May 17, 2010 |
Reporting from New York NBC has fallen in love with scripted shows again. In a bid to slash costs last year, the beleaguered network put a record-low seven hours of scripted programming on its weekly prime-time schedule. Nearly one-quarter of the lineup was devoted to an ill-fated and now-defunct 10 p.m. talk show with Jay Leno. But after a bruising year of low ratings and bad headlines, NBC has raced back to traditional dramas and comedies with a lineup that executives in New York officially released Sunday.
September 22, 2010 |
J.J. Abrams and Josh Reims' "Undercovers," which premieres Wednesday, promises to be a happy addition to the struggling phoenix that is the NBC lineup, and not just because its leads are both black. Though there's nothing wrong with tuning in because of that. We give points around here for trying something new, and in the Year of Our Lord 2010, there are just too many white folks on American TV, and way too many of them are playing lawyers, cops and parents. The leads of "Undercovers" are spies, and while spies are not unheard of these days, they're also married.
January 16, 2012 |
Though not technically an onomatopoeia, as its origins are in the Spanish word for pelican, Alcatraz, with its standing-stones line of tough consonants, has an undeniably sinister sound. That it also famously names the iconic island prison turned national park rising from the frigid, forbidding waters of the San Francisco Bay only increases the shiver value. So when Sam Neill, a man not short on shiver value himself, stares into the camera and says "Welcome to Alcatraz," you're certainly not going to argue with him. You're going to sit up straight, zip your lip and watch the darn show.
February 26, 2013 |
Thursday was once the most profitable night of the week for NBC. But the network's prime-time ratings and fortunes have eroded dramatically in recent years, forcing network executives to rethink their strategy. Last fall, NBC's schedule contained a curious recruit for the marquee time slot of 10 p.m. Thursday: "Rock Center With Brian Williams. " The news magazine show occupied the spot once reserved for the hallmark NBC dramas "ER," "LA Law" and "Hill Street Blues. " Ratings for Williams' show were weak, attracting fewer than 4 million viewers an episode.
October 31, 2006 |
Tom Cruise and director J.J. Abrams are probably suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome because of all the mutual back-slapping they do on the audio commentary and documentaries on the two-disc collector's edition of "Mission: Impossible III" (Paramount, $35). Their mutual admiration society act becomes tiresome but doesn't diminish the well-produced extras. Several featurettes explore the film's complicated production, including one on the high-voltage stunts and action sequences.
June 13, 2011 |
There's still some magic in the Steven Spielberg touch as "Super 8," a coming-of-age/sci-fi movie hybrid, topped the box office this weekend — a rarity for an original film released in a summer filled with reboots, prequels and sequels. The Spielberg-produced and J.J. Abrams-directed film, with no A-list stars and a moderate budget, grossed $37 million upon its debut, according to distributor Paramount Pictures. That was enough to beat out a movie from a more well-established franchise in its second week of release, "X-Men: First Class," which collected $25 million.
September 19, 2010 |
The outdoor cafe on a quiet street in "Florence, Italy" looked inviting with its checkerboard tablecloths and centerpieces, but the group of spies huddled in an alley across the street was preoccupied with other concerns, such as locating a biological weapon and saving the world. Secret agents Steven Bloom and his wife, Samantha, along with their nerdy colleague Bill Hoyt, were animatedly discussing the deadly case. All were fashionably dressed, at odds with the messiness of the alley.
April 17, 2013 |
Patton Oswalt is guest starring in this week's "Parks and Recreation," but the most impressive thing about his appearance is what you won't see on NBC. As part of the episode, Oswalt's character was supposed to appear before a Pawnee City Council meeting and filibuster a proposed vote. Producers invited Oswalt to "ramble a bit about whatever subject he wanted. " Oswalt decided his topic of choice was a pitch for the upcoming "Star Wars Episode VII. " While we wouldn't dream of spoiling the twists and turns the story takes, let's just say that he's found a brilliant way to merge two of the Disney corporation's biggest franchises (and even one they don't own)
December 17, 2012 |
This year's Black List, a ranking of hot screenplays that have not yet finished principal photography, honors scripts about the NFL draft, the early life of Dr. Seuss, and a 40-year search for three siblings taken from an Australian beach. The list is compiled by former production executive Franklin Leonard, who said more than 290 film executives contributed their 10 favorite scripts of the year. To be eligible for inclusion in the list, the scripts had to receive at least six mentions from inside the Hollywood development community.
May 7, 2010
A roundup of this morning's arts and entertainment headlines: Elvis Presley's doctor claims the king died from chronic constipation. Eat your fiber! (Fox News) The official site for J.J. Abrams' "Super 8" has launched. (Official site) Meanwhile, the much-buzzed-about trailer has leaked. (Movie Viral) Gustavo Dudamel pulled a neck muscle Thursday night while conducting the L.A. Philharmonic. (Los Angeles Times) The long-bickering actors unions are considering merging.