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.
  • 'Modern Family''s Julie Bowen Gets Picked Up by Fabio: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 12, 2011
    Last night, Jay Leno had Modern Family's Julie Bowen on The Tonight Show to shame her with some embarrassing, lesser-known work from her past, and to surprise her with a particularly noteworthy male model from this part of her life. Let's just say, he's not content with shaking hands. Will Arnett visited Conan to basically spend seven-and-a-half minutes insulting Conan O'Brien. He got him on his ego, his hair color, his talents as a talk show host, and it all culminates with the interesting commercial Arnett and Arrested Development costar Jason Bateman made for Conan. Samuel L. Jackson stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to join the world of Twitter. After a few technical speedbumps, Jackson and Jimmy collaborated on Jackson's first tweet, which is as Samuel L. Jackson-ish as it could possibly get. Finally, Matthew Broderick joined David Letterman on Late Night to discuss his back surgery (man, it's been a long time since Ferris Bueller) and the questionable credentials of his doctor, and to test out an airport security wand on his newly metal spine. 
  • Casting Roundup: 'Game of Thrones' Casts Ygritte, New Show For Elizabeth Banks, & More
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 11, 2011
    Game of Thrones' endless Season Two cast list expands again today. The HBO series was seeking an actress for Ygritte, a strong-willed Wilding girl who encounters Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) on his travels beyond the Wall. And they've found their girl: Rose Leslie (Downton Abbey). Although Leslie's acting resume is limited primarily to Downton Abbey and two episodes of a UK series, Case Histories, she is a highly promising talent. Plus, it doesn't hurt that she is "kissed by fire" (that's just Wilding slang for having red hair). Game of Thrones' ten-episode second season will return to HBO in the spring. -AOLTV Fox's New Girl will be welcoming Rachael Harris in a guest role. Harris (known best perhaps as Ed Helms' toxic girlfriend in The Hangover) will play Jess's (Zooey Deschanel) quirky vice-principal boss and friend, Tanya, who will bend the rules for Jess so long as she can be included in our lovable hero's zany misadventures with her three new roommates. Something tells me she'll be more trouble than she's worth. According to Entertainment Weekly, Tanya has the potential to be a recurring character. - EW Courteney Cox and David Arquette (doesn't it make you happy that they still do things together?) are producing a comedy for ABC, home to Cox's Cougar Town, called Ten Years. The single-camera comedy will focus on two characters, recently split after a ten-year relationship, but still bound by a group of mutual friends and family members. -THR Another behind-the-scenes pair will manifest in Elizabeth Banks and her husband, producer Max Handelman. The two are developing a comedy series for Fox titled Dave's Dead. The series will take single-camera format, and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, has been called, "Shaun of the Dead meets My Name is Earl." Whatever that amounts to, there will probably be a good deal of ragged clothing. -THR
  • Sandra Bullock to Play Clint Eastwood's Daughter in 'Trouble with the Curve'?
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 11, 2011
    Legend has it that Sandra Bullock is actually the embodiment of the Mayan bat-spirit Roazgurda, who will take her natural form to fend off evil in an apocalyptic battle one year from now. Prior to that, however, she might be signing on to the new movie Trouble with the Curve, starring Clint Eastwood. Directed by first-timer Robert Lorenz, this film (which is actually not about a man's difficulties configuring his new Blackberry) will star Eastwood as an aging baseball scout whose gradual loss of his vision is making it difficult to do his job. Thus, he commissions his daughter (possibly Bullock) to help him look at one final, very promising, player. We can expect this film to be less about checking out a new ball player and more about the (probably strained) relationship between an aging father and his daughter. Eastwood is gruffled beyond redemption. And if we've learned to trust anything, it is that Bullock can, and does, often, play disgruntled quite well. So this teaming might not only be dramatic, it could be phenomenal! Clint Eastwood might very well have raised the type of woman Sandra Bullock is accustomed to playing. And she'd, in turn, when the time came, come back into his life, sour and spiky, ready to teach him everything he forgot that he taught her. If Trouble with the Curve ropes Bullock, it won't have any trouble telling a good story. Source: Indiewire
  • Michael Douglas and Matt Damon to Star in a Liberace Biopic for HBO
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 11, 2011
    There are two signs that you are (or were) an iconic figure. The first: you are known by a single name—Cher, Madonna, get the idea. The second: they make a movie about your love-life. These are just solid facts, people. So, if there was any doubt about Liberace's iconicism, all of it can be put to rest now. Director Steven Soderbergh and producer Jerry Weintraub are putting together a biopic about the famous singer as an HBO movie. Impressive figures are not limited to those behind the camera; Michael Douglas will play Liberace himself, while Matt Damon will play his lover Scott Thorson. Liberace's relationship with Thorson was famous for two reasons. First of all, it was an open secret that Liberace was homosexual (despite his many denials). Obviously, during Liberace's time in the spotlight in the 1950s and '60s, prejudices against homosexuality were rampant in American society. Suspicions about Liberace being gay resulted in a good deal of ridicule against him. Additionally, after his and Liberace's relationship ended, Thorson opened a palimony lawsuit against Liberace in the 1980s, not long before the pianist's passing. The film will cover the love and lawsuit between the two men, likely highlighting Liberace's fame as well as the secrecy of their love as a strain on what could have been an otherwise healthy relationship. Production will begin in the summer of 2012. Source: EW
  • Adoptive Parent Groups Attack 'Glee' for 'Quinn Wants Her Baby Back' Storyline
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 11, 2011
    Glee has stirred up its share of enmity in certain groups with regard to its depiction of homosexuality and sexually active (very sexually active, in some cases) teenagers. However, here's one facet that no one really expected to drum up this much controversy: adoption. Season Three opened a new storyline for Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron), who has undergone drastic physical and emotional changes. At the inception of the series, Quinn was a popular cheerleader, dating football player Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith). In Season One, Quinn became pregnant with the child of Finn's alleged best friend, Noah Puckerman (Mark Salling), instigating the downward spiral that would become her teen life. Quinn gave the baby up for adoption, in the Season One finale, to recurring guest character Shelby Corcoran (Idina Menzel), who, just to make things oh-so simple, is actually the birth mother of Quinn's fellow McKinley High Glee club member—and the fourth, very prominent corner of the love quadrangle in which she, Finn and Puck are perpetually involved—Rachel Berry (Lea Michele). And now, over a year and a couple of nervous breakdowns later, Shelby has come to McKinley High to lead a rival Glee club...and just the sight of her makes Quinn decide that she wants her baby back. In this, adoptive parent groups are taking issue. The primary problem, as voiced by's Amber Austin, is the perpetuation of the idea that this is something that happens often in situations of adoption. The "I just want my kids back" storyline is one hardly unique to Glee: television shows have found material in this theme for years. Austin expresses that this is a harmful story to expose adopted children to, as it might instigate the fear of being "taken" by their birth parents -- which, of course, is not allowed. It also illustrates a malicious relationship between adoptive and birth parents, which Austin states is just about never the case. Austin extended a plea to creator Ryan Murphy to place a more honest and positive spin on an adoption storyline. She did credit the series for handling issues like racism, homophobia, and prejudices against the handicapped in admirable and progressive lights, and begs for this sort of mentality to be attributed to adoption. You can read Austin's essay here at Glee airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. Source: Hollywood Reporter
  • Exclusive: Enjoy an In-Depth Look at New AMC Series 'Hell on Wheels'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 11, 2011
    AMC built its nearly indestructible reputation with critically-acclaimed, mesmerizing programming, so we're fairly willing to invest some faith in the network's newest series, Hell on Wheels. The post-Civil War-era drama, starring Anson Mount, Common, Dominique McElligott, and Colm Meany, will combine fiction with history to examine the lives of former slaves and soldiers adapting to the new America under the reign of the conglomerate railroad company.  This featurette offers some words from the cast and producers of Hell on Wheels, discussing the history of the period and the stories, characters and themes that will be explored in the series. In addition to interviews the featurette offers clips from Hell on Wheels' inaugural season, which will explore the rise of the transnational railway industry, as well as former Confederate soldier Cullen Bonnehan's (Mount) quest to avenge his wife's death. Click here to watch a preview for the upcoming series, which will debut Sunday, Nov. 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
  • 'Company You Keep' Ropes Anna Kendrick, Terrence Howard & Others to Earn a Diverse Audience
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 11, 2011
    The headlining duo of The Company You Keep is already a double demographic: Robert Redford and Shia LaBeouf are a pair that fiftysomething fathers and their preteen daughters can enjoy together. But the film seems to have advanced this retrieval of the omni-audience to a do-or-die mission. August saw the film grab the very up-and-coming Brit Marling, and, shortly after, a slightly older collection of stars including Susan Sarandon, Richard Jenkins, and Julie Christie. The film is pulling in the gruff and grumbling Chris Cooper, and the kempt and cerebral Stanley Tucci. And somewhere along the line, Nick Nolte found his way into this production. And now, expansion continues, with a wide variety of new supporting actors: Anna Kendrick (born 1985): The tragicomic firefly known best for the Twilight films, but most astonishing in movies like Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and (especially) 50/50. Also, Up in the Air. Sam Elliott (born 1944): The slow-speaking cowboy who has played to much applause the Wise Old Man figure in many a film (immortalized, to my generation, as the Stranger in The Big Lebowski). Also, Up in the Air. Terrence Howard (born 1969): A stalwart supporting player in hits including Iron Man, Crash, Mr. Holland's Opus and The Best Man (and possibly its upcoming sequel). Brendan Gleeson (born 1955): Harry Potter fans will reognize Gleeson as Professor MadEye Moody, although his career has included roles in Gangs of New York, Troy and In Bruges. Jackie Evancho (born 2000): Um, she's eleven. So...not much yet on the movie front for her. But this is where it all begins. Who knows what other actors will be drafted to the all-encompassing army of The Company You Keep cast? YOU could be next! Source: Comingsoon
  • The 'MythBusters' Will Host Steve Jobs Documentary on Discovery Channel
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 11, 2011
    There will likely be many film and television projects in the near future with Steve Jobs as the subject matter. One in the works is a documentary hosted by the co-hosts of Discovery Channel's popular MythBusters series, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. The special, iGenius: How Steve Jobs Changed the World, will feature appearances by computer engineers Daniel Kottke and Lee Felsenstein, as well as journalist Tom Brokaw and musicians Stevie Wonder and Pete Wentz. Arranging this variety of voices to speak about Jobs is understandable, as he helped revolutionize the worlds of technology, broadcasting, entertainment, and music. Speaking to AOLTV, Adam Savage said of Jobs, "He defined entirely new ways of thinking about our lives in the digital space: productivity, creativity, music, communication, media and art." The documentary will explore the miraculous effect the innovator had on lives worldwide and it will examine each of the disciplines Jobs changed with his work. iGenius will air Sunday, Oct. 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery. Source: AOLTV
  • The Magnificently Terrifying Javier Bardem Confirmed for 'Bond 23'
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 11, 2011
    Javier Bardem. The man has a presence so ominous, so demonic, so dastardly and dark, that you can't help but shudder when he looms into a scene. This tour de force of villainous acting drains the comfort from a well-lit set with just a momentary blinkless gaze. And now, the No Country for Old Men star's wicked talents have earned him entry into the most prominent league of cinematic antagonists: Bardem will play a Bond villain in the upcoming film Bond 23. Although this has been rumored for quite some time, there is still little known about which character Bardem will be playing...other than the fact that he'll be a hell-sent warlord of unparalleled horror...probably. As he is a Bond villain, Bardem's character may be ill-fated from the start. However, this could be the tide that turns the dynasty. Will James Bond (Daniel Craig) actually lose this time around? He might. Daniel Craig is no slouch, but I'd bet a pretty (money)penny on Bardem to take him down with sheer scowlitude any day of the week. Do you have it in you, Sam Mendes, to make this the film where James Bond doesn't get his man, and is, as a matter of fact, the man gotten? Ambitious, unruly, unprecedented! As awesome as Javier Bardem is, nobody's going to want to see him take down James Bond. Unless they pull some kind of Empire Strikes Back stuck-in-catatonia cliffhanger ordeal. Now that's a Bond movie I'd see! But of course, I'd see any Bond movie. We all would. On a serious note, Bardem is working on a documentary to publicize the travesties undergone by the inhabitants of a Western Sahara community. A war over territory has made refugees of many of the civilians. Bardem explains the severe situation in the video below and discusses his related film project.   video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player Source: ABC Nightline via Comingsoon
  • 'Footloose''s Julianne Hough Is 'Rescued' by Tom Cruise: Late Last Night
    By: Michael Arbeiter Oct 11, 2011
    Last night, Footloose star Julianne Hough appeared on The Tonight Show to talk about the heroic Tom Cruise coming to her rescue when she was injured, and how she accidentally let her dog run rampant on the set of Ellen DeGeneres' talk show.  Modern Family's Ty Burrell showed up on Conan to enjoy a catastrophic interview: cast members try to get in on the interview, the set falls apart... Once things start functioning, he talks about tricking his daughter into liking football, the experience of accidentally walking in on his parents sleeping together, his amazing mustache, and his very odd blinking habits.  Again on The Tonight Show, Aaron Eckhart stopped by to talk about his pretty interesting, and surprisingly weird life: he hunts Bigfoot with his parents, and flies cross-country for ten-minute blind dates (that he immediately cuts short if he doesn't feel the "kaboom").  Finally, Tracy Morgan paid a visit to The Late Show to issue one more apology and explanation about his much unappreciated comments this past summer. Watch how quickly he shifts from speaking like a cartoon character to a regular person.