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.
  • Charlie Day, Emma Stone and Jason Segel to Host 'SNL' this November
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 17, 2011
    So far so good, Saturday Night Live. This season has been largely a winner, opening with Alec Baldwin's stint on one of the show's funniest nights in quite a long time, and lasting through the episodes starring Melissa McCarthy, Ben Stiller and Anna Faris. But the real triumphs will take place next month, when three comic goldmines: Charlie Day, Emma Stone and Jason Segel. These will be first-time hosting gigs for Day and Segel, and Stone's second run on the SNL stage. Charlie Day is the Golden Goose of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and his first big movie Horrible Bosses. We all know what he's great at: a sort of desparate, borderline-psychotic hysteria that would be tragic if you were watching it happen to a real person. Day will grace Saturday Night Live on Nov. 5, likely keeping a few voice-cracking tantrums in his back pocket for the occasion. Maroon 5 will serve as musical guest. Emma Stone did well last time around on Saturday Night Live, embracing her legion of nerdy admirers and launching herself full force into the comedy. Stone's second SNL gig will air on Nov. 12, backed up by Coldplay. Finally, the man who we can't really believe hasn't already hosted: Jason Segel. Segel is a tour de force of self-deprecating comedic roles, both on television (we recall his Freaks & Geeks glory days with heartfelt sigh) and in films. Perhaps the most versatile of these three skilled performers, Segel's might be the most promising episode on the horizon for Saturday Night Live. And that's saying a lot, considering this company of talent. Segel's episode will air on Nov. 19, with the glorious Florence and the Machine as musical guest. Source: TVLine
  • 'Reel Steal' Director Shawn Levy Attached to 'Pinocchio' Prequel About Gepetto
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 17, 2011
    I can almost guarantee that Toy Story is a near-exact illustration of what Shawn Levy's childhood was like: his best friends were his playthings that he always sort of knew, in the back of his head, were alive. And that's what drives him to make so many movies about non-living things becoming living things. As if both Night at the Museum movies and Reel Steel weren't enough, he's now taking a stab at the original toy-come-to-life story: Pinocchio. Only, he's not really focusing on the whole Pinocchio aspect (naturally); instead, he's working on a prequel about the love life of Pinocchio's father, Gepetto. The script is titled The Three Misfortunes of Gepetto, and it is written by Michael Vukadinovich. The newest entity in the cyclone of re-imagination that has hit Hollywood will follow the lonely puppeteer through an adventure to win the heart of a girl named Julia Moon. This name alone is a departure from the more European-sounding names of the original Disney film's characters (Pinocchio, Gepetto, Figaro, Cleo, Monstro...let's call Jiminy Cricket a tourist). A minor detail, perhaps, but should this indicate other, wider liberties taken with the story and character we know and love? But back to the matter at hand: Levy has a truly strange fixation on this whole "things coming to life" theme that doesn't stop at the works listed. He's also attached to a Frankenstein project written by Max Landis. Hopefully this will satisfy his craving for now...if Levy gets involved with any of those rumored projects like Toy Story 4, Short Circuit reboot or Indian in the Cupboard IMAX Experience (okay, that last one I just made up), someone might have to call a good therapist. Source: Deadline
  • 'Boardwalk Empire' Recap: What Does the Bee Do?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 16, 2011
    S02E04: Tonight's episode of Boardwalk Empire does make some headway in the realm of plot forwarding, but where it really wins is the look at three of its best characters: Gillian, Chalky and Richard. I'll quickly recount the steps the storyline took before I focus on the awesome character development. Nucky's lawyer figures out that Nucky has illegally transported prostitutes across state lines. This makes the case a federal issue, which means Nucky can seek the help of the Attorney General, who owes him many a favor.Nucky makes a deal with Rothstein for a port in Philadelphia so that he may import alcohol (Jersey is more or less closed off to him).Jimmy makes a deal with Philly indepdenent criminal Manny Horvitz, who is both lovable and threatening.Owen Slater builds a bomb for Nucky to plant beneath Mickey Doyle's storage shed; the bomb goes off when two FBI agents investigate the shed, having spied on Van Alden, who they think is a crooked cop. "You could have married me." - Gillian "I had a city to run." - The Commodore Gillian uses her exotic dancing to entertain the Commodore...and, unwittingly, to give him a stroke. The Commodore becomes immobile and unable to speak, which frustrates Eli and worries him about the retention of power. Gillian chastises Eli for his coldness, and reassures Jimmy that things will be all right. She then kisses Jimmy daintily, laying another pebble in the foundation of their strange relationship. The very end of the episode sees Gillian tending to the bedridden Commodore. She begins to reminisce about their first night together. Initially, the memory is sweet and poetic; she calmly recalls the waves crashing on the beach that morning, and the Commodore carrying her to bed. But then, the mood shifts abruptly. She begins descibing their first act of sex as a horrifying, tragic attack on her by the Commodore. She recounts the details of him holding her mouth shut and manhandling her, and then asks him if he remembers that night. When he cannot answer, she slaps him, demanding he do so. She slaps him over and over, eventually graduating to beating him violently until the episode closes. Perhaps it is his reduced power that allows Gillian to be honest (she must realize that while Eli is cold, he's is correct that the Commodore will no longer be viewed as the pinnacle of strength and power). Now that he is no longer valuable to her and her son, she can attack him with the feelings she has had all along. It is the first time we see real humanity and pain in Gillian, and it is very refreshing, although chilling. "I've been sitting tight. My ass is sore." - Chalky Chalky is out of jail, but his troubles are not over. In fact, he finds solace no place: not in his community, not in Nucky's office, not even in his own home. Chalky visits with the black community, to whom he has considered himself a hero and leader, but receives a good deal of anger from those who have lost family members to the KKK as a result of Chalky's alcohol business. He promises to take care of the issue, but no one is satisfied, and no one thinks of him as much of a hero anymore. He takes this issue to Nucky, but Nucky will hear nothing of it. He tells Chalky he needs to wait longer for justice, but Chalky and his community are frustrated by this.  But of course, the most interesting part about Chalky is the man behind the community figure. The man who holds a secret shame for his illiteracy and (suggested) humble upbringings. He's wealthy now, and his children are very educated, but this makes him feel inferior. When his daughter brings a young medical student to dinner, Chalky (drunkenly) asserts that the man thinks he is superior. His anger with the boy escalates quickly, earning tears from his daughter and scorn from his wife. Chalky heads out to his shed to carve wood, while the others stay inside enjoying music together. Last time we got a look at him, he came out the victor. In jail, he was looked at by his antagonist as a pompous, elitist man. But he then proved he was a man of the people. This situation is an interesting twist on the matter: Chalky learns he is no longer the people's man, and in turn feels "lower" and "inferior," and thinks everyone views him as such. "I'm never sure what's going on inside of [Richard]." - Jimmy Richard is far and beyond the most interesting character on Boardwalk Empire. That's sort of an easy claim: he's the mysterious, faceless man drenched in pain. He's almost literally the Phantom of the Opera. But who cares? He pulls it off well. Tonight's episode puts Richard with the only other character who is nearly as lonely as he is: Angela, Jimmy's wife. As we know, Angela is a painter. She askes Richard, who she seems to sense is on her wavelength, to pose for one of her paintings. He does. And it might be my favorite scene that I can remember in all of Boardwalk Empire. Richard professes to Angela that Jimmy loves her. I'm not even certain that he believes it as much as he just wants it to be true. He wants the idea of a perfect, loving family to exist in his presence. When she asks him if he has ever loved anyone, he recounts a happy, very close childhood with his twin sister. However, after the war, he was unable to feel any love for her, even though she treated him no different (despite his disfigurement). Richard removes his mask, prompting Angela to paint a picture of Richard's whole exposed face. He asks to buy the painting, but she gives it to him. Each of the characers' storylines are dark, sad and revealing of inner turmoil we hadn't entirely seen before. While Gillian's is the most surprising, Richard's is the most haunting and painful (it comes with the territory of his character). Not all episodes of this sort BE can be like this, but the ones that are turn out to be the real reasons to keep on watching.
  • NYCC 2011: 'Good Vibes', DC Animation, 'Robot Chicken' and 'South Park'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 16, 2011
    NYCC offered a premiere of the pilot episode of MTV's Good Vibes, a “new kid in town/fish out of water” story created by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) about a chubby, nerdy New Jersey teenager moving to the model-ridden beaches of California. The pilot delivered a steady dose of witty dialogue (often vulgar, but usually clever) from its silly but likable characters. Although risqué, the series is never mean-spirited, and seems to value and care about its characters and their journeys to find themselves. Along with the pilot came a panel that included Green, executive producers Tom Brady, Mike Clements and Brad Ableson, and voice actors Josh Gadd, Adam Brody, Alan Tudyk, Debi Mazer, and Olivia Thirlby. Green opened the conversation by discussing his inspiration for the show: his desire was to tell a story about the “honesty of being a teenager and having a messed up social circle,” combining absurdity with heart. Brady elaborated that, in order to achieve this goal, they went on to acquire a team of writers that “had twisted, painful childhoods [and were] willing to write about them.” The presentation premiered the pilot (watch it below), which revolves around awkward New Jersey teenager Mondo Brando's (Gadd) attempts to find his place in his new town in beachside California. The panel also discussed future episodes, including one wherein Mondo and his best friend Woodie (Brody) dress in drag to sneak into a Mammogram truck. Get More: Good Vibes, MTV Shows, Full Episodes  One of Friday’s big attractions at NYCC was a panel dedicated to DC animation. The focal point of discussion at this panel—led by director Andrea Romano and animator/writer/producter Bruce Timm, with surprise appearances by Kevin Conway and Eliza Dushku—was the upcoming animated film Batman: Year One. Attendees also got to watch the short film, Catwoman, with Dushku as the titular character as she takes down a lecherous mob boss after his hired goons are caught attempting to murder a cat for mysterious reasons. Timm called this short “ten minutes of sex and violence we didn’t get to do in Batman: Year One.” Discussing their inspiration for making a film based on the Year One comic book, Timm said that it was “about [his] favorite comic book of all time,” due to its unprecedented “level of reality.” Another fun aspect of the panel was a clip from the in-development Justice League: Doom short film, adapted from the “Power of Babel” comic by Mark Waid. The story surrounds Batman’s attempts to create a dossier that would serve as a useful means of taking down the Justice League were they ever to become corrupt. However, the dossier falls into the wrong hands, and as Timm puts it, “wackiness ensues.” NYCC presented a Robot Chicken panel, hosted by creator and star Seth Green, co-creator Matt Senreich, writers Kevin Shinick, Douglas Goldstein, contributor and DC comics writer/producer Geoff Johns, and voice actors Clare Grant (Green’s wife) and—the most awesome surprise—Macaulay Culkin. The panel was expectedly informal—the group denoted it the Silly Hat Club; each member was dressed accordingly. They discussed the upcoming DVD release on Oct. 25, which will “somehow” (as Seth put it) contain episodes not yet aired—those that will comprise the fifth season, which will premiere in Jan. 2012. The audience was treated to clip of the series’ 100th episode (it's on the DVD and part of the new season), which featured the titular chicken breaking free from the clutches of the demonic mad scientist in the opening credits and wreaking deadly havoc on a mass of unfortunate characters. The panel also discussed two projects in the works: an animated Star Wars feature film, and DC comics homage episode on Robot Chicken. But the real highlights of the panel were when things went a little “off book.” Provoked by an audience member to strike a “sexy pose,” Seth and Macaulay formed a pyramid of machismo around Seth’s poor wife. It all culminated when Macaulay took things one step further and gave Seth a long, slow, sensuous lick on his face. Macaulay Culkin, people. A man who (as Seth puts it) “can spend the next three years alone, never leaving his house, and still remain more relevant than anyone in this room.” Finally, NYCC hosted a Comedy Central panel to celebrate the fifteenth season of South Park, dubbed “Year of the Fan.” The presentation was filled with a lot of South Park fun, including outtakes from the recent special documentary 6 Days to Air, which illustrates the process behind the development of a South Park episode, as well as a South Park trivia competition and a raffle. However, discussion of a feature film about the behind-the-scenes world of South Park was possibly the highlight of the event. The film will give fans insight into how creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone deal with their controversial series. Subject matter will include how they decide what to keep in and what to leave out, as well as how their decisions affect them and their show. One of the big topics that will be looked at in the film is the issue surrounding their infamous “Muhammad” episodes—audience members will recall Parker’s and Stone’s choice to include a visual representation of the Islam deity in their episode “Super Best Friends.” A later group of episodes, “Cartoon Wars,” surrounded the controversy over depicting Muhammad in a visual medium. According to the panel, all of this will be discussed by Parker and Stone in the film.
  • NYCC: 'Walking Dead' Cast and Creators Discuss Season 2, Premiere Footage
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 15, 2011
    NYCC’s most exciting television presentation this year was undoubtedly AMC’s The Walking Dead. Saturday night featured a panel including The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, executive producer Gale Ann Hurd, co-executive producer and “special effects ninja” Greg Nicotero, and cast members Jon Bernthal, Laurie Holden, Stephen Yeun, Normand Reedus, Chandler Riggs and Lauren Cohan, who joins the cast in Season 2 as Maggie Greene. The actors and crew all expressed an incredible appreciation for the show and the opportunity they have gotten to work on it. At one point or another, everyone on stage deemed himself unbelievably fortunate and surrounded by a group of magnificent talents. But beyond this expression of general love for one another and their circumstances, the representatives for The Walking Dead also shared some interesting tidbits about the season to come. For those of you interested in avoiding spoilers, we suggest you stop here. We last left Andrea (Holden) a “sad sack who was suicidal all the time,” which Holden describes as “exhausting.” We will see a change in Season 2 which will give her a new drive to become a strong, “feisty” survivalist. We will even see Andrea get a few zombie kills under her belt. Young Carl Grimes will also come into his own this year. The amazingly sincere young Chandler Riggs was pleased to express his opportunity to “play two different characters in the same series.” Whereas Season 1’s Carl was always “scared in the background,” Season 2 will see the character “evolve to a new level” and “put himself in harm’s way.” According to Riggs, this will include “lying and stealing.” Finally, we learned a little something about fan favorite Glenn (Yeun), and where he’ll be headed this coming season. Yeun said about his character, “After the zombie apocalypse, he wants to be a hero, but he does it recklessly.” Yeun teased how this might change over the course of Season 2: “He might meet some people along the way, strike up a conversation…” (alluding to a romantic entanglement Glenn might enter with new character Maggie). Yeun charmed the audience with his sweet conclusion: “Finding something to love is a reason to live.” Of course, the highlight of the panel was the clip from Season 2. It goes without saying that unimpressive scenes in The Walking Dead are few and far between, but this was one of the rawest, most adrenaline-spiking scenes with which the show has yet to experiment. We find our heroes on a highway packed with deserted cars—Rick is the first to take notice of a swarm of walkers slowly approaching the campers. T Dogg finds himself in a bloody situation, while Andrea must fend for herself against a zombie attacker for the first time.
  • Lake Bell, Kid Cudi and Kanye West Party at Barney's Clothing Store: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 14, 2011
    Last night, Lake Bell visited Jimmy Kimmel Live! talk about her relentless (but unsuccessful) efforts to impress Kid Cudi, as well as all the new slang he has taught her, and an after-party the two attended with Kanye West at a Barney's clothing store. Julianne Hough appeared on The Late Show to talk about her "need" to dance, her gold spandex-laden childhood endeavors in a family band called White Lightning, and the hippie-esque names for her many nieces and nephews. Again on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, John Goodman talked about getting The Big Lebowski lines shouted at him, the pornographic version of the movie that was made, and trying to stay in character at a dinner theater while people were yelling about their silverware. Finally, Bill O'Reilly visited The Late Show to discuss the only two people who refuse to come on his show, The O'Reilly Factor (Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney), and to refuse to accept David Letterman's very enthusiastic high-five offer.
  • 'Person of Interest' Recap: Cura Te Ipsum
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    S01E04: Well, this is a nice change of pace! My main issue with Person of Intserest has been that each episode so far was too self-contained. The theme lends itself to continuity, ongoing stories, cliffhanger endings…but so far, it has seemed like a high-concept procedural. Tonight’s episode, “Cura Te Ipsum,” is a big step in the right direction. Episode highlight: Linda Cardellini playing a doctor with a vendetta. Cardellini’s character Megan is a workaholic doctor who spends her nights out late, always bar-side at the same club. Her number comes up on Finch’s machine, so Reese tails her. At first, it seems like Megan is being stalked by a power suit prep, who turns out to be a sexual predator. But Reese soon learns that it is Megan who is stalking the predator—Andrew Benton. Via Detective Fusco, Reese finds out that Benton raped Megan’s sister years ago, which led to her suicide. Thus, Megan has adopted a plan of vengeance against Benton and plans to kill him. Speaking of Fusco, that guy’s having his own slew of problems: seems being a crooked cop isn’t all peaches and cream. After the events of the pilot (wherein Reese thwarted Fusco’s crooked cop crime ring, leaving Fusco as the only survivor and his eternal blackmailee), the drug dealers pay Fusco a visit, demanding the money they would have gotten if things hadn’t gone awry. They threaten Fusco with some light beheading if he doesn’t pay up in two days. So, Fusco brings this to Finch's attention, and instead of actually helping his “pal” out, Finch knocks out all three drug dealers and steals a hefty sum of their coke to plan on Benton. Reese wants Benton put in jail, both to protect innocent women from him, and to protect him from Megan. However, it is not really Benton’s well-being that Reese is looking out for here. He doesn’t want Megan to kill Benton because of what it would to do her. Reese, having some experience in the field, knows that taking a life can and does remove “the only part of yourself that matters,” and doesn’t want this to happen to Megan, who he clearly thinks of as a good person. Unfortunately, rich Benton manages his way out of jail in no time. “I know what happens when you take a life. You lose a part of yourself. Not everything. Just the part that matters the most.” – Reese This episode may not have any literal backstory construction for Reese or Finch, but it does build a lot in terms of the former’s character. So far, all we’ve seen of him in the present is a cold, sly battle-droid; flashbacks have shown us the beginnings of his deterioration. But tonight, we see that he’s not entirely soulless. And of course, he can’t be: he’s made fighting crime and protecting the innocent his new job. Yes, he’s not above extortion and heavy violence, but usually that’s just an ends to a “Greater Good” means. But tonight, we see genuine sensitivity in Reese. He doesn’t know Megan, but he relates with her. He understands her pain, and he doesn’t want her to turn into him. So, he begins to follow her, puts on an act as a fellow griever at a support group for victims of sexual abuse. And finally, after Meg has all but done the deed (she breaks into Benton’s house, drugs him, wheels him into a van and intends to drive him out to Montauk where she will kill him and destroy his body—pretty smart doctor), Reese cuts the act and comes straight out with her. He explains that killing him will actually kill her, that taking a man’s life destroys a person. After much hesitation, Megan gives in to Reese’s words and gives him the keys to the van. The last scene in the episode sees Reese out in Megan’s Montauk house, sitting, gun at arm’s length, across a table from a disheveled Benton begging for his life. The episode ends with Reese questioning whether or not he should kill Benton—we never get an answer, presumably to highlight the impossibility in defining what is ‘right’ in that situation: let the man live and allow him to go on hurting women, or murder him? It’s an interesting way to end an episode. Philosophical debates are always good seasoning for shows about good and evil. “He told me to stop staring at him.” – Finch “That’s interesting. Most peoples’ instinct is to look away.” – Carter “I’ve never been accused of being like most people.” – Finch But back to the idea of continuity. Although it’s not a huge push for a story arc, it is refreshing to see things carried over between episodes. Dramas demand a good deal of continuity to keep the characters real, the themes honest, and the conflicts worth caring about. This episode sees Detective Carter examining the videotape of the robbery in which Reese participated undercover. She questions Finch (who uses the name Burdette) as to his relationship with Reese and involvement in the crime, as it looks as though on the video that Finch and he exchange a few words—probably because they do. The expert liar that is anyone played by Michael Emerson manages to convince Carter that it was merely a threat passed to him by Reese, and that he knows nothing of who the man is. It seems as though she buys it, but it’s hard to say. We can be sure that she is not giving up on figuring out Reese’s deal…which is exactly why Reese pulls some strings (more blackmail, on other cops) and has Fusco put in the bullpen to become Carter’s new partner, presumably to deter her from finding anything useful on Reese. Although it’s not a huge piece of continuity, it’s something. And Reese’s development in this episode is appreciated. I’d venture to say that the show is increasing in quality steadily. Hopefully we’ll see more arc construction next week, and more insights into Reese and, hopefully, Finch. But the best thing of all to take away from this episode is how this season of Fall TV is turning out to be a surprise Freaks and Geeks fest. Bill Haverchuck on Community two weeks ago, Neil Schweiber on yesterday’s Modern Family…and now Lindsay Weir? Couldn’t be cooler.
  • 'Glee' Creator Ryan Murphy Developing a Gay Family Sitcom for NBC
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    Ryan Murphy's goal is to traverse all territories of television -- pardon the alliteration. Murphy's name is most affiliated with his musical high school dramedy Glee, which is in its third season on Fox. His success in television really began with the acclaimed series Nip/Tuck, about the dark and often erotic world of plastic surgery. And his latest product is a big leap from both of these series: American Horror Story, which is exactly what it sounds like. But Murphy treads forward, seeking new terrain for his creativity. And he has found it at NBC. The network ordered a gay family sitcom from the writer/producer. Only the half-hour sitcom format will be unfamiliar to Murphy. Glee deals regularly with issues of homosexuality and homophobia, as this new series is likely to do. However, as it is in fact a sitcom, the new show might place less of a dramatic emphasis on the matter, instead painting the picture of a comical, likely dysfunctional -- this is a sitcom after all -- but happy, gay family. The characters are described as a male gay couple, their female surrogate, and their children. Murphy will co-write and co-executive produce this new series with Allison Adler, who will base the stories and themes on their personal experiences with their own sexualites.  Source: Deadline
  • A Very Muppetational New 'The Muppets' Trailer!
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    Muppetational (adj) [muh-peh-TAY-shuh-n?l] 1. Of or relating to Muppetation or Muppets 2. The combined phenomenon of sensation, inspiration and celebration 3. Describing a movie so supercharged with fun, comedy and messages like friendship, loyalty, believing in yourself and going for your dreams, that no matter how old you are, you can't help but rattle with excitement over its imminent release The Muppets will indeed be a Muppetational least if the below trailer is any indication. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Rolf, Skeeter, the Swedish Chef, Animal and quite a few more will be reuniting to save their old Muppet Show theater. But Muppets alone does not a theater save. They're getting help from an enthusiastic live cast that includes, among countless others, Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Rashida Jones and Jack Black. So what can stand in their way? The usual hijinks? A post-Muppet world? Perhaps the intimidating Moopet gang? Whatever it is, we can bet that they won't be daunted for long. Now get on board and Mup it up with the new Muppets trailer. Sensational it is. Inspirational, for sure. Celebrational? You bet. Muppetational? Don't you forget it. Source: Yahoo via Comingsoon
  • Johnny Depp and 'Rum Diary' Producer Take On Drama Series For Lifetime
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 13, 2011
    Just to keep us guessing, Johnny Depp likes to take a little bit of mainstream and mix it with a little bit of the outskirts. As we know, period dramas are all the rage these days. Mad Men ignited the fad, sparking the great Boardwalk Empire, and newbies Pan Am and the recently-cancelled Playboy Club. So Depp's attachment as producer to a period piece about William Wilkerson, founder of The Hollywood Reporter and Las Vegas' Flamingo Hotel and the man responsible for discovering Lana Turner, is no big eyebrow-raiser. What is a bit bizarre is where this series will air: Lifetime. Lifetime is infamous for its melodramatic TV movies about tragic accidents, miracle births and women fighting oppression. A dramatic series about high society mogul Wilkerson is not exactly the network's wheelhouse. But perhaps Lifetime is trying to extend its appeal to larger audiences. Depp is certainly one way to go about that. Reportedly, he will have a cameo role in the series -- although if we know Depp, that part won't remain a cameo for very long. Graham King is producing the series with Depp. King also produced the Depp-starring films Rango and the upcoming Hunter S. Thompson adaptation, The Rum Diary. Source: Deadline