Tag: DC Comics

Powerless (NBC) pilot preview: Is DC comics’ first comedy any good?

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Created & executive produced by Ben Queen (A to Z, Cars 2). Directed by Michael Patrick Jann (A to Z, Little Britain USA, Reno 911!). For NBC, Warner Bros. Television, DC Comics & BQ Productions. 35 pages.

Description: Emily Locke works at the worst insurance companies in America, in the universe of DC Comics where superheroes do exist and cause a lot of collateral damages. How is it like working for a normal, powerless person in a world of superheroes and villains? It’s hard, really hard. You have to be strong, really strong. And that’s the beauty of it. Isn’t it?

With Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical, Spring Breakers, Sucker Punch), Danny Pudi (Community), Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Suburgatory, Dollhouse), Christina Kirk (Manhattan A to Z)…

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I really didn’t expect it before reading, but I enjoyed way too much Powerless script. And I’m not a DC Comics universe nerd. In fact, I don’t watch any of their shows on a regular basis (but I tried them all). That means this comedy is not specifically made for DC Comics die-hard fans. It’s for everyone. And by everyone, I mean everybody who enjoy upbeat workplace comedies NBC is famous for, from The Office to Parks And Recreation and recently added newbie Superstore. In fact, Powerless shares a lot with Superstore and it would totally make sense to pair them next season. Both have cute latinas for leads (America Ferrera & Vanessa Hudgens) and an interesting social subtext about work nowadays with a hint of feminism. And both are very funny, but Powerless may have the upper-hand on this. At least pilot vs. pilot. So, fear not: NBC is the right place for this show and the series order looks like a formality to me, even though it will be expensive, a lot of special effects are required.

Of course, we get the inevitable and necessary implied references to DC comics’ characters but nothing a novice wouldn’t understand and they are never too many. Just the right amount. By the way, there’s a description of the main titles (that could change) where we see classic panels from DC including Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman… all of them saving the day, but we quickly pop zoom past them, focusing on the civilians in the background while introducing the show’s cast. Smart idea. Efficient. The first sequence starts with Crimson Fox (I googled her, that super-woman is something!) battling a super-villain, Jack O’Lantern ( I googled him too, less impressive if you ask me). And they’re using a train full of civilians to make their point. Inside of it, there’s our heroin, Emily Locke, who has had enough of superheroes (she tells us about it with a voiceover, sorry voiceover haters) and that’s when SHE saves the day for everyone in the train with a brilliant speech and becomes a hero herself, at least for one day. It’s a wake-up call for Emily, who’s now determined to show to her whole office and especially her new crazy boss she’s not the nice little girl they all think she is. She’s on a journey, she won’t shut up and she won’t back down. Take that, Supergirl!

The story doesn’t take place in Metropolis or Gotham or National City but in the little town of Charm City and most of the action happens at the office building and Big Belly Burger, the McDonalds of the DC Universe, right at the corner. We meet Emily’s colleagues and they all make a pretty good impression, especially Teddy (Danny Pudi), Emily’s best friend, and Jackie (Christina Kirk), 45, a woman who really needs to get laid but she’s only interested in super-heroes. She even fantasizes about Aquaman. She’s all wet when she thinks about him (see what I did there?). Anyway. There are also Marvin & Wendy, twins who finish each other’s sentences but they always do it wrong. And there’s Dell Heller (Alan Tudyk), the new boss, who is some sort of human super villain. Except he’s worse. Everything that comes out of his mouth is offensive and that makes him super funny. He’s a caricature of a boss and make totally outrageous decisions, like buying standing desks for the employees and take away their chairs, so they have to stand up all day long. Told you there was a social subtext. Here it is. And it works. You can only relate to it. Oh and there’s Marco, Del’s assistant. Let’s just say he is a potential love interest for Emily. And it’s not a good news for Teddy, who’s probably in love with her in secret. Office love stories, people. Powerless is the whole package.

Powerless is a very promising workplace comedy that happens to take place in the DC Comics universe and that’s what makes it different and special, but most of all it’s a really funny half-hour piece of television that everybody can enjoy. And for NBC, being just that is already a powerful force. 

“Blackbirds” (“Titans”) TNT pilot from DC Comics postponed…

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FOURTH UPDATE: TNT has decided to pull the plug on the project (01/07/16)

THIRD UPDATE: The “Blackbirds” pilot is a never-ending story… I just learned the project is still very much in the mix but the shooting is now postponed to october, still in Toronto. Another pilot for TNT, “Animal Kingdom”, adapted from the Australian movie of the same name, will start shooting before, in July (in Los Angeles) (06/26/15)

SECOND UPDATE: The show is now entitled “Blackbirds” and the shooting is expected to start in the summer, in Toronto. With the upfronts coming soon (TNT is on May 13th), more informations may come out. 

UPDATE: The pilot will be shot more precisely this spring! Cast announcements will happen shortly. 

Article initially published on December 14

A couple of months after the rumored pilot order by TNT -which has never been confirmed by the network so far- Geoff Johns , one of the writers of Titans, answered to a fan on Twitter that it will be shot in 2015.

The Warner Horizon project adapted from DC Comics’ famous Teen Titans series focuses on Dick Grayson, who emerges from the shadow of Batman to become Nightwing, the leader of a fearless band of new super heroes including Starfire, Raven and many others. Probably better suited for the CW, which has already found success in Arrow and The Flash, Titans is the clear proof that TNT is looking for younger viewers after the cancellations of Dallas, Franklin & Bash and some others that struggled to attract the demo. The channel ordered mostly supernatural drama pilots, since their last successes are genre shows Falling Skies & The Last Ship. The casting process on Titans has already started. The question is: will the superheroes stay teens in this version? Not so sure. The shorter title already looks like a clue…

“Lucifer” (FOX) pilot preview: a funny as hell cop show that will make you fall in love with the Devil!

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Written & produced by Tom Kapinos (Californication, Dawson). Based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth & Mark Dringenberg. Co-produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI, Pirates of the Caribbean, Cold Case, Without a trace…), Jonathan Littman (CSI, CSI Miami, Cold Case, Hostages) & KristieAnne Reed (CSI Cyber, Chase, Miami Medical). Directed by Len Wiseman (Underworld, Die Hard 4, Sleepy Hollow, Hawaii 5-0). For FOX, Warner Bros. Television, DC Comics, Jerry Bruckheimer Television & Aggresive Mediocrity. 61 pages.

Description: a bored and unhappy Lucifer Morningstar, the Lord of Hell, has resigned his throne and abandoned his kingdom for the gorgeous, shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he has opened an exclusive nightclub called Lux. When an ex-lover of his turned pop star is shot dead in front of him, he decides to investigate on his own but police officer Chloe Dancer keeps on standing in his way and getting on his nerves. They have no choice but to reluctantly collaborate, something they might find quite tasty after a while. Lucifer now gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals…

With Tom Ellis (Miranda, Rush, The Fades), Lauren German (Hawaii 5-0, Chicago Fire), Nicholas Gonzales (The OC, Resurrection Blvd., Melrose Place 2009), Lesley-Ann Brandt (Spartacus, The Librarians, Single Ladies), D.B. Woodside (Suits, 24, Buffy, Single Ladies), Rachael Harris (Very Bad Trip, Suits)…

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Lucifer is my third FOX drama pilot script of this season after Minority Report and Studio City and is, by far, my favorite one, to my own surprise. I’m not into all things DC Comics: I totally get why Arrow & The Flash are hits, but I don’t enjoy them myself; Gotham is an interesting piece of television but it bores the shit out of me; and Constantine is just plain awful and certainly won’t stick around any longer if NBC is in its right mind, something that has yet to be proven. I don’t want to be overly optimistic but I think Lucifer is the kind of show that could help FOX getting its groove back after an incredibly poor season, Empire put aside. It’s vivid, energetic and a lot of fun. It’s exactly what they need and I hardly imagine them not picking it up to series…

Lucifer‘s biggest flaw is being yet another cop show, especially since the comics were not about police investigations at all. In fact, the TV series was not originally conceived this way. It should have been about Lucifer opening a piano bar. What would have happened next I have no idea and no knowledge about. The version FOX executives asked for and got is this: a police procedural mixed with supernatural elements and comedy. And more precisely, they wanted Californication‘s Hank Moody investigating murder cases Richard Castle‘s style with Dr House‘s dark sense of humor. They hired Californication‘s creator and showrunner Tom Kapinos to try it and they negociated for a long time to have modern cop-show’s king Jerry Bruckeimer and his team co-producing it. It couldn’t go wrong and it didn’t. I enjoyed this script more than I could imagine. Not because of the first case of the week, ‘cos it’s not particularly original and tremendously suspenseful (I think The Mysteries Of Laura‘s first case was way more exciting and I’m not kidding), but thanks to the character of Lucifer, whose every line is just delightfully hilarious.

I don’t know much about Tom Ellis, but I suspect FOX found their next Hugh Laurie with him, but younger. If he meets the expectations, he totally has the material -and I’m not talking about his beautiful face or his incredible manly chest but about the script- to make an extremely enjoyable performance. Women will LOVE Lucifer/him instantly and men will want to BE Lucifer/him. He’s THAT great! He could charm the pants off of anyone and he totally knows it, which makes him weirdly even more attractive. Oh and before I forget: he has some kind of power! That’s the supernatural twist of the show. He’s able to make anyone tell their own deepest desires just by locking eyes with them. It can prove very practical during a police investigation as you can guess. Lauren German’s character, Chloe Dancer, is a badass detective that claims to be allergic to him. She says he makes her sick. Of course, we don’t believe a word of it. She’s already in love but she’ll need three or four seasons to realize it, and two or three more to act on it. We know how it works, we’ve seen it a million times already. Lucifer’s world is full of women who wants him bad. There is Maze, a waitress at his club, and also Dr. Linda Martin, a psychatrist he meets during the investigation whom he promises a hook-up at a later time. Yeah, he’s generous. Note there’s a also a backstory about Lucifer’s family, especially his brother Amenadiel who lurks into the shadows, but we don’t really know what his agenda is. He may not be that much of an angel though.

Lucifer is an almighty entertaining and funny as hell detective drama that deserves a slot in FOX’s schedule next season. It has all it takes to be a success. That being said, Forever at ABC was in the same situation this past year but could never become a hit, mostly because of bad scheduling. So Lucifer can’t be labeled as a winner yet. But in my heart, it is already. Yes, I fell in love with the Devil…

Quickie: NBC goes “Cuckoo” while FOX orders DC Comics’ “Lucifer” to pilot

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It is not official yet but I can confirm NBC is ordering a single-camera comedy pilot adapted from british show Cuckoo. It tells the story of a middle-class family’s daughter who comes back from a summer abroad married to a charming but infuriating hippie moron – a guy called Cuckoo…Developed by Lionsgate for CBS, with the original creators Kieron Quirke & Robin French writing, it is now set up at NBC where it is honestly a better fit. Of course, this time the show won’t feature Andy Samberg, the original Cuckoo, replaced in season 2 by Taylor Lautner because of its commiment with Brookyn Nine-Nine.

At FOX, what may be the last drama pilot order for this season goes to Lucifer, an adaptation from DC Comics, written by Californication creator (and ex Dawson’s Creek producer)  Tom Kapinos. It centers on bored and unhappy Lucifer, the Lord of Hell, who resign his throne and abandons his kingdom for the gorgeous, shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he opens an exclusive piano bar called Lux…Well, maybe he will meet Hank Moody there!

Catch of the day: Glee’s Melissa Benoist is “Supergirl” for CBS!

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Ladies and gentlemen, CBS has made up its mind: Melissa Benoist from Glee‘s worst hours is the new Supergirl ! Super good or super bad choice?

Melissa Benoist was in competition for the role against Claire Holt from The Vampire Diaries and Elizabeth Lail, discovered recently in Once Upon A Time as Frozen’s Anna, per Deadline. The Glee alumn had small parts in Oscar nominated movie Whiplash, also Homeland, The Good Wife and Blue Bloods, some of the best shows out there. She will next be seen alongside Al Pacino, Annette Bening and Jennifer Garner in the movie Danny Collins. It’s hard to tell at this very moment if she’s the right choice since her role in Glee was so badly written she couldn’t prove much. She’s sweet, she’s beautiful, but does she have enough charisma to play Supergirl? I’m not sure. We will have to trust CBS on this. After all, they must have seen hundred of candidates and they chose her. She already has a fanbase, that helps.

At the beginning of the show, Kara Zor-El is chosen to be sent to Earth from her dying home planet of Krypton. Once arrived she is taken in by a foster family, the Danvers, who teaches her to be careful with her extraordinary powers. When she turns twenty-four, Kara Danvers feels unempowered, a slave to having repressed her innate abilities. She’s still pretty, but with her face hidden behind glasses and her hair pulled back, she doesn’t know it herself – this, we know Melissa Benoist can play without any problem. Then, an unexpected disaster forces her to use her incredible powers in public. Energized by her heroic deed, for the first time in her life, Kara begins embracing her extraordinary abilities. She begins helping the people of her city and they soon take notice. She’s even given a new moniker, Supergirl. And that’s when the actress will have to show she’s more than a pretty face.

Written by Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler, for Warner Bros. Television and DC Comics, Supergirl still doesn’t look like a CBS show, more of a CW one. But CBS chief Nina Tassler was clear at the last TCAs: the series is not going anywhere. It will stay on CBS and it will not pull a Ringer. She even declared no crossovers with Arrow and The Flash are to be expected anytime soon, even if all of the characters live in the same universe. For now, my guess is Supergirl won’t fly very high this fall…

So what do you think? Hit the comments!

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