FOB Heads to 90210: Fall Out Boy – who recently announced a comeback album/tour after a three year break – is set to perform on 90210 for an episode slated for April 29. The performance will be a part of a big concert event on the CW drama. The band will perform their new single, "My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up)," off their sixth studio album, Save Rock and Roll, which hits stores worldwide on May 6, 2013. [E!]
Pilot Castings Galore: The CW cast Arrow's Stephen Amell's cousin Robbie Amell as the lead in The Tomorrow People, the drama pilot from Arrow boss Greg Berlanti and The Vampire Diaries EP Julie Plec based on the 1970s UK series. [TVLine] Nicole Beharie landed the lead in Sleepy Hollow, Fox's drama pilot. The modern-day supernatural thriller is based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Daniel Stern has been cast in NBC's single-camera comedy pilot Girlfriend In a Coma as the father of the titular woman who wakes up from a coma to discover she has a 17-year-old daughter (Miranda Cosgrove). [Deadline] Joey McIntyre and Jessica Chaffin have been cast in CBS/Sony TV single-camera comedy pilot The McCarthys. Directed by Fred Savage, the comedy revolves around an Irish-Catholic, sports-crazed Boston clan and the gay son whose greatest sin is not his sexuality but his desire to spend less time with his family. The CW is bringing back another member from the original cast of The Selection. Australian actress Peta Sergeant has been added to the retooled pilot, reprising her role as Gaia, a rebel leader who is working to overthrow the monarchy. Sean Patrick Thomas is also reprising his role. Set 300 years in the future, The Selection is an epic romance centering on a working class young woman chosen by lottery to participate in a competition with 25 other women for the royal prince’s hand to become the nation’s next queen. [Deadline] Veronica Mars alum Ryan Hansen has signed on to CBS’ Bad Teacher, the single-camera comedy based on the 2011 Cameron Diaz movie about a sexy, foul-mouthed divorcee who becomes a teacher to find her next husband. Hansen will play Joel, the shorts-sporting athletic coach at Nixon Middle School. [TVLine] Mira Sorvino landed a starring role opposite Jim Gaffigan in his CBS comedy pilot. Written by Gaffigan and Peter Tolan, the project centers on Jim (Gaffigan) a guy who lives with his wife Jeannie (Sorvino) and five kids in a 2-bedroom New York apartment. Sorvino’s Jeannie is a super-wife and super-mom. [Deadline]
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Dwight Gets a Nemesis: Sopranos alum Michael Imperioli has been cast as a nemesis for The Office’s Dwight. He will play Sensei Billy, the karate instructor who's about ready to commit hara-kiri over Dwight’s inimitable "presence" in his dojo. Imperioli’s episode is slated to air in the spring. [TVLine]
Entourage Lady Heads to The Newsroom: Entourage’s Constance Zimmer has just been cast to recur on Aaron Sorkin's drama The Newsroom. On the upcoming Season 2, which reflects on the recent presidential campaign, Zimmer will play Taylor, a press spokesperson for the Mitt Romney campaign. [Deadline]
VH1 Picks Up 3 New Shows, Renews 1: VH1 has ordered three news shows for spring 2013: The Gossip Game, which follows ambitious women covering the urban entertainment beat; I’m Married To A…, a documentary series that examines some unusual couples in love; and 100 Sexiest Artists, a five-part countdown special. The network has also has picked up a third season of T.I. And Tiny: The Family Hustle, featuring rapper T.I. "Tip" Harris, his wife, entrepreneur and singer Tameka "Tiny" Harris, and their six children. [Deadline]
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After putting the kids to bed after a long day of telling them to clean their rooms, wiping up the organic mac 'n cheese from the kitchen ceiling, and sitting through countless hours of simplistic children's programming, you would think most mothers want a little time to themselves to do something adult like drink wine, surf the internet, or read Fifty Shades of Grey. No, apparently what they want to do is watch even more Nickelodeon. Yup, that's just what most moms want to do.
According to Deadline, Nick Jr., the Nickelodeon channel for kids too young to understand the joys of slime, is launching a block of programming just for moms. The network has four shows nailed down to air in primetime and, of course, they're all centered on being a mommy. (The accompanying website is already live for all your mommy blogging needs.)
There's Parental Discretion with Stefanie Wilder-Taylor, a sort of sketch comedy show that has about a million words in the title, none of which tell you what to expect from the show. There's NickMom Night Out, a stand-up comedy show where lady comics make jokes about being a mom. There's What Was Carol Brady Thinking? which is like Pop-up Video of old Brady Bunch episodes where we see what Carol really had on her mind (maybe something to do with her gay husband?). And finally there is MFF: Mom Friends Forever, which is a reality show about moms who are friends but it sounds more like a gag title of a show from a sketch on Parental Discretion and Other Ensuing Hilarity with Stefanie Wilder-Jonathan-Taylor-Thomas.
Well, at least there is no SpongeBob! Next season NickMom hopes to add some more shows (that I just made up) including, Kathie Lee's Search for the Perfect Chardonnay, No, You Can Not Have Another Popsicle, and a panel of spit up experts called The Spew.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Nickelodeon]
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Climbing the ladder from young actor to respected thespian is no easy task. There is a strategy to evolving a career — someone who stars on a long running, kid-centric show probably shouldn't suddenly pop up a Sundance indie about meth abuse and interspecies lovemaking, for instance (even thought it might sell a few tickets). The bridge film is key, and the next tween starlet to attempt the transition is Victoria Justice, star of the highly-successful Nickelodeon comedy Victorious. Her transition gamble? Fun Size, the feature debut of The OC, Chuck, and Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz.
Jugding from the first trailer for the film, Justice may have made the perfect choice. The film riffs on the Adventures in Babysitting formula: girl and friend want to go to a big party, but find themselves stuck with girl's little brother. When he disappears, it's up to them and a ragtag team of folk to track him down over one wiiiiiild night. Not Shakespeare, but a great comedic vehicle for everyone involved, including Justice, Suburgatory's Jane Levy, and Project X's Thomas Mann. The Halloween setting opens up the adventure to the door to wacky situations and colorful costumes (also, gamers: anyone pick up a Costume Quest vibe?), and with Schwartz at the helm, Fun Size looks to have a necessary edge lacking in most tween-centric entertainment.
Justice made a splash earlier this year with her indie sex comedy The First Time (note: no animals involved with that one), but she's lucky to see Fun Size see release before that slightly more raunchy entry to her filmography. Look at her predecessors jump to the big screen: Miley Cyrus plaid it real safe with Hannah Montana: The Movie, Selena Gomez grew up just a tad with the rom-com Monte Carlo and Miranda Cosgrove is taking it slow with voiceover roles (Despicable Me) and a potential iCarly movie. Careerwise, Justice is just the underhand pitch needs to really demonstrate her skills — plus, it looks funny!
Check out the first trailer for Fun Size and look out for the film when it hits theaters October 26.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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[Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures]
In a post-Harry Potter Avatar and Lord of the Rings world the descriptors "sci-fi" and "fantasy" conjure up particular imagery and ideas. The Hunger Games abolishes those expectations rooting its alternate universe in a familiar reality filled with human characters tangible environments and terrifying consequences. Computer graphics are a rarity in writer/director Gary Ross' slow-burn thriller wisely setting aside effects and big action to focus on star Jennifer Lawrence's character's emotional struggle as she embarks on the unthinkable: a 24-person death match on display for the entire nation's viewing pleasure. The final product is a gut-wrenching mature young adult fiction adaptation diffused by occasional meandering but with enough unexpected choices to keep audiences on their toes.
Panem a reconfigured post-apocalyptic America is sectioned off into 12 unique districts and ruled under an iron thumb by the oppressive leaders of The Capitol. To keep the districts producing their specific resources and prevent them from rebelling The Capitol created The Hunger Games an annual competition pitting two 18-or-under "tributes" from each district in a battle to the death. During the ritual tribute "Reaping " teenage Katniss (Lawrence) watches as her 12-year-old sister Primrose is chosen for battle—and quickly jumps to her aid becoming the first District 12 citizen to volunteer for the games. Joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a meek baker's son and the second tribute Effie the resident designer and Haymitch a former Hunger Games winner-turned-alcoholic-turned-mentor Katniss rides off to The Capitol to train and compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
The greatest triumph of The Hunger Games is Ross' rich realization of the book's many worlds: District 12 is painted as a reminiscent Southern mining town haunting and vibrant; The Capitol is a utopian metropolis obsessed with design and flair; and The Hunger Games battleground is a sprawling forest peppered with Truman Show-esque additions that remind you it's all being controlled by overseers. The small-scale production value adds to the character-first approach and even when the story segues to larger arenas like a tickertape parade in The Capitol's grand Avenue of Tributes hall it's all about Katniss.
For fans the script hits every beat a nearly note-for-note interpretation of author Suzanne Collins' original novel—but those unfamiliar shouldn't worry about missing anything. Ross knows his way around a sharp screenplay (he's the writer of Big Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) and he's comfortable dropping us right into the action. His characters are equally as colorful as Panem Harrelson sticking out as the former tribute enlivened by the chance to coach winners. He's funny he's discreet he's shaded—a quality all the cast members share. As a director Ross employs a distinct often-grating perspective. His shaky cam style emphasizes the reality of the story but in fight scenarios—and even simple establishing shots of District 12's goings-on—the details are lost in motion blur.
But the dread of the scenario is enough to make Hunger Games an engrossing blockbuster. The lead-up to the actual competition is an uncomfortable and biting satire of reality television sports and everything that commands an audience in modern society. Katniss' brooding friend Gale tells her before she departs "What if nobody watched?" speculating that carnage might end if people could turn away. Unfortunately they can't—forcing Katniss and Peeta to become "stars" of the Hunger Games. The duo are pushed to gussy themselves up put on a show and play up their romance for better ratings. Lawrence channels her reserved Academy Award-nominated Winter's Bone character to inhabit Katniss' frustration with the system. She's great at hunting but she doesn't want to kill. She's compassionate and considerate but has no interest in bowing down to the system. She's a leader but she knows full well she's playing The Capitol's game. Even with 23 other contestants vying for the top spot—like American Idol with machetes complete with Ryan Seacrest stand-in Caesar Flickerman (the dazzling Stanley Tucci)—Katniss' greatest hurdle is internal. A brave move for a movie aimed at a young audience.
By the time the actual Games roll around (the movie clocks in at two and a half hours) there's a need to amp up the pace that never comes and The Hunger Games loses footing. Katniss' goal is to avoid the action hiding in trees and caves waiting patiently for the other tributes to off themselves—but the tactic isn't all that thrilling for those watching. Luckily Lawrence Hutcherson and the ensemble of young actors still deliver when they cross paths and particular beats pack all the punch an all-out deathwatch should. PG-13 be damned the film doesn't skimp on the bloodshed even when it comes to killing off children. The Hunger Games bites off a lot for the first film of a franchise and does so bravely and boldly. It may not make it to the end alive but it doesn't go down without a fight.
Non-traditional heroes have become a staple of animated films in recent years supplanting anthropomorphic rodents and zoo animals as the protagonists du jour. Pubescent Vikings crotchety old men lonely robots and giant green ogres may not be much of a draw in the live-action realm but in the animated world they’re freaking gold. You can add to those prestigious ranks Gru the lead character in Despicable Me a terrific 3D-animated flick directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud and based on a story by Sergio Pablos.
An enterprising arch-fiend with a yen for stealing prominent tourist landmarks like the Times Square jumbo-tron and the Statue of Liberty (the Vegas version) Gru (Steve Carell) thinks he’s at the top of his malevolent game but his contented suburban existence is upended when he receives news that a youthful rival named Vector (Jason Segel) has managed to steal an entire Egyptian pyramid — a feat that renders his own audacious heists pedestrian in comparison.
His delicate villain ego badly bruised Gru aspires to take back the spotlight by stealing the Moon but before he can pull it off Vector sabotages his efforts by swiping a device essential to Gru’s scheme which triggers a duel of ever-escalating firepower reminiscent of the old Spy vs. Spy cartoons featured in Mad Magazine (with weapons straight out of the Acme design lab). Continually stymied by his ubernerd nemesis Gru is about to give up when he uncovers a fatal weakness: Vector is absolutely mad for the cookies sold door-to-door by a trio of impossibly adorable orphan girls Margo (Miranda Cosgrove) Edith (Dana Gaier) and Agnes (Elsie Fisher). Eying the children as the key to infiltrating Vector’s lair and succeeding with his moon-stealing scheme Gru agrees to adopt them. Little does he know however that they've unleashed on him a particularly virulent strain of cuteness that is already making its way toward his heart.
As the voice of Gru Carell speaks with a husky Russian-sounding (his true ethnicity is never revealed) accent that drips with exasperation and disdain for the naive simpletons that populate his idyllic suburban neighborhood. At first the idea of casting the Office star in the role seems counter-intuitive: Why go to the effort and expense of hiring one of the most popular comedy actors working today as the lead in your $100+ million (estimated) film only to conceal him in a voice nearly unrecognizable to his millions of fans?
Shortly into Despicable Me the answer becomes clear: because Coffin and Renaud idealistic young fools that they are hired Carell for his talent and not for his star power. And it’s a good thing they did. The same incomparable pathos that turned incompetent corporate stooge Michael Scott into perhaps the best-loved sitcom character ever works its magic on Gru making the story of his transformation from brooding misanthrope to dedicated father as emotionally engaging as it is funny.
A simple story told exceptionally well: It’s the modus operandi for today’s successful animation studios and it’s expertly carried out in Despicable Me. The plot thins out at certain points and at times borders on predictable but its wit and warmth and vibrant animation (the film's colorful gothic aesthetic was inspired by artists Charles Addams and Edward Gorey) — rendered in actual 3D not the fake variety so popular these days with audience-raping studio profiteers — carry it through those brief creative lulls.