Tag: mtv

EXCLUSIVE: MTV orders comedy pilots “Little Darlings” & Nicole Byer Project

LITTLE

 

MTV is betting on young unproven sensations for their next comedy series : one from newcomer Jennifer Kaytin Robinson called “Little Darlings” and one untitled by Nicole Byer.

The Little Darlings project from Jennifer Kaytin Robinson is a music fueled comedy centering on two girls on a campus, Ophelia & Jules, one of them being… a masked vigilante, whose pathes cross when they not so accidentally kill a rapist together. It delves into the world of fraternities and sororities with dark humor. Update with official logline: College student Ophelia is an edgy, hip young trouble magnet: she works in a vintage record store, sells weed on the side, and is on a first-name basis with Campus Security. Jules is a sweet, small town girl and a member of one of the best sororities on campus, but she has a secret identity as a masked superheroine who dishes out rough justice to those getting away with sexual assault and bullying on campus. When Ophelia learns all about Jules and her clandestine operation, she insists on playing Batgirl to- well, to Batgirl!

Already co-starring in MTV series “Girl Code” since 2013 (where female artists discuss sisterhood that women share), Nicole Byer just got a pilot order for her untitled scripted comedy written by Christian Lander, who already worked on MTV underrated dramedy Underemployed and MTV animated comedy Good Vibes. The single-camera project tells the typical story of an out of money, luck and options, myopically self-serving (!) Nicole who is forced to move in with her sister and her four kids. It is produced by 3 Arts Entertainment.

The Shannara Chronicles (MTV) preview: Will TV finally have its own “Lord of the Rings”?

mgid-uma-image-mtv

Pilot “Chosen” written & produced by Al Gough & Milles Millar (Smallville, I Am Number 4, Spiderman II). Adapted from Terry Brooks‘ novels. Co-produced by Jonathan Liebesman, Al Gough, Milles Millar, Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Avengers, Revolution) & Dan Farah. Directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). For MTV & Sonar Entertainment. 62 pages.

Description: The descendants of the Shannara family are empowered with ancient magic and their adventures continuously reshape the future of the world while they’re running into the beautiful but dangerous wilderness of the Four Lands, full of monsters…

With Austin Butler (Life Unexpected, The Carrie Diaries, Arrow), Manu Bennett (Spartacus: Blood and sand, Arrow), Ivana Baquero (Pan’s Labyrinth), Poppy Drayton, John Rhys-Davies (Indiana Jones, Sliders), James Remar (Dexter, Sex & The City), Emilia Burns (Terra Nova), Aaron Jakubenko, Brooke Williams, Marcus Vanco, Daniel MacPherson

PREMIERING JANUARY 2016 ON MTV

rate rate rate

While some may argue Game of Thrones IS the equivalent of Lord of the Rings for TV, others would strongly defend there can’t be any. MTV is boldly trying to make their own with The Shannara Chronicles. But most importantly, they’re still looking for THE HIT scripted show that will help the channel going to the next level. Teen Wolf & Awkward did quite a good job, but since then MTV had a hard time finding something that sticks and generates buzz across social medias, which is a shame when you’re targeting mostly younger viewers. Their last shot, Scream, is not rock solid in that department (or in any other actually). Will The Shannara Chronicles can make that leap? I’m not saying no, but I’m not sure there is so much to crave for. At least at the beginning.

Creating a world from scratch can be excrutiating for a writer, especially when you also have to set up stories for numerous characters at the same time, especially when most of them are… elves. This pilot doesn’t really take the time to do so and have to speed everything up all the time, cos time is running out, with a fair amount of inevitable scenes, the same as in Hunger Games or Divergent movies, like the empowered female heroin passing a test to prove she’s worth whatever destiny has in store for her. Of course, she succeeds. We don’t doubt about it even a second. She’s the only woman standing in the race and in the end she’s even the only human elf standing! That can be boring if you’ve already seen the previous titles. And if you give a chance to Shannara, it means there’s a fair chance you had. When the pilot ends it’s not clear how subsequent episodes will look like. Maybe that’s why epic teen fantasy / dystopian stories are still tough to crack on TV, with the exception of remarkable The 100 after a shacky start creatively. And let’s not forget The CW’s two attempts to adapt The Selection saga that never came to fruition. It’s big and it takes time. A premiere structured as a two-hour episode would have helped. So my best guess is the show will be a weekly adventure to find something or someone in the wilderness while pieces of a big mythology will be put together, with a hint of soapy elements like love triangles, treasons, family secrets… Nothing really new here. But… they’re elves for god’s sake!

I have a question tough: is The Shannara books series the success MTV wants us to think it is? “International best-selling novels” they tout. Well, noboby in my “international entourage” knew about it. Anyway, I guess it doesn’t really matter as long as young people find in it what they’re looking for: beautiful teenagers doing magical things with whatever powers they have, without being too dumb. All of that with a budget that doesn’t stink too much for TV. Choosing breathtaking New Zealand to shoot will certainly help it look like something. The trailer (watch below) proves to be quite convincing but it’s too soon to draw any conclusion. A lot of SFX are required. And we know how bad they can be(come) sometimes, Once Upon a Time-style. If MTV wants to be taken seriously with this, they have to show the money. And they also have not to be too teen-oriented. Adult viewers who are looking for fantasy shows might give it a try. Maybe that’s why adult characters are not just adult characters living in a world of teenagers like let’s say… The Vampire Diaries. Maybe that’s also why there is a little bit of eroticism and not that much of storylines about love stories. Or maybe the authors learned from their Smallville days that teenagers are to be treated with a little more respect for what their aspirations and tastes in life are. It’s not just about finding love, getting married and getting knocked-up.

The Shannara Chronicles is a very important asset for MTV that could turn the network upside down if people tune it and stay. It has the potential to go big but sadly, it doesn’t always show on the page yet. The pilot is meh, very predictable, but the series it can become seems pretty okay. Now it’s time for MTV’s marketing team to play their cards right. Showing a trailer at Comic-Con was just the first of many steps. 

 

“Scream” (MTV) preview: Do you like scary movies turned into TV Series?

1616ff4e91738d2eab4e93a22ac43b9b_large

Pilot written by Jill Blotevogel (Harper’s Island, Ravenswood), based on a script by Jay Beattie (Revenge, Criminal Minds) & Dan Dworkin (Revenge, Criminal Minds). Produced by Wes Craven (Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Last House on the Left), Bob & Harvey Weinstein… Directed by Jamie Travis (Faking It, Finding Carter). For MTV & Dimension TV. 53 pages. 04/23/14 version.

Description: 25 years after the town of Lakewood was shaken by a wave of brutal murders, what starts as a YouTube video going viral showing two teenage girls hooking up soon leads to a new series of mysterious deaths who may or may not be connected to the town’s troubled past…

With Willa Fitzgerald (Royal Pains, Alpha House), Bex Taylor-Klaus (The Killing US, Arrow), Joel Gretsch (The 4400, V), Connor Weil (Sharknado), Tracy Middendorf (Boardwalk Empire), John Karna, Carlson Young, Amadeus Serafini, Bobby Campo… and a special guest appareance from Bella Thorne (Shake it up!, Big Love).

NEXT SUMMER ON MTV.

rate rate rate

As a boy who grew up up in the 90s, the Scream movie franchise has no secrets for me. I saw the first three a bunch of times, and the fourth only once, for nostalgia and for fun. And as a boy who grew up in the 90s IN a little town, I can assure you it was hard to wander alone at night without imagining Ghostface coming out of the dark to kill me. It lasted a few years until I became a grown-ass man. I’m not scared anymore. And I’m totally over slasher movies too. As today’s teenagers are… unless they have never been into it in the first place because the genre doesn’t really exist anymore. Yeah, I sound old. And that scares the shit out of me. Anyway. Even if it seems like it’s the worst time to launch a TV series based on Scream, MTV doesn’t feel the same way. It took time -the development was so hard the first writers were politely thanked before a new one was hired to repair the damage- but now there it is. Scream, the TV series. Believe me or not, it’s not as bad as it might sound.

This is not a sequel, since there is no direct link between what happened in the movies and what’s happening here. It doesn’t even take place in the same town. We can call it a reboot. The story is pretty much the same, but updated with new technologies. Of course, these teenagers do selfies, chat on Facebook, communicate on Twitter and send Snapchats to each other. And it’s pretty convenient ! It gives the serial killer many more ways to toy with them. It doubles up the fun! This way, they can revisit some of the most popular scenes just by changing a few details. That’s what happens with the cult opening scene with Drew Barrymore, spiced up here with a webcam and Snapchat instead of the good ol’ phone. And also a severed head, but it has nothing to do with technology. I’m guessing The Walking Dead is to blame. All of this doesn’t make it scarier but it works somehow. What they also kept is the very special tone of the dialogues, where teenagers constantly refer to pop culture, other horror movies and TV series, to show they won’t let a little copycat killer outsmart them. They think they know all the tricks, they act like they saw it all but of course, they’re wrong. Sadly, it’s not as sharply written as the movies were -Kevin Williamson is not involved, that’s why- and it’s not original anymore.

I’m not a big fan of the characters for now, especially the male parts. They all sound the same, easy on the eye but dumb. And there’s the nerdy one of course (who’s not that ugly). It’s typical MTV characters. The girls are a little more interesting, outside of the usual bitches. Emma, our heroine, is the cool chick you want to hang out with. Audrey, her ex-best friend is different. She’s dark, some would say she’s a tomboy. She clearly doesn’t know who she really is yet, and not only sexually speaking. I really like her. Like in Teen Wolf, the parents play an active role in the story, and of course one of them works at the sheriff department. At some point, a character says “it’s a not whodunnit show” but “a whydunnit”. And he may be right. But is it really what we’re looking for?

You can’t do a slasher movie into a TV show. Slasher movies burn bright and fast. TV needs to stretch things out.” Here is what the writer says through the voice of the character of Noah. Does he believe in Scream? He’d better be and he’d better prove to everyone that yes, it’s possible. But he knows what he’s talking about at the same time: he was a writer on truly shitty Harpers’s Island… Me, I’m not totally sold for now but it’s not that different from Teen Wolf so I guess it could work and I wanna watch. One last thing: why o why did they decide to trade the iconic mask inspired by Munch for a “mask made of flesh“? Outrageous!