Televised tidbits from around the dial
By Devin D. O”Leary
“Parenthood” Down One Parent—NBC announced last week that its big fall sitcom “Parenthood” would be pushed back to midseason because of an unspecified illness suffered by star Maura Tierney. The show’s sudden move to midseason was done to accommodate an eight-week “medical evaluation” of the actress—which sounds like one hell of an evaluation. Shortly after “rehab” rumors began to fly, Tierney annouced that she is having a tumor removed from her breast. ” Tierney’s past credits include “NewsRadio” and “ER.”
“Parenthood” was intended to serve as the anchor for NBC’s new Wednesday night lineup. That slot will now go to the hastily upgraded medical drama “Mercy.” Among the other stars listed in the crowded cast of “Parenthood” are Craig T. Nelson, Bonnie Bedelia, Peter Krause, Erika Christensen, Monica Potter and Dax Shepard. The show is intended to serve as a spin-off of the 1989 Steve Martin movie of the same name—which is odd, because NBC already did a spin-off back in 1990 when the concept seemed much more timely. That version starred Ed Begley Jr., Thora Birch, David Arquette and a kid named Leonardo DiCaprio. It was written by Joss Whedon. It got canceled after four episodes.
Heder Heads to TV—Comedy Central just inked a deal for an initial 10-episode run of a new series starring Jon Heder of Napoleon Dynamite fame. The as-yet-untitled show will be a traditional multi-camera sitcom about an out-of-work IT specialist who leaves the big city and returns to his small hometown, moving back in with his parents and younger brother. The show is being produced by longtime partners Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Heder previously worked with the duo on the feature film Blades of Glory. Taking a cue from TNT’s successful “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne,” Comedy Central will commit to an additional 90 (!) episodes, if the show has a successful first season run.
“Money” Gets Easier to Find—The extremely short-lived, shot-in-Albuquerque drama “Easy Money” is returning to TV. Sort of. The CW canceled the show back in November. But like most networks, CW is eager to fill its summer schedule with cheap, already-completed programming. Starting Sunday, July 26, the CW’s local affiliate KWBQ-19 will air the four remaining Season One episodes of the high-interest loan company dramedy in the 6 p.m. time slot. Though reminiscent in tone of both “The Sopranos” and “Breaking Bad,” “Easy Money” was an intriguing show with a solid cast and a clever setting. Predatory lending is a big issue in our state, and it would have been interesting to see where producers wanted to go with it. Oh well, at least the last few episodes aren’t going to waste.
Reese Witherspoon Presents: Legally Blondes—On Aug. 2, actress Reese Witherspoon will serve as producer for the ABC Family movie Legally Blondes. Following on the heels of Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, Legally Blondes stars twins Becky and Milly Rosso of Disney Channel’s “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.” The sisters play ditsy lawyer Elle Woods’ British cousins, who move to America and get involved in a mock trial at a posh high school where ... sorry. I can’t, in good conscience, go on.
Film Dramas in the Borderlands: Talk, Screenings and Book Signing at National Hispanic Cultural Center
A. Gabriel Meléndez discusses and signs his book Hidden Chicano Cinema: Film Dramas in the Borderlands.
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