Month: January 2015

“Hot And Bothered” ( aka”Telenovela”) (NBC) preview: when Eva Longoria goes from Gaby to Ana Maria

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Single-Camera comedy written and produced by Chrissy Pietrosh (Earl, Cougar Town) & Jessica Goldstein (Earl, Cougar Town). Co-produced by Eva Longoria & Ben Spector (The Wedding Band). For NBC, Universal Television & UnbeliEVAble Entertainment. 41 pages.

Description: Ana Maria Calderon is the ambitious star of Latin America’s most beloved tenovela, Las Leyes de Pasion. She strives to stay on top in a world where the drama on-camera is nothing compared with what’s happening offscreen. The day her ex-husband who cheated on her is cast as her new love interest on the show, she goes totally crazy… until she decides it’s time to bury the hatchet. Something she will regret quickly… 

With Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives), Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break), Diana Maria Riva (The West Wing, The Bridge US), Jencarlos Canela

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First things first: like it or not, Telenovela is one of those shows you will hear about a lot next fall -and even before that- because NBC will surely spend a ton of money to promote it, hoping it will become their next great comedy hit, their first in years indeed. They have already committed to 13 episodes, without ordering any pilot first, just based on the script, the potential it demonstrates and the power of its leading lady (and producer): Miss Eva Longoria. Plus, as diversity is the most discussed subject on TV right now, Tenevola fits perfectly with what networks are looking for in that department: an almost all latino cast with a very popular latina at the center of it, who can heavily attract Spanish speaking americans as much as white people and every minority you can think of (afro-americans, gays…). Of course, that’s the plan on paper. But things don’t always turn out the way they should. In the end, the show needs to be good. The rest is luck… and good scheduling. So, is Telenovela good?

No. It’s not. it’s just OK for now, with decent writing but nothing much new to offer. Showing the behind-the-scenes of a TV series, whereas it’s a comedy, a soap opera or a telenovela has already been done too many times, 30 Rock being the best example there is. And Tina Fey is clearly nowhere to be found on this project. The bigger than life tone of telenovelas has already been gently mocked by fellows Ugly Betty, 30 Rock itself, and more recently by Happyland and Jane The Virgin. Telenovela does the exact same thing, without throwing anything new into the mix. It makes most of the twists way too obvious. That being said, some lines made me smile and I nearly laughed once or twice, some situations totally work. It’s fast-paced and energetic. But be aware you won’t get punchlines every five seconds in here, which is sad because Eva Longoria knows how to deliver them every time she gets the chance. She had plenty of time to exercise during Desperate Housewives 8-years run.

But forget about Gabrielle Solis. Welcome to Ana Maria. Oh and be careful: you might not be able to notice the difference, and for a good reason! There is none. You won’t discover a new side of Eva Longoria’s talent in this show. She’s playing the exact same funny bitch we are used, who’s not as bad as she wants people to think she is. She has a big heart and can be sweet at times… bla bla bla. She’s Gaby, if Gaby was a real star, not just the star of Wisteria Lane. She’s the diva Eva Longoria was born to play (over and over again). We can’t really complain about that since she’s really good at it and pretty bad for pretty much anything else. But still. Been there, done that. Either you miss Gaby and you will be happy to have her back (kinda), either you had enough of her and won’t be able to watch Telenovela more than 5 minutes. Me, I chose to be happy. The eccentric galery of secondary characters who revolves around her is promising, with the gay paranoid co-star, the jolly bestfriend, the cat… yes, there’s a cat, a wicked one… great stooges!

I may not sound too excited by Telenovela but deep down inside I think I am a little bit, and I’m sure you are too. Because we all miss Desperate Housewives to varying degrees. It’s not as good as DH was when it started and it’s different in many ways but it’s good enough to entertain us once a week and do the trick, but for how long?

FOX confirms a “X-Men” TV series is in the works… for 2016/2017!

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It was a rumor so far, it is now confirmed by FOX: 20th Century FOX Television just started conversations with Marvel to develop a live action TV series adapted from the “X-Men” universe.

It is not clear yet if it will be a “X-Factor” TV Show (which follows a detective agency led by Jamie Madrox aka Multiple Man) as it was previously reported by Screenrant. But The Hollywood Reporter just learned 24 producers Evan Katz & Manny Coto are in talks to be the showrunners, and Stark Trek 3 writers Patrick McKay and JD Payne will pen the pilot.

If you’re wondering why FOX didn’t already order a pilot or went for a direct-to-series order, remember X-Men is a property belonging to 20th Century FOX AND Marvel, and Marvel belongs to Disney, meaning FOX needs to negociate with Marvel, which isn’t easy since Marvel develops its shows mainly for ABC (Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter) and Netflix (upcoming Daredevil and Jessica Jones). The battle will be tough but FOX CEOs are very hopeful to sign a deal anytime soon. That being said, don’t expect the show to start before fall 2016 or spring 2017.

CW’s 5 most exciting projects for 2015/2016 pilot season

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The following article is based on descriptions mixed wih talents attached ONLY. None of the scripts have been read at this point. 

What are The CW’s needs for next season:

– A Supernatural spin-off, to be able someday to let the original show die, finally… Another planted spin-off is in the works after the first one didn”t make it last year.

– News shows which aren’t adapted from DC Comics, to diversify its offer.

Drama Scripts ordered: around 20

Drama pilots ordered last year: 6

5-6 Drama Pilots should be ordered this year

Observation: It’s hard to tell if The CW had a strong year so far, since two new shows out of four have yet to premiere (iZombie, which got a chance to shine, and The Messengers, which is sent to a Friday certain death). But with The Flash, the network found a great hit, an even bigger one than its spin-off Arrow, which is rare and quite surprising to say the least. Jane The Virgin is not a ratings success but it’s the first CW show which won a Golden Globe (for best comedy)! But at the same time, The Vampire Diaries is fading, The Originals is already a disappointment, The 100 doesn’t get the ratings it deserves and Reign is just so-so. Plus, Hart Of Dixie isn’t dead yet.

For next year, The CW needed another DC Comics show in my opinion. Just one. But as it turns out, The Atom one won’t be ready on time, Teen Titans landed on TNT and Supergirl went to big sister network CBS for very mysterious reasons (I still think it could join CW’s schedule in the end, despite what Nina Tassler said). Here are some of the projects that could be ordered to pilot, but know the CW probably has scripts we never heard of…

CHEERLEADERS DEATH SQUAD (CBS Television Studios)

What?  a disgraced CIA agent-turned-teacher at an elite Washington D.C. prep school  trains a select few students to be his eyes and ears into the world of international espionage and help him earn his way back into the agency

Why? FOX will have its Scream Queens when The CW could have its Cheerleaders. It’s hard to take this pitch seriously, just imagining how those boys and girls will look like when doing espionnage things: models chasing, the hair in the wind, trying to look clever at the same time… But it is produced by Desperate Housewives and Devious Maids creator Marc Cherry. That could only mean one thing: there will be a lot of humor, writers won’t take themselves too seriously so it could be a lot of fun! And also very repetitive. It might be a cool companion for female-oriented Jane The Virgin.

FIRST LADY (Warner Bros. Television)

What? one woman’s rags-to-riches journey from illegal immigrant to the White House, where she battles injustice and her own sordid past which has come back to haunt her

Why? This one too could be a companion for Jane The Virgin, and it’s adapted from the Chilean series Primera Dama. It’s ridiculous, especially if the heroine really becomes the first lady of The United States, but you never know… It is produced by Jennifer Garner, a woman of taste. Maybe she saw a potential where no one else could…

THE MAGELLAN (Warner Bros. Television)

What?  revolves around what happens when a mysterious global cataclysm strands a group of students, teachers and crew on a Semester at Sea sailboat; With the entire planet seemingly covered in water, they begin to wonder if they are the only survivors left. As they explore their strange — yet strangely beautiful — new world, this group of strangers must join forces to survive, all while facing the equally daunting challenges of friendship, family and even love.

Why? I have no idea how the Spanish series El Barco is doing over there, but The Magellan is the american adaptation of this apocalyptic drama and it sounds exciting, the way The 100 sounded like when the project was first announced. It will probably require quite a big budget but Warner Bros. proved many times they can do it well (unlike ABC Studios and its atrocious green screens). Jennifer Johnston from The Following is writing.

THE PHOENIX PROJECT (Warner Bros. Television)

What?  three friends who, in an attempt to combat apathy, take an anarchistic, dangerous and morally questionable approach to save society from itself

Why? the creator of this show, Martin Gero, already got a pilot order for one of the three projects he developed this year –Blindspot at NBC- so it could prove complicated to do both. This one sounds original, and more personal, but it’s hard to tell where it’s headed. But it is billed as a “vigilante drama”, so these guys will pretend to be superheroes. And the CW doesn’t really need new ones, especially when they don’t come from prolific DC Comics universe…

UNTITLED ANDREW HINDERAKER PROJECT (Warner Bros. Television)

What?  a peek behind the curtain of Hollywood’s hip-hop dance scene, centering on a top-flight back-up dancer who dreams of becoming a choreographer

Why? Musical shows are still very much trendy but dance oriented ones are nowhere to be found. Maybe it’s time to give it a chance (just forget the horrible Hellcats), especially since it’s produced by John Wells. We can expect something smart and interesting from him. Plus, it’s adapted from real choreographer Kenny Wormald’s life. Could feel real.

Note: The CW still have a Misfits remake in the works but I think we all agree they’d better not touch it. It’s way too crude and crazy for them.

Quickie: CBS orders medical drama pilot “Austen’s Razor”

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This doesn’t come as a surprise since CBS had an hefty commitment – a pilot production one- with this project but it’s now official (kinda): Austen’s Razor, a medical drama, is ordered to pilot. It centers on a character inspired by Arthur L. Caplan, an authority on bioethics, who works for the NYU Langone Medical Center and consults for companies and organizations all around the globe. In the show, the hero is described as a brilliant bioethicist called in at crisis moments to solve the most complicated, dynamic and confounding medical issues imaginable. Caplan co-wrote the project with David and Perri Klass, a brother and a sister. David wrote screenplays for Kiss the girls and Emperor, and a few scripts for Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Perri didn’t write much as of now but she’s  a well-known pediatrician. Meaning it could be medical version of Scorpion, but smart! We’ll see if CBS orders another medical drama pilot. It’s a strong possibility.

20’S CBS MOST EXCITING PROJECTS FOR 2015/2016 SEASON

NBC orders last drama pilots: “Endgame”, “Blindspot”…

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NBC’s drama plate is full! The network ordered what should be its last four drama orders for this pilot season…

After Warrior, Love is a four letter word, planted spin-off Chicago Med, The Curse of the Fuentes Women and Game Of Silence, NBC orders two thriller dramas, Endgame and Blindspot. First one comes from The Blacklist producers, three John : John Rogers, also creator of The Librarians for TNT, John Davis and John Fox as executive producers. It is described as a high-octane thriller set in the high stakes world of Las Vegas and it centers on a former sniper turned security expert who is drawn into a mysterious conspiracy that forces him to complete a series of heroic challenges in order to save innocent lives. It is produced by Sony Pictures Television.

Second one, Blindspot, is from Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Brothers & Sisters and many more) and written by Martin Gero (The LA Complex). It starts with a beautiful woman, with no memories of her past, who is found naked in Times Square with her body fully covered in intricate tattoos. Her discovery sets off a vast and complex mystery that immediately ignites the attention of the FBI who begin to follow the road map on her body to reveal a larger conspiracy of crime while bringing her closer to discovering the truth about her identity.

NBC also ordered one medical pilot, a hot genre this year at every network but it’s the first one which goes to pilot stage so far. Heart Matters, produced by actress Amy Brenneman (Private Practice, Amy, The Leftovers) is inspired by the life of Dr. Kathy Magliato and her book of the same name. The medical soap follows the outspoken Alex Panttiere, one of the rare female heart-transplant surgeons. Alex brings an innovative eye to treating patients week to week while also balancing the complications of her professional and romantic life. Doesn’t sound lije very original…

Last one is Unveiled, a copycat of the 90s series Touched by an angel, from one of its actresses, Roman Downey, and husband TV reality producer Mark Burnett. It follows an ensemble of flawed guardian angels who intervene in the lives of those who find themselves facing crisis in an attempt to restore their faith and, often, save their lives. Borrrrrring.

SEE ALL NBC PILOTS ORDERED SO FAR

ABC starts pilot season with 5 drama orders!

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After NBC, FOX & CBS, ABC finally enters pilot season with first five drama orders, all very different from each other.

First one is a surprise, since it was a project set-up at FOX for the last two years. New regime there decided 20th Century FOX-produced Runner would be a better fit with ABC because of the female perspective of it. The idea was very welcome at the alphabet and now a pilot is on the rails. Runner centers on Lauren Marks, whose seemingly perfect life is ripped apart by one simple twist of fate. To uncover the truth, she must follow a trail of lies that takes her into the world of cartels and the illegal gun trade between the U.S. and Mexico. It is an adaptation of Turkish series Son.

Second one is a biblical drama, a very trendy genre since the success of The Bible on History. NBC has its follow-up A.D. coming this spring, and CBS has mini-series The Dovekeepers. ABC is trying it with Of Kings And Prophets, an ABC Studios production, which is an epic saga of faith, ambition and betrayal as told through the eyes of a battle-weary king, a powerful and resentful prophet and a resourceful young shepherd on a collision course with destiny. This is the very very serious version of Galavant.

Third one is a family dramedy, as Parenthood is ending on NBC next week. Mix, produced by Rashida Jones and written Jennifer Cecil (Private Practice) explores the realities of modern-day families — multi-cultural, multi-generational, built through divorces, affairs and adoptions — set against the backdrop of a revered family restaurant at a crossroads. 

Fourth is L.A Crime, an anthology detective drama based on true stories. It explores sex, politics and popular culture across various noteworthy eras in Los Angeles history. In Season 1, two LA cops will be searching for a Bonnie & Clyde-esque serial-killing team amidst the coke-infused rock ‘n’ roll, revelry of the 1980s Sunset Strip. ABC Studios is producing.

Last but not least, Quantico, a very hot project that could be a perfect companion for How To Get Away With Murder, written by Josh Safran (Smash) and produced by ABC Studios. It centers on a group of young FBI recruits, all with specific reasons for joining, who battle their way through training at the Quantico base in Virginia. As the show intercuts between their hidden pasts and their present training, it also flashes forward to the near future, where one of the recruits will turn out to be a sleeper terrorist responsible for the most devastating terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. A very ambitious idea that unwillingly echoes what just happened in France…

ABC is expected to order 5 more drama pilots and 10 comedy pilots in the next days.

DISCOVER ABC’S 25 MOST EXCITING PROJECT FOR 2015/2016 SEASON