- When HBO renewed "Tell Me You Love Me" in spite of low ratings and predominantly savage reviews (even people like me who really dug the Ally Walker/Tim DeKay storyline hated the rest of it), it seemed an odd move by a channel still searching for a post-"Sopranos" direction. Even as recently as two weeks ago, the heads of HBO were defending the renewal on the basis of the show being cost-effective and attractive to an upscale, albeit small, audience. And now they've pulled the plug, because creator Cynthia Mort and her team were "unable to find the direction of the show for the second season." If we take the decision at face value -- as opposed to, say, new exec Sue Naegle convincing her new bosses that they had made a mistake with the renewal -- I can see where Mort is coming from. The Walker/DeKay story, the one that got the show most of its praise, had reached something of a conclusion, and all three storylines (Sonya Walger/Adam Scott in particular) were in danger of just repeating the same arguments over and over.
- At the press tour session for "Life on Mars," I noted that Colm Meaney as Gene Hunt -- the racist, sexist, brutal 1973 lead detective -- was one of the few bits of casting of the original version of the pilot that seemed to match the original, and asked the producers what they were looking for. Andre Nemec said they wanted somebody with the same qualities as original actor Philip Glenister -- "He had a charm, and he had a passion, and he had a strength, and he had an animal quality to him -- he was a bit of a bear" -- and they may have actually gotten their man with the casting of Harvey Keitel in the role. Assuming Keitel takes the part seriously -- I can think of plenty of movie actors who treated their first regular TV job as little more than a paid vacation -- he could bring all the Glenister qualities without just seeming like a copy. I still don't think this works as an ongoing American-length series, but the casting of Keitel (and before him, Michael Imperioli as Ray) is at least interesting.
- There was a "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" panel at Comic-Con, but if you, like me, weren't in San Diego, you can read EW's oral history of the project.
- Nikki Finke says that this year's Emmys will be hosted by all five nominees in the best reality host category: Ryan Seacrest, Tom Bergeron, Heidi Klum, Jeff Probst and Howie Madel. If true, it shows that the Emmy producers didn't actually watch last year's Seacrest-hosted ceremony, which was unwatchable. I said it back then and I'll repeat it now: the qualities that make someone a good reality show host (and Seacrest is actually really good at it) do not translate into being a good host of an awards show, where most of all you need somebody who is going to be funny and liven things up in the middle of all the "And now I'd like to thank my 17 attorneys" acceptance speeches. (Somebody like, say, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" co-star Russell Brand, a not-so-big name who I suspect will do very well as host of the VMAs on MTV.) Are they also planning to repeat last year's disastrous Emmys-in-the-round format?
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Okay, I'm starting to feel adjusted to the old time zone, as I was able to get to sleep at a normal time without pharmaceutical aid and was able to wake up at a normal time without feeling like it was the middle of the night. And as I get back into the swing of things, it's time to catch up on some interesting TV news and links from the last few days, including the end of "Tell Me You Love Me," the re-casting of Gene Hunt on "Life on Mars," some "Dr. Horrible"-related goodness, and more, after the jump...
Posted by Alan Sepinwall at 8:14 AM