Harry Potter fans were disappointed when CBS announced that they had declined to pick up Super Clyde, which starred Rupert Grint and Stephen Fry. However, they can now get their Weasley fix, becuase, at the request of the show's creator Greg Garcia, the network has made the unaired pilot available to stream online at their website.. The show revolves around Clyde (Grint), a shy, comic book-obsessed fast food worker who inherits a fortune after his great uncle dies, and uses it to become a real-life superhero. Fry plays Randolph, the family's butler, and Clyde's confidante.
If you're debating about whether or not to — in Garcia's own words — "kill 20 minutes at work" and give Super Clyde a shot, we've run down the pilot's highs and lows, to give you a sense of what to expect.
Rupert Grint. If you weren't already a Grint fan, Super Clyde will make you one. Carrying a television show is not an easy task, but as the charming, goofy and lovable Clyde, Grint makes it look easy. Fans of his work will know that he has a wonderful sense of comedic timing, and Super Clyde gives him the perfect opportunity to showcase it. He also manages to play the anxious side of a character in such a way that Clyde feel fully realized from the second he appears onscreen. It's a shame that the show never made it to series, beucase Super Clyde would be a perfect venue for Grint to show that he can be more than just Ron Weasley. Well, that and he's so adorable that we would have loved to see him on our television screens every weeek.
Stephen Fry. As the Alfred to Clyde's Batman, Fry perfectly mixes snark and sentiment to create a wonderfully likeable characters. He gets most of the pilot's best lines — Randolph declares Clyde riding three buses and then outrunning a group of fit neighborhood women as "not even mildly challenging" — and perfectly sells a hand puppet/therapist named Dr. Giggles. Fry and Grint have a wonderful rapport, and it would have been great to see the two of them develop a strong relationship. Randolph's also has some wonderful interations with Duke and Faith, which we're upset we won't get to see more of.
The American Accent. Although it slips a bit here and there, Grint is suprisingly capable of doing a convincing American accent. Having someone who is famous for their accent attempt to take on the bland American one favored by Hollywood is always a gamble (look at Rebel Wilson on Super Fun Night), but there's no doubt that Grint would have been able to carry it throughout the run of the series.
Jolene. Played by Laura Ortiz, Jolene is the sweet Ploppy's Burgers cashier that Clyde has a hopeless crush on. She doesn't get much to do in the pilot, but in their short scene together, Grint and Ortiz prove that Clyde and Jolene could have been a couple to root for. Grint plays "stupidly in love" with a wonderful mix of charm and hilarity, and it was almost impossible not to swoon when he offered up his calculator watch to help her out.
It's Original. CBS reportedly passed on Super Clyde because it was off-brand, opting for Garcia's other show, The Millers, instead. While it makes sense for the network, from a business sense, it's upsetting to see such a fresh and different show not make it to air. Super Clyde manages to be both funny and sweet, and its easy to root for such lovely protagonist with goals to make the world a little happier. With so many cynical comedies on CBS — and on television in general — it would have been nice to break things up with a little bit of positivity. Plus, passing over different, orginal shows only makes it harder for other different, original shows to be picked up.
Clyde's Sister Faith: In the pilot, Clyde's sister exists to serve as the punchline to an endless barrage of fat jokes. Her only character trait seems to be her constant snacking, and each time the gag is repeated, it becomes less and less funny. The character of Faith improves once she uses her portion of the inheritance to get full-body liposuction, but only becuase it finally gives her more to do than to appear in the background with a piece of cake in her hands. There are hints of great comedic potential in some of Justine Lupe's line deliveries, and she plays well off of Tyler Labine, but the writers would have needed to put in a lot of work to save Faith from being, by far, the weakest part of the show.
Clyde's Brother Duke: Much like his sister, Duke is more of a cariacture than an actual character. Although Labine does manage to score a few laughs, there's just not enough substance to keep the character from feeling flat. Since both of Clyde's siblings are so one-dimensional, the audience will quickly tire of whatever antics they are getting up to at home, which places a great deal of stress on the superhero premise to pick up the slack. However, Labine has proven himself to be a hilarious character actor, and so, with a little bit of time, would most likely have been able to make Duke a reliably funny part of the show.
Does the premise have longievity? Super Clyde's take on the idea of a real-world superhero is both funny and heartwarming, but the show could easily fall into a gift-of-the-week trap. There are portential storylines that could arise from Clyde's interactions with Jolene and his family, and his quest to keep his new identity a secret, but it's hard to tell just how many seasons the superhero storyline could be dragged out. And unless Faith and Duke were properly fleshed out, there's no interesting family-based storylines to take the pressure off.
When Graham is ditched by her husband (Luke Wilson) she rents a clunker and heads to El Paso Texas discovering that not only her marriage but also her faith and sanity are at stake in this clever original comedy. Through Graham's odyssey the film explores issues of honor and promise while never getting preachy or pretentious. The script is funny yet never slapsticky. And though touching the films never falls prey to drippy sentimentality.
Always a bride's maid and never a bride (with knockout supporting turns in
"Boogie Nights" and "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me") Graham finally takes command in her first lead role. Her face is as expressive as it is beautiful as she gently glides from strong to comical to vulnerable. This surely won't be her last starring role. Casey Affleck comfortably fits as Graham's dopey but loyal brother who half-wittedly forgets that Jolene is his sister. When he gives her a sensual kiss she responds by reminding him "I'm married and I'm your sister." He replies "Oh yeah." Wilson restrains from playing the stray husband as a cartoon villain and gives us a cad who's hard to hate.
This was obviously a labor of love for writer/director Lisa Krueger and every bit of her passion shows onscreen. She gives the actors a spotlight to shine in paints a beautiful picture of the Texas desert and trusts the audience with her vivid characters. Krueger's graceful touch turns Jolene's warm naiveté into something refreshingly strong and hopeful.
Top Story: Passion To Go Primetime?
Apparently Mel Gibson's Icon Prods. has quietly started the process of shopping for TV licensing deals for The Passion of the Christ, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It would be the first hugely successful film to come down the pike as a true free agent for pay TV and broadcast/basic cable licensing in more than five years, since Fox scooped up the rights to George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace. But sources told the Reporter Icon has made it clear to prospective buyers that the film must run in its entirety and that even some of the more graphic scenes of beatings cannot be edited down, which would make it tough for the four broadcast networks to line up advertisers for the controversial film, even if cuts were made. Others on the list include HBO, Showtime and other major cable outlets.
McGregor Turns Easy Rider
Ewan McGregor, who recently starred in Big Fish, takes to the road on his motorcycle for his next project. Reuters reports the 33-year-old Scottish actor will embark on a three-month journey around the world starting in Eastern Europe, through the hostile terrain of Mongolia, Siberia and Alaska and ending in New York. He'll be joined by friend filmmaker Charley Boorman, son of director John Boorman, who will film their adventures as a documentary. Since January, Reuters reports the pair have trained with ex-soldiers and learned how to perform emergency medical procedures to ensure they can survive any encounters with unfriendly weather, wildlife or serious accidents.
Walters Could Net Hefty Book Deal
Star interviewer Barbara Walters is close to signing a contract with Miramax Books to write her memoirs, Reuters reports, while a report in New York's Daily News speculated the deal could be worth as much as $6 million. "They were very closed mouth over at Hyperion," Publisher Weekly's editor John Baker told Reuters about Miramax's parent publisher. "But an editor there told me they expected to be able to confirm something in about 24 hours." But Baker said he was surprised at the $6 million figure. "I expected it to be a lot lower than this. It sounds phenomenally high. You'd have to sell a couple of millions of copies to get the money back. I'd be surprised if it comes down at that level."
More on Writing Books…
Billy Crystal has joined the league of celebrities who write children's books. As a "love poem" to his first grandchild, the 57-year-old actor penned I Already Know I Love You, published by HarperCollins, which details things Crystal hopes to do with his grandchild, including eating spaghetti and going to a baseball game, Reuters reports. "It's profoundly moving when your baby has a baby," Crystal said about his daughter having a child, after reading his new book to 5-year-olds at the Children's Museum in Manhattan Tuesday.
Simpson, Jackson Rate Well Over Weekend
The ABC Jessica Simpson/Nick Lachey variety special, which took in 11.5 million viewers Sunday, as well as Janet Jackson's appearance on Saturday Night Live helped bolster the ratings over the Easter weekend, The Associated Press reports. CBS won the week overall with 11 million viewers, while NBC came in second with 10.2 million viewers. Fox had 8.6 million viewers followed by ABC with 7.7 million and the WB and UPN with 2.7 million each. For the week of April 5-11, the top 10 shows were: American Idol (Tuesday), Fox; The Apprentice, NBC; Survivor: All-Stars, CBS; American Idol (Wednesday), Fox; ER, NBC; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS; NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Georgia Tech vs. Connecticut, CBS; The Swan, Fox; Friends, NBC; Without a Trace, CBS.
Parton Receives "Living Legend" Award
Dolly Parton will receive "The Living Legend" award from the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, the AP reports. The 58-year-old singer and songwriter, whose hits include "Jolene" and "9 to 5," will perform at the ceremony for a taped special set to air in May on the cable channel Great American Country. Past recipients include musicians Johnny Cash and Ray Charles; filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese; comedian Bob Hope; and baseball player Cal Ripkin Jr.
Role Call: Affleck Joins Glory; Plummer in Our Fathers; and Beauty Shop
Ben Affleck is set to star in Jerry Bruckheimer's Glory Road, which aims to start production this summer. In the project, Affleck will play college basketball coach Don Haskins who led the first all-black lineup of players from Texas Western to the NCAA championship in 1966 … Christopher Plummer will star in Showtime's adaptation of David France's Our Fathers, about the sexual abuse scandal in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church. Plummer will portray Boston's controversial Cardinal Bernard Law, whose repeated failure to remove abusive priests from ministry lead to his resignation in December 2002 … Andie MacDowell, Alfre Woodard and Bryce Wilson have joined the ever-growing cast of MGM's Queen Latifah comedy Beauty Shop. MacDowell will play a conservative Southern socialite, while Woodard is set to play Miss Josephine, the shop's Afrocentric stylist. Wilson will play a con/truck driver turned hairstylist.
Top Story: Veteran Actor Cronyn Dies
Actor Hume Cronyn, best known for starring in films such as Lifeboat, The Postman Always Rings Twice and Cocoon, died Sunday after battling prostate cancer at the age of 91. He was married to the late Jessica Tandy, who died in 1994, and starring with her in many plays including The Gin Game and Foxfire. Cronyn was the winner of three Emmys, several Tonys and received a supporting actor Oscar nomination for The Seventh Cross (1945).
Harry Potter Books Vanish
Perhaps the anticipation is too much? Nearly 8,000 copies of the new Harry Potter book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were stolen from a warehouse in Northern England over the weekend, Reuters reports. Police said they were checking a white trailer truck found 20 miles from the warehouse for evidence. Authorities also cautioned any potential recipients of the stolen books not to touch them before the book is released on Saturday. "We want to warn members of the public that if they handle the book between now and Saturday in any way other than legitimately, they may face criminal charges," a spokeswoman told Reuters. Police estimate the haul was worth about around £130,500 ($220,000 in U.S. dollars).
Gilbert Iffy on SAG Re-Election
At a press conference Monday, Screen Actors Guild president Melissa Gilbert said she may not run again as the guild's leader, especially if the proposed merger between SAG and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists is voted down by members early next month. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gilbert expressed confidence that the voting members will approve the controversial merger, which requires 60 percent approval. "Overwhelmingly I am hearing a positive response," she said.
Actress Beckinsale Engaged
British thesp Kate Beckinsale (Pearl Harbor) has become engaged to director Len Wiseman, who recently directed the actress in her upcoming movie Underworld, Reuters reports. On the syndicated show Access Hollywood, Wiseman said he popped the question on Saturday at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif., and filled their hotel suite full of Beckinsale's favorite flower, lilies, to celebrate.
CSI Star Weds Longtime Girlfriend
William Peterson, known for his starring role in CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, married his longtime girlfriend, former schoolteacher Gina Cirrone, in a weekend ceremony in Italy, The Associated Press reports.
Maui Film Festival Fetes Hopkins
At the Maui Film Festival's closing ceremony Friday, Adrien Brody accepted the festival's Silversword Award on behalf of winner Anthony Hopkins, who was unable to attend, AP reports. The festival said the Silversword "honors a special film artist for their contributions to the art of filmmaking and their personal commitment to effect positive change in the world." Other festival award winners included director Rob Reiner, Kate Hudson, Luke Wilson and Geena Davis.
Role Call: Malkovich as Kubrick, Star Trek's Blalock Does Slow Burn
John Malkovich is set to star in the black comedy Color Me Kubrick. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is based on a true story about a man who conned his way into London's high life by pretending to be the late and reclusive director Stanley Kubrick during the time Kubrick was making his last film Eyes Wide Shut…Jolene Blalock of UPN's Enterprise is heading toward to the big screen to star opposite LL Cool J and Ray Liotta in Slow Burn. The story centers on a politically ambitious district attorney (Liotta) who enters a 24-hour showdown with a powerful gang leader only to find he is being manipulated by a beautiful assistant district attorney (Blalock) and an enigmatic stranger (LL Cool J).