After building a career on comedic characters he calls “eccentric,” Will Arnett is back in primetime with CBS’ The Millers, playing TV journalist Nathan Miller, a recent divorcee who finds himself living with his mother. Arnett is more of a leading man than he has been in the past on such shows as Arrested Development and Up All Night, and he’s doing it in front of a live audience on the multi-camera sitcom directed by TV stalwart James Burrows (Taxi, Frasier). He’s also enjoying a thriving film career, voicing Batman in The Lego Movie and appearing in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this year.
AWARDSLINE: Showrunner Greg Garcia asked you to be a part of The Millers when he heard that the future of NBC’s Up All Night was not looking good. What about the role of Nathan appealed to you? WILL ARNETT: I had known Greg personally for a number of years, and when he heard that basically the show was over, he said, “I just want you to read this script, if you don’t mind.” I didn’t think that I wanted to necessarily start work on a TV show quite so quickly, and yet because it was Greg, I thought, “Well, I’ve got to read it.” When I read it, I really liked it. Then I had a meeting with Greg and (director) Jimmy Burrows. Jimmy said, “You are going to have to play a character who is much more at the center of it.” So in that sense, it was a bit of a departure for me. I had to play somebody a little more together. But that really appealed to me. It was something I really wanted to do. Read More »
Those people (and TV critics) wondering why Will Arnett would take a role on a CBS multi-cam sitcom with a running fart gag in the pilot, for crying out loud, even if it is exec produced by Greg Garcia, need look no further than Forbes’ just-out list of the highest-paid TV actors. It’s topped entirely by CBS comedy stars. (Note the somewhat apologetic tone of Arnett’s recent multi-cam explanation to Digital Spy: “I’ve spent the last 10 years doing single-camera shows, from Arrested Developmentto 30 Rock to Running Wilde to UpAll Night and, it sounds lame, but I just thought it would be really fun.”) Ashton Kutcher is ranked No. 1, paid $24 million between June of ’12 and ’13, because he’s the guy who enabled Warner Bros TV to retain a big franchise and CBS to hang on to an important piece of its campaign to take over comedy on Thursday nights while maintaining a four-comedy slate on Mondays — a good thing too, given the early demise of We Are Men. Kutcher’s co-star Jon Cryer, who last fall won an best-actor Emmy for having survived the Charlie Sheen years, is No. 2 on the list. Heck, even the show’s Angus “Don’t Watch This Filth” Jones made the list, which presumably eases the pain of being phased off the show this season, after which he will have to make do with his earnings from the show’s syndication. Former CBS star Ray Romano is No. 3 on the list, owing, Forbes says, in large measure to the money he’s still making off of Everybody Loves Raymond repeats. And, at No. 4: Neil Patrick Harris, star of CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother, tied the network’s Mark Harmon, who is star of the country’s most-watched scripted series NCIS. Read More »
Will Arnett, Alec Baldwin, Andre Braugher, Bryan Cranston, Claire Danes, Jimmy Kimmel, Margo Martindale and Sofia Vergara have been added to the presenters list for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards. They join previously announced Diahann Carroll, Matt Damon, Emily Deschanel, Zooey Deschanel, Michael Douglas, Anna Faris, Tina Fey, Allison Janney, Amy Poehler and Kerry Washington. The show is set to air live from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday, September 22 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT on CBS.
Emmy winner Margo Martindale (Justified) is set to co-star opposite Will Arnett in CBS‘ untitled Greg Garcia comedy pilot. The project, written and executive produced by Raising Hope and My Name Is Earl creator Garcia, centers on Jack (Arnett), a recently divorced guy whose life gets more complicated when his parents have marital problems of their own. Martindale plays the mother, Carol, a vibrant but meddlesome and slightly controlling character who has to have her finger in every pie. CBS Studios is producing. Last season Gersh-repped Martindale also was cast in a comedy pilot, ABC’s Counter Culture, which was not completed after co-star Delta Burke sustained an injury on set.
In another CBS comedy pilot casting, Christian Barillas has joined the untitled Jim Gaffigan project, about Jim (Gaffigan), a guy who lives with his wife Jeannie (Mira Sorvino) and five kids in a 2-bedroom New York apartment. Barillas plays Arlen, the neighborhood’s drag queen who is one of Jim’s closest friends and a friend to his family as well.
Up All Night’s Will Arnett has been tapped as the lead in CBS‘ untitled Greg Garcia comedy pilot. The project, written and executive produced by Raising Hope and My Name Is Earl creator Garcia, centers on Jack (Arnett), a recently divorced guy whose life gets more complicated when his parents have marital problems of their own. CBS Studios is producing. For Arnett, the pilot is formally in second position to NBC’s Up All Night. After recently scrapping its planned transformation from a single- to a multi-camera comedy, I hear the sophomore comedy is not going forward but it has not been officially cancelled by the network and the cast, sans star Christina Applegate who left 10 days ago, has not been released. Since Applegate’s exit, which threw NBC’s plans for Up All Night in turmoil, Arnett had been courted for a slew of pilots. He fielded multiple offers until settling on CBS’ Greg Garcia project whose main character’s story dovetails with Arnett’s real-life experience of going through a divorce. His Up All Night co-star Maya Rudolph also has been approached for pilots, including NBC’s Sean Hayes comedy.
EXCLUSIVE: The animated feature The Nut Job has drawn a voice cast that will be led by Katherine Heigl, Will Arnett,Brendan Fraser, Stephen Lang, Sarah Gadon, and Jeff Dunham. The feature, which Peter Lepeniotis will direct based on his 2005 short film Surly Squirrel, is a co-production between Canada-based ToonBox Entertainment and Korea-based Redrover Co, Ltd. Redrover is financing with plans to release next year.
Written by veteran Disney animation scribe Lorne Cameron (Brother Bear, Over The Hedge), The Nut Job is an action-packed comedy set in the late 1950s in fictional Oakton. Pic follows the travails of the mischievous squirrel Surly and his rat pal Buddy as they plan a nut store heist that gets out of hand.
Thom Chapman and Graham Moloy are producing and Daniel Woo, Hong Kim, Mike Karz, and Tom Yoon are executive producers, in association with Gulfstream, headed by Karz and Bill Bindley. Gulfstream will make the distribution deal.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the cast that’s being assembled for our first feature,” said Chapman, ToonBox vice president. “They have brought the film to a whole new level. Each voice is perfect for their respective roles, and they truly make the characters come alive.”
Lepeniotis has worked with Pixar Animation Studios and ILM and as an animator on such films as Fantasia 2000 and Toy Story 2. His first project with … Read More »
Will Arnett and Jason Bateman’s advertising and digital production company DumbDumb is behind the online talk show for Denny’s restaurants as well as campaigns for Orbit and Old Navy. They will produce up to six short-form comedy videos for TBS.com featuring sponsor integration and DumbDumb’s star power (Sarah Silverman, Amy Poehler, Will Forte and Kristen Bell have appeared in ads in the past) to push the video virally via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube among other platforms. Read More »
Disney has released the official trailer for its February 17, 2012 U.S. opening of The Secret World of Arrietty. The Studio Ghibli production is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi from a screenplay by the legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa. It’s based on the novel The Borrowers by Mary Norton. Voice cast for the English-language version: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Will Arnett, David Henrie, Moises Arias.
Will Arnett, Julianna Margulies, Amy Poehler, Sofia Vergara, Zooey Deschanel and Ashton Kutcher have been tapped as the first group of presenters announced for the 63rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards, set for Sept. 18 at NOKIA Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles and televised live on Fox. Arnett, Margulies, Poehler and Vergara are nominees this year; Deschanel stars in Fox’s new series New Girl and Kutcher, of course, is replacing Charlie Sheen on CBS’ Two And a Half Men.
NBC’s untitled Emily Spivey comedy pilot is building a star-studded cast. Arrested Development alum Will Arnett has closed a deal to join Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph in the project, executive produced by Saturday Night Live honcho Lorne Michaels. The project, written by former SNL scribe Emily Spivey, is described as an irreverent look at parenthood through the POV of an acerbic working mother (Applegate) -– who never thought she’d be a mom -– along with her stay-at-home husband (Arnett) and opinionated parents.
Emmy nominee Arnett, who recently co-created/toplined Fox’s comedy Running Wilde, had planned not to do a pilot this season despite being approached for several projects but liked Spivey’s script. Arnett, repped by WME and Principato-Young, also has a relationship with Michaels as he has been recurring on the Michaels-produced NBC series 30 Rock.
As an executive producer on the U.S. version of his British series The Office, Ricky Gervais has a say in what happens on the show. If it things go his way, Arrested Development star Will Arnett would be joining the NBC comedy after original star Steve Carell leaves later this season. “Had a little meeting with NBC about various things and recommended Will Arnett for a regular in The Office,” Gervais wrote on his blog today. “I think he’s amazing.”
Fox’s struggling freshman Running Wilde seems to be facing a slow and painful death. The low-rated show, which just came back on Tuesday after two weeks of preemptions, is being benched again for the rest of the November sweep, slated to come back with an original on Nov. 30. In the next two weeks, Fox will air reruns of its other freshman comedy Raising Hope in Running Wilde‘s the Tuesday 9:30 PM slot. Running Wilde, which averaged a 1.3 rating among 18-49 to finish a distant last among all programs on the Big 4 networks on Tuesday, remains the last new fall series whose fate has not been decided though its chances for renewal appear very slim. Fox is already eying a midseason order for the Christian Slater-starring comedy Breaking In as a potential replacement for Running Wilde, whose star/co-creator Will Arnett has been rallying support for the show.
By now you may have already heard that David Cross is joining Mitch Hurwitz and Will Arnett’s new comedy series Running Wilde, bringing in another piece to the Arrested Development reunion that’s forming on the upcoming Fox half-hour series. But the story behind Cross’ casting is just as intriguing as it involves two actors, one second-position casting and one pesky Icelandic volcano.
Cross was the original choice to play Andy, the radical environmentalist fiancé of Arnett’s love interest Emmy (Keri Russell). But just as filming on the Lionsgate TV-produced pilot was underway in April, Cross got stuck in the UK when the country’s airspace was closed as air travel in Northern Europe was severely disrupted by the eruption of Iceland’s now-infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. With Cross certain to miss the shoot, actor Andrew Daly was approached to step in and do the role in the pilot. Daly had just wrapped another comedy pilot, NBC’s The Paul Reiser Show, where he was a regular, so for him Running Wilde would’ve been in second position at best.
Here is how Daly describes the events in a post on aspecialthing.com:
EXCLUSIVE: Peter Serafinowicz has joined the cast of the new Fox comedy series Running Wilde as a regular. Serafinowicz was made a regular after he popped in his guest-starring turn in the pilot as Fa’ad Shaoulin, the Oxford-accented neighbor and frenemy of Steve Wilde (Will Arnett). Similarly, Erin Cummings, who guest-starred in the pilot for ABC’s Detroit 1-8-7 as the medical examiner, was recently upped to regular on the new drama series. The Lionsgate TV-produced Running Wilde centers on Steve Wilde, a filthy-rich, immature playboy trying desperately to win (or buy) the heart of his childhood sweetheart and uber-liberal humanitarian (Keri Russell). Read More »