, and I didn’t connect with the characters at all. My family told me 2 quit-I kept on trying.”
Melissa Ponzio has booked a recurring role on NBC’s firefighter drama Chicago Fire. She will play Donna, a love interest to Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker). Ponzio, repped by Domain and Kass Management, recently recurred on The Walking Dead and Teen Wolf.
Copper alum Kevin Ryan is set to recur on another NBC hourlong series, the upcoming Crossbones. On the pirate drama, he will play Finnegan, a heavily-tattooed, hard and solemn pirate with a scar across one eye, who becomes involved with Blackbeard (John Malkovich). Ryan is with Mosaic, Resolution and attorney David Matlof.
MSNBC‘s joint announcement today with Alec Baldwin’s camp that they had mutually decided to end Baldwin’s Up Late interview show leaves the cable news network with just one on-air talent headache: Martin Bashir, whose apology for graphic comments he made about Sarah Palin hasn’t ended chatter as to whether he should be punished.
This past weekend, Palin, a Fox News analyst, said in an interview with Fox News Sunday that MSNBC was guilty of “executive hypocrisy” in not disciplining Bashir for his “vile, evil comments.” Following Bashir’s on-air apology, the network — which fired Don Imus in 2007 for referring to members of the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos” and suspended David Shuster for two weeks in 2008 for suggesting that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign had “pimped out” daughter Chelsea by having her make phone calls to celebrities and convention delegates — told the Associated Press it was “handling this [Bashir] matter internally,” and wouldn’t comment further.
Bashir had used his weekday afternoon program on November 15 to criticize Palin for having compared U.S. indebtedness to China to slavery. Bashir cited the diaries of a former plantation overseer who punished slaves by having someone defecate in their mouth or urinate on their face. Bashir suggested the former Alaska governor was a candidate for the same treatment. After Bashir made that suggestion, the same day MSNBC suspended Baldwin’s show after the host’s off-screen behavior, much debate ensued as to why Baldwin’s reprehensible rant during a heated off-air confrontation merited suspension, while Bashir’s thought-out, and deliberately gag-inducing, suggestion, made on air, did not. Bashir apologized during his next telecast, on November 18.
MSNBC and Alec Baldwin‘s camp announced jointly that Baldwin’s Friday show is toast: “We are jointly confirming that Up Late will not continue on MSNBC,” MSNBC and Baldwin rep Matthew Hiltzik said. Added MSNBC: “This is a mutual parting and we wish Alec all the best.” It’s the first MSNBC has spoken about Up Late’s suspension; Baldwin announced earlier this month the network had suspended his show for two weeks; his announcement came after a video clip caught him tearing into a photographer with at least one gay slur and possibly two, though Baldwin has denied uttering the second one and says he did not realize the first was a slur.
“Whether the show comes back at all is at issue right now,” Baldwin wrote in his blog after his show’s first week off the air, setting the stage for its non-return. “[If] the show dies, its fate ends up being no different than the vast majority of start-up TV programming, and so be it,” he wrote – though that all-about-the-ratings-like-any-other-start-up storyline grew less pat when Up Late’s fill-in show, Lockup, clocked an even smaller number than Baldwin’s show the past two weeks. MSNBC said Baldwin’s former time slot — Fridays at 10 PM — will continue to be taken by Lockup.
Last week, Baldwin attended a tech conference in San Francisco to jokingly profess his love for a man, in the hope of, once again, recalibrating his image. After asking a member of his entourage to stand up, Baldwin told him: “I want you to be my lover, Matt. I love you, Matt. I love you in that way.” The Associated Press reports Baldwin’s bit got a big laugh from the conference crowd. The actor also told that tech-conference crowd that he hopes his 3-month-old daughter learns to control her temper better than he has as an adult, the AP reported. He also told the group he now realizes he needs to choose his words more carefully. “If in any context, in the world that we live in today, if any word is remotely offensive to people, then I’m perfectly willing to learn a different word,” Baldwin said.
MSNBC had been very quiet since Baldwin announced his Up Late With Alec Baldwin was being taken off the cable news network for two weeks. That, after the entertainment website TMZ posted a video of the hot-tempered Baldwin’s latest rant. That included zipped lips in re whether the program, which had sunk about 40% in ratings in its brief five-week life, would return.
EXCLUSIVE: NBC has teamed with writer Justin Adler (Better Off Ted), director John Hamburg (Meet The Parents franchise) and producer Aaron Kaplan (The Neighbors) for single-camera comedy 30 And Counting, which has received a script commitment with a sizable penalty. Based on the 2013 Sky Living series created by written by Chris Little and Tom Vinnicombe, 30 And Counting revolves around three college friends who are convinced that while their 20s were a time of discovery and their 40s a time of responsibility, their 30s is the decade that will define them. That leaves them 3,652 days to set the course for the rest of their lives. The clock is now ticking … 30 and counting. Adler is writing the adaptation, with Hamburg set to direct. Warner Bros. TV is producing, with Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment and Bwark Prods., producer of the original series. Adler, Hamburg and Kaplan executive produce with Little, Vinnicombe and Bwark’s Iain Morris.
D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye) has come on board to direct Tin Man, NBC’s drama pilot from top feature writer Ehren Kruger (The Ring and Transformers franchises). Set in the near future, Tin Man is a psychological crime thriller that focuses on a fugitive robot accused of first-degree murder, who may hold the key to the future of human evolution, and the young female public defender forced to fight for his cause. Kruger is executive producing with his partner at Bobker/Kruger Films Daniel Bobker and John Glenn. Caruso’s involvement in Tin Man stems from his collaboration with Kruger on the feature side where the two have been developing sci-fi tentpole Invertigo at Sony, produced by Bobker/Kruger Films and Neal Moritz. This marks Caruso’s return to TV series where he has done episodic work in the past, including helming four episodes of FX’s The Shield.