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.
  • NBC Remaking '80s Cop Drama 'Wiseguy'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    1980s television was unique. The comedies were brighter and campier, the dramas were more succinct and black-and-white. So, a television series that worked in that decade might not have the same effect on audiences today. But experimentation is where genius is born. And as far as genres go: crime-drama is timeless. So, taking these matters into account, NBC is vying for a remake of the undercover cop series Wiseguy (1987-1990), starring Ken Wahl, Jim Byrnes and Jonathan Banks. Wahl, who has not acted since 1996, when he starred in the TV movie version of this series, played undercover police officer Vinnie Terranova—this could get confusing if they run the show on Mondays. In the original series, Vinnie disguises himself as a prisoner in a New Jersey penitentiary with the mission of taking down the local organized crime syndicates from the inside. The new series, however, will put a different spin on things. In the remake, the main character will actually play a disgraced cop who, while in jail, takes on the undercover work in exchange for a reduced sentence. No word on whether or not characters like "Lifeguard" Burroughs, or "Harry the Hunch" will be revived directly, or who will be attached to the cast. But if Banks, now a soaring eagle on Breaking Bad, has any plans to revisit old material, I think we're in for some glorious television. Source: Vulture
  • Kerry Washington Takes the Female Lead in 'Django Unchained'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    There's only so many times America can proclaim how excited it is about a developing movie before it just becomes redundant. With every casting addition to Django Unchained—when Jamie Foxx got on board, when Leonardo DiCaprio joined, when Samuel L. Jackson became attached, when Christoph Waltz jumped in, when Don Johnson found his way onset, when Gerald McRaney's name popped up in production, when still-potential rumors about Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kurt Russell materialized—we have celebrated wildly the promise of this Quentin Tarantino slavery-era Western. And now that Kerry Washington has been given the lead female role of Django's wife, Broomhilda, we must resist throwing yet another fiesta. This is not because Washington does not deserve it. She most certainly does. She has proven to be a superb actress, and more than capable at maintaining a palpable chemistry with Foxx (the two played masterfully a suffering ouple in Ray). It's simply a matter of self-respect. There are likely to be even more actors and actresses attached to this film; many of them are likely to be brilliant choices. But we can no longer make such a tiresome spectacle over what will most probably be an avalanche of cinematic pathos. I apologize, Ms. Washington. You truly do deserve the parade I am denying you. But if we get any more riled up about this movie, we won't have the energy left to actually see it when it comes out. So, regarding your arrival to the cast, I suggest nothing beyond a dignified, quiet rager. Three days, tops. I'm sorry, Ms. Washington. But it will have to do. Washington's character, Broomhilda, will be the drivign force of Django's (Foxx) expedition. Django sets out with a German bounty hunter (Waltz) to rescue his wife from the clutches of the despicable slaveowner Calvin Candie (DiCaprio), at his haunting, hedonistic ranch, Candieland. Source: Deadline
  • New 'ParaNorman' Poster Asks Where's Your Will to Be Weird?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    The message expressed by the new poster for the movie ParaNorman is (as you can read below), "You don't become a hero by being normal." Good. I am an enthusiastic proponent of instilling into kids who feel "different" a sense of great appreciation for their uniquity. And I know what you're thinking, readers. You're thinking that the only reason I so passionately endorse ParaNorman and the sentiment it conveys is because I have some monetary investment in the success of Focus Features. Well, joke's on you! It's because I was lonely and picked on as a kid. So HA! ParaNorman is the story of a young boy—a poetic outsider...aknight of the shadows, if you will—who can communicate with the dead. Ostracized for his oddities, Norman comes to use his powers to fend of supernatural forces in order to save his town from evil. Starring as Norman in this animated film by some of the people who worked on Coraline and Flushed Away is Kodi Smit-McPhee (who can brood with the best of 'em), Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Goodman, Leslie Mann and Vanessa Huxtable. Source: Yahoo
  • Snooki Says She Will Marry Jionni: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    Last night, Snooki stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! to talk about her struggles as a "legal midget," her secret crush on Jimmy ("aside from looks" and "age"), and to her announce her plans to marry her boyfriend, Jionni. On The Late Show, Eddie Murphy discussed his plans for hosting the Academy Awards, and whether or not they'll involve a Dreamgirls song-and-dance number. Zach Galifianakis appeared on Conan (making one of the best talk show entrances I've seen in years) to talk about being a "gym rat," to recollect on the first joke he ever told, and to perform his newest character: the Wrong Gesturing Guy. He also touched upon his pastime of searching for women in subway tunnels.   Finally, also on Conan, Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul and Conan talked about their frightening encounter in New York City...until the interview is interrupted by a very needy Zach Galifianakis. Afterwards, Paul spoke about being pranked about written out of the show by costar Bryan Cranston, and dressing up as different Breaking Bad characters at the show's wrap party, including Jane, who got a lot of interesting attention.  
  • President Obama Visits 'The Tonight Show'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 26, 2011
    Last night, President Barack Obama paid a visit to The Tonight Show to talk with Jay Leno about everything from the state of the country to the Kardashians. Naturally, the show opened with the most recent international news: the death of Muammar Gaddafi.   In the second part of the interview, Obama discussed the removal of American forces from Iraq, the destruction of al Qaeda, Hillary Clinton's job as Secretary of State and the economic crisis and the Occupy Wall Street movement. In the final segment of the interview, the show lightened up a bit, allowing Obama to discussed the equally significant issues of one of his new favorite restaurants: Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles, as well as his Halloween fears, his thoughts on the NBA, and his aversion to the Kardashians.
  • New 'Glee' Christmas Album Will Include Two Original Songs
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 25, 2011
    There's no holiday Gleekier than Christmas, which is why the new Glee Christmas album, Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Volume 2, will make a perfect gift for any of your friends or family members who are particularly fascinated with the misadventures of the McKinley High student body. This year's Glee Christmas album will have a couple of special bonuses. The first will be the presence of The Glee Project contestants Damian McGinty, Samuel Larson, Lindsay Pearce and Alex Newell on the CD, singing in such songs as "Blue Christmas," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and "Do You Hear What I Hear?" The second, and even more exciting, surprise is the inclusion of two original songs as sung by the cast of Glee. The songs will be entitled "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" and "Christmas Eve With You." Below is a full track listing, along with the names of the actors (and characters) who will be performing the songs. The album will be available Nov. 15. 1. 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' Featuring Amber Riley (Mercedes) 2. 'Extraordinary Merry Christmas' Featuring Darren Criss (Blaine) and Lea Michele (Rachel) 3. 'Santa Baby' Featuring Naya Rivera (Santana) 4. 'Christmas Eve With You' Featuring Jayma Mays (Emma) and Matthew Morrison (Will) 5. 'Little Drummer Boy' Featuring Kevin McHale (Artie) 6. 'River' Featuring Lea Michele (Rachel) 7. 'Do You Hear What I Hear?' Featuring Lindsay Pearce and Alex Newell ('Glee Project') 8. 'Let It Snow' Featuring Darren Criss (Blaine) and Chris Colfer (Kurt) 9. 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town' Featuring Mark Sailing (Puck), Cory Monteith (Finn) and Samuel Larsen ('Glee Project') 10. 'Christmas Wrapping' Featuring Heather Morris (Brittany) 11. 'Blue Christmas' Featuring Damian McGinty (Rory) 12. 'Do They Know It's Christmas' Featuring Cory Monteith (Finn), Amber Riley (Mercedes), Lea Michele (Rachel), Chris Colfer (Kurt), Kevin McHale (Artie), Heather Morris (Brittany), Mark Salling (Puck), Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina), Naya Rivera (Santana) Source: AOLTV
  • Casting Roundup: Molly Shannon on 'Up All Night,' Matt Smith May Leave 'Doctor Who'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 25, 2011
    Even though it may have kept younger viewers away with its "the struggles of parenting" premise, Up All Night has proven each week to be a full-fledged tour de force of comedy. The series has some of Saturday Night Live's great strengths going for it, such as the behind-the-scenes brilliance of Lorne Michaels and the comic prowess of Maya Rudolph. And now, an SNL icon is about to make a guest appearance. Molly Shannon will pay a visit to Chris and Reagan (Will Arnett and Christina Applegate) on a November episode of Up All Night. Shannon will play a producer of Ava's (Rudolph) talk show who is not entirely cut out for the demanding position. As far as I'm concerned, any appearance by Shannon, on any show (especially one with a comedic sensibility so suited for her) is a win. Up All Night airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. -Vulture Doctor Who might very well be calling in its twelfth man to star. Although nothing is confirmed yet, fans of the show are frantic to hear that Matt Smith, who has played the Doctor since 2010 may be done after next season. Although Smith, the eleventh man to play the character, has embodied the role for just under a year, fans have responded positively to his performance and would likely be sad to see him ago. Smith's interest in leaving the series stems from his desire to pursue film and television work in America. -VH1 One Tree Hill fans might have been remiss to learn about the diminished screen time of central character Nathan Scott, played by James Lafferty, in the ninth and final season. Although Lafferty signed on only for a part-time role, the actor will definitely be back for the most important episode: the series finale. While his absence throughout the season might feel a bit awkward, at least we'll be able to round things all out with an ending the series deserves. Also returning this season will be former star Chad Michael Murray, Tyler Hilton, Paul Johansson, and Barbara Alyn Woods. One Tree Hill will return to the CW in 2012. -TVLine
  • Preview: President Obama Discusses Gaddafi's Death on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 25, 2011
    Tonight, President Barack Obama taped an interview for The Tonight Show in which he talks to Jay Leno about everything from the Republican Party candidates to the first lady's healthy Halloween. You can watch the interview Tuesday night, Oct. 25, and check back here on Oct. 26 for full coverage. But for now, we have a clip of the president discussing the biggest news of the week with Leno: the death of Muammar Gaddafi. In the clip below, Obama illustrates the evils in Gaddafi's actions as a leader and a supporter of global terrorism. Watch the video to hear the president's perspective on Gaddafi and his fall from power, and tune into NBC at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT for the full interview with the president.
  • 'Person of Interest' and 'Unforgettable' Get Full Season Pickups on CBS
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 25, 2011
    In a move we all saw coming, CBS has finally officiated the full season pickups of its new drama series, Person of Interest and Unforgettable. If you haven't been following, Person of Interest is the all too real crime drama series about a pair of mysterious men, played by Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson, who make it their mission to prevent violent crimes before they occur, via the help of a special machine that predicts individuals who will be somehow involved in a murder. Caviezel plays John Reese, an expert soldier, former government operative, and shell-of-a-man with nothing to lose, thanks to a broken heart. Emerson's Mr. Finch is a character with far less known about him. The only things we know for sure: he built the show's central machine for the government for the purposes of predicting high-profile terrorist activity, but somewhere along the line became just as concerned with the day-to-day crimes and lives of "ordinary people." The overlying theme of the show, depicted via the abundance of surveillance cameras and frequent phone-tapping: someone is always watching, for better or worse. Also starring in the show are Taraji P. Henson, playing a detective bent on capturing the mysterious Reese, and Kevin Chapman, playing a crooked cop who is consistently at the mercy of the starring duo. The series was created by screenwriter Jonathan Nolan (who co-writes his brother Christopher Nolan's Batman series), and is produced by J.J. Abrams. Person of Interest airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Unforgettable is another crime drama series, with play on the traditional detective story. Poppy Montgomery stars as Carrie Wells, a New York City police officer who uses her gift-and-a-curse ability to remember everything that has ever happened to her (with the exception of the events on the day her sister was killed) to solve cases. Wells struggles with her condition and lives with the consistent drive to solve her sister's murder. Montgomery is joined by Dylan Walsh, who plays her partner and ex-lover Al Burns. Also on the force: Michael Gaston, Kevin Rankin and Daya Vaidya. Actress Marilu Henner serves as a consult for the show, as she is an actual sufferer of hyperthymesia, the condition that afflicts Wells. She will play a guest role as Wells’ aunt in a November episode. Unforgettable airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Source: TVLine
  • Brad Pitt Joins Michael Fassbender in Steve McQueen's 'Twelve Years a Slave'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 25, 2011
    Way to go, Steve McQueen. Way to ruin it for everyone else. First, you establish this Scorsese-DeNiro thing with Michael Fassbender—Hollywood's lightning wolfcub. Together, you two make Hunger and Shame. Pretty greedy for you to grab grandiose titles like that. What's even worse is that both films more than lived up to the grandieur of them. And now, not only are you and Fassbender are working on Twelve Years a Slave together, but the Brad Pitt is actually getting on board for a role on this developing movie? Was having the most badass namesake in world history not enough for you? Some people. So what's Pitt to play, anyhow? Well, the film is about an 1800s black American, a free citizen of New York, who is tricked into traveling to Washington D.C. for a phony job opporunity, and then kidnapped and forced into slavery in the Deep South. Playing the lead will be Chiwetel Ejiofor, whose credits include American Gangster, She Hate Me and Children of Men. Ejiofor's character Solomon Northrup will seek the aid of a Canadian abolitionist, who helps him pursue the legal system to achieve his freedom once more. This character will possibly be the one given to Pitt. However, Northrup finds himself under the imprisonment of several different slaveowners, so Pitt might find himself in a (more) rare villainous role. But all this aside, McQueen, you're doing good things. You might be hogging all the cool people/movie ideas/names...but you're making very good things with them. So...we're good. For now. Source: Indiewire