Author

Michael Arbeiter
Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.
  • Casting Roundup: Chewbacca Brings His Talent to 'Glee,' 'Once Upon a Time' Casts Gaston
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 06, 2011
    I've been working for quite a while to come up with a funny enough joke to lead into the particularly noteworthy guest casting on the upcoming Glee Christmas episode, but nothing I think of is nearly as good as the news itself: Chewbacca—Han Solo's Wookiee copilot in the Star Wars universe—will be coming to McKinley High. How can you trivialize the most wonderful casting in a musical dramedy with mere wordplay? Sure, I could play off a possible romance with Jane Lynch's character, dubbing the duo Suebacca. As it is a Christmas episode, I might allude to leaving Wookiees and milk out for Santa Claus. But let's put all that treachery aside in favor of discussing what role Chewbacca will play at McKinley High. Glee star Matthew Morrison revealed that Chewbacca will exist in a within-the-episode special that pays homage to the Star Wars Christmas special of 1978. Glee's Christmas episode will air next Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. Catch tonight's new Glee, "Hold on to Sixteen," which brings back good ol' Trouty Mouth (Chord Overstreet). -THR No one fights like Sage Brocklebank, douses lights like Sage Brockleback...in a wrestling match, nobody bites like—yeah, just doesn't have the same ring to it. But the ABC series Once Upon a Time will see Brocklebank take on the role of the man who once earned these accolades in a much more rhythmic way: Gaston, the brawny dufus antagonist from Beauty and the Beast. Once seems to be working on collecting a handful of Beauty and the Beast characters; they've already cast LOST's impeccable Emilie de Ravin as Belle, and now Psych's Brocklebank will play her nefarious suitor. Witness this tale as old as time on Once on Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. -EW Speaking of LOST, someone much darker than the glowing young Claire (I choose to remember her as she was in the first half of the series) will be making a cameo on another fairy tale-themed show: Titus Welliver, who terrorized the island as the Man in Black, will be bringing his supernatural abilities to the NBC series Grimm. Welliver did his share of shapeshifting back in his beachside days, and apparently, he's feeling a bit nostalgic: Welliver's Grimm character, Farley Holt, will have the power to transform into a golden eagle. At least he's sticking to solid states of matter this time around. Grimm airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. -Zap2it  TNT is making some serious plans for the final episode of its long-running series The Closer. In the most poetic fashion possible, Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) will find herself pit against her arch nemesis—the dishonest attorney and suspected rapist Philip Stroh, played by Billy Burke of The Twilight Saga films. Burke will find himself back on the series when a serial killer investigation involves both Brenda and Stroh, set opposed to each other in one final, epic, and likely super-cathartic battle. The Closer's series finale will air sometime in the summer of 2012. Watch the remaining three episodes of The Closer's "mini-season" on the next three consecutive Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on TNT. -TVLine
  • Exclusive: AMC's 'Hell on Wheels' Is On the Right Track in New Photos
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 06, 2011
    Hell on Wheels, the completion of AMC's superfecta of earthly horrors (slavery, zombies, the drug trade and advertising), has got a lot going for it. Its superior cast is led by Anson Mount, who tells the story of a post-Civil War era man on a desperate, hopeless quest for revenge against the men who murdered his wife, and Colm Meany, who plays the Machiavellian railroad investor who understands the necessities in villainy. On par with its terrific acting and intriguing writing is the visual style of Hell on Wheels. The setting is a gripping picture of the era; the characters' vibrance is as dense with literary value as the lines they deliver. Below, we have four exclusive pictures from Hell on Wheels. Among those depicted are Mount, and rapper/actor Common, who plays Elam, a railroad worker with a grudge against the white population, and Dominique McElligott, who plays Lily Bell.  Hell on Wheels airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on AMC. Chris Large/AMC Chris Large/AMC Chris Large/AMC Chris Large/AMC
  • Danny DeVito Greets Us with a New 'The Lorax' Trailer
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 06, 2011
    The below Yahoo trailer for the upcoming animated movie The Lorax, an adaptation of Dr. Seuss' classic environmentally-themed story of the same name, is a modern day miracle. It warrants such a superlative in that the trailer is introduced by star Danny DeVito, talk about the film while standing before a backdrop that emulates the magical woodland setting of the movie, exclaiming happily his promotion of the trailer. The miracle is: that's not even the best part. If it were any other trailer—if it were any other thing in the world, an excited Danny DeVito yelling clumsily about a subject he is passionate about would be the best imaginable aspect. But here, The Lorax trailer itself is a majesty. In the two minute film that it is, I laughed, I teared up, I considered recycling more...if The Lorax is half as powerful as this trailer, then it'll be a truly honest, wonderful tribute to the great author. The Lorax comes out Mar. 2, 2012, and also stars Zac Efron, Ed Helms and Taylor Swift. Source: Yahoo
  • Idris Elba to Play Nelson Mandela in New Biopic
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 06, 2011
    It should say something to us all that Idris Elba's last name spelled backwards is "Able." The man is the quintessence of ability. Every task he attempts is accomplished and then some. He is likely best known for his role on The Wire, but has really taken off in major film roles lately. And he's far more able than one might think, judging only from movies like Thor and Takers. Elba is destined for greater things, heavier roles, more dynamic and dense films. What sort of movies might best display his ability? Well, to narrow it down to a specific category would be unjust...but "Nelson Mandela biopic" sounds good. It sounds real good. Elba will indeed be portraying the lead in a developing film about the life of the South African president, following in the footsteps of greats like Morgan Freeman (who played Mandela in Invictus), Sydney Poitier (in Mandela and De Klerk), Terrence Howard (in Winnie) and Dennis Haysbert (in Goodbye Bafana), among others. One might be in the mindset that there is a slimmer range of interpretation when it comes to playing a real-life figure—especially a real-life figure with the prominence of Nelson Mandela. But remember: we're talking about Elba here. The man whose Stringer Bell made television history. The man who makes even the smallest roles the real victories of his films. A man who not only has the ability, but has the heart. Want proof? The man's first name spelled backwards is "Sirdi." That's Serbian for "Heart." Mind-blower.  Source: The Film Stage
  • New York Cabbies Want Alec Baldwin To Be Mayor: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 06, 2011
    Alec Baldwin showed up on Conan to discuss his potential mayoral campaign...and what all the cab drivers in New York have to say about it. He also touched upon living among young drunk people, and describing Tracy Morgan's morning ritual of paying tribute to Michael Jackson. Steve Martin appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to tell a story about refusing to sign an autograph for an eleven year-old Judd Apatow. Robert Downey, Jr., stopped by The Tonight Show to talk about when he severely injured an extra on the Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows set in order to make a point, to pay thanks to Mel Gibson, Jamie Foxx and Garry Shandling for their Funny or Die tribute to him, and to discuss his very eccentric father who refuses to make right turns. Finally, Jonah Hill visited The Late Show to talk about how his mother thinks that since he's an actor, he must know everyone in Hollywood...including Woody Allen, whom she took it upon herself to find and have a conversation with.
  • Remote Control: What to Watch on Dec. 5
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 05, 2011
    Monday, Dec. 5 Note: Terra Nova is a rerun tonight. Top Tier How I Met Your Mother 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS "Symphony of Illumination" It's a How I Met Your Mother plus Christmas...so, there's really no losing here. Robin decides to hide some bad news from the rest of the gang, while Marshall takes the lead on what will most likely be an ill-fated hanging of decorations. NFL Monday Night Football 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on ESPN San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars For me to recommend watching any professional sporting event says something: it says that there is very little else on television. Seriously. I'm the kind of guy who watches sitcoms on my laptop during Superbowl parties. So that should tell you just how slow tonight will be in the television spectrum. Prep & Landing 2: Naughty vs. Nice 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Back to the glory of Christmas, once again, with the added majesty of animated elves. This ABC special, starring Dave Foley, Rob Riggle and Chris Parnell (who we interviewed about making it) might not exactly seem like the most exciting night time entertainment, but it's getting closer to the holiday season, and we need to start getting in the mentality. Alternates Honestly, that's pretty much it. How I Met Your Mother, a Christmas cartoon special or football. If none of those appeal to you, catch up on your Netflix queue. Read a book. Maybe reconnect with the family members and friends you've been neglecting in favor of television. As blasphemous as this might be coming from a TV blogger, sometimes fate just seems to be telling us to take a night off.
  • Casting Roundup: 'Glee' Extends Damian McGinty's Stay, More Old Friends Return to 'Grey's'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 05, 2011
    Glee's newest character, Irish exchange student Rory Flanagan, has build up a pretty respectable fan base in his short time on the series. So much so that Damian McGinty, the Glee Project winner who portrays Rory, has been given an extended stay on the show. We're not certain how many more episodes McGinty will have, but the show has a history of changing things around for new characters: Heather Morris started out on the show as a behind-the-scenes dance instructor, and look at her now. Glee airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. -AOLTV In Friday's Casting Roundup, we reported that Kate Walsh would be returning to Grey's Anatomy in a very special episode that examined hypothetical realities for the characters. Walsh's appearance as Dr. Addison Montgomery will play an integral part in Dr. Derek Shepherd's (Patrick Dempsey) "alternate reality," in which the two never split up. But an even more dramatic, more suprising character will return: Ellis, Dr. Meredith Grey's (Ellen Pompeo) now-deceased mother, played by Kate Burton. Burton will revive her role in a reality in which she (obviously) never died, and never developed Alzheimer's Disease. Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. -EW House seems to love bringing back old friends, for reasons that aren't too mysterious. And of course, there have also been a few reunions with old lovers. But this new returning guest castmember extends beyond either of these realms: House is preparing for the return of a green card wife: Karolina Wydra, who played Dominica, Dr. House's (Hugh Laurie) own green card spouse last season. Although Dominica has been absent from the spotlight for some time now, she and the doc are clearly not entirely out of one another's lives—as proven by her upcoming, early 2012 appearance. House airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. -TVLine The SyFy network has a niche audience, but it seems they're reaching for new demographic with the new TV movie, Jersey Shore Shark Attack, which is, exactly what it sounds like. And its cast is...well, also not much different than what you'd expect. Vinny Guadagnino is the only Jersey Shore castmember to be involved in the movie, playing a reporter who covers a story of beachside rampaging sharks. Vinny is joined by more actory actors, Tony Sirico (The Sopranos). Paul Sorvino (GoodFellas), William Atherton (Die Hard), Jack Scalia (Dallas) and *N Sync's Joey Fatone. Take all that in while you consider just how amazing this whole project sounds, and mark your calendar for its airdate sometime in the summer of 2012. -EW
  • Kiefer Sutherland and '24' Movie to Begin Production in Spring
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 05, 2011
    The following article takes place between 4:00 P.M. and like 4:15, 4:20...depending on how much of a rant I go off on. 4:00 P.M. Here's a riddle for you. When does a period of eight days last nearly a decade? If you've read the headline of this article, you can probably figure out the answer. From 2001 to 2010, 24 was a monstrous hit series on Fox, gripping viewers with its innovative premise, which emanated that trademark "This is all happening right now!" feeling. It's the kind of show that hooks you on concept alone, and then maintains just enough excitement to keep you tuning in until it's ready to unplug the clock. And we all thought that time had come—but wrong we were. 24 is not yet over. It just hit the snooze. The show is back. Only this time...it's a MOVIE. 4:06 P.M. Yes, the movie thing has been tossed around for some time now, but it's actually heading into production fairly soon. This coming spring is the intended date to begin the film adaptation, starring, of course, Kiefer Sutherland (the mild-mannered Hollywood actor secret identity of real-life superhero Jack Bauer). Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard, upcoming Jack the Giant Killer, Total Recall and The Wolverine) will be writing the script, which is expected to near completion just in time for the New Year. 4:11 P.M. So here's the thing. 24 really banked on the thrill of its unique real-time sensation. In that light, shouldn't a movie version also embrace this pinnacle of 24-dom? The problem with that: in order for a 24 movie to reproduce this aspect of the 24 TV show, it would have to be a 24-hour film. But let's just take a step back for a second. Is that (a day-long single piece of cinema...no splitting it up into sequels, this is just one movie) something to which any of us are really opposed? It's worth the venture artistically. And maybe 24 is the perfect project to pioneer this endeavor. 4:14 P.M. With that said, I am starting the "Make the 24 Movie 24 Hours Long" movement. It's not particularly cleverly titled, but neither is 24. All who wish to represent the spirit of the movement are asked to do day-long sit in protests outside of movie studios, digital clock stores, or Keifer Sutherland's favorite delicatessans. We can make this happen! 4:17 P.M. I've had some time to think about this, and I've come to realize that a day-long movie would be a terrible idea. Stop sitting in. Stop disrupting the capital of meat peddlers. Just celebrate the fact that a 24 movie is on its way! It may not be a full day, but it's something. Something that we'll all be able to enjoy. In time. Source: Deadline
  • Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg Might Star in Michael Bay's 'Pain and Gain'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 05, 2011
    Ladies and gentlemen, we have a marvelous opportunity here. As you may have heard, director Michael Bay is developing a bodybuilding dark comedy entitled Pain and Gain. But the opportunity has almost nothing to do with that. It has to do entirely with the potential casting of the movie. For, right now, at this very moment, production is in talks with one Dwayne Johnson and one Mark Wahlberg to co-star opposite one another in this feature film. Have you caught onto the opportunity yet? I'll spell it out. What does Dwayne Johnson plus Mark Wahlberg equal? THE ROCK WAHL. Okay, I guess that's not nearly as exciting as it was when it first occurred to me. It's not like Wahlberg's last name is Hardplace. Neither Johnson or Wahlberg is confirmed yet for this film, although Johnson is slightly closer to confirmed than Wahlberg is. But if they do team up, we might really be in for something. After all, we haven't seen much in the vein of a Michael Bay dark comedy before. So this could be something fresh. Something different. Something new. So new, that you might even dub those involved: New Kids on the Rock (get it?!). Wahlberg headlined the buddy-cop sendup The Other Guys, which starred Johnson in a supporting role. Wahlberg is really making a name for himself in the comedy world, even though he is more closely associated with dramatic roles...much like his starring part in the 2001 music-oriented drama. You know the one. Jennifer Aniston was in it. It wasn't that good. Don't make me say it... ROCK Star. Get it?! Source: Variety
  • 'Bones' Midseason Finale Pushed to January
    By: Michael Arbeiter Dec 05, 2011
    Fox's crime-drama series Bones was scheduled to have its midseason finale air on Thursday, Dec. 15. However, the network has decided to delay the broadcast of this episode until Jan. 12. For Bones fans, this means waiting a whole extra month for this single episode, and then enduring another hiatus until the return of the series for the spring. On Jan. 12, Bones will lead into the premiere of Fox's new series The Finder, which likely explains the move. Bones is still scheduled to air is penultimate fall episode, "The Twist in the Twister," at its normal time: this Thursday, Dec. 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The fall finale will air on Jan. 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Check out Fox's midseason schedule for more on what's to come on the network. Bones is in its seventh season, and stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz. Source: TVLine