Tidbits from Around the Dial
Saint Strikes Back—Leslie Charteris’ long-running book series character “The Saint” is returning to TV. The Robin Hood-esque super-spy/super-thief was brought to life, famously, by Roger Moore in the ’60s. A 1997 movie version starring Val Kilmer failed to revive the franchise. But now a new weekly take is being lensed. It stars Adam Rayner (“Hunted,” “HawthoRNe”) as do-gooder Simon Templar and Eliza Dushku (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Dollhouse”) as his on-again-off-again love interest. No word on where it might be airing, but producers are screening it this month at the MIPTV market in Cannes.
BUCKing Idiots—It was a bad week for MTV’s docu-reality show “BUCKWILD.” Star Dalwa Amin was recently arrested for stockpiling oxycodone and heroin with intent to distribute. She failed to show up for court on the charges and then tested positive for drugs. (Hey, at least she stuck with the show’s “redneck moron” theme.) Days later, costar Shain Gandee was found dead, along with two other people, in an overturned Ford Bronco on a muddy back road in West Virginia. That leaves seven out of the show’s original nine stars. Makes the “Jersey Shore” crew look like “Golden Girls.”
Jesus vs. the Living Dead—Who was the biggest zombie on Easter Sunday? History Channel’s corny, earnest, extremely old school mini-series “The Bible” came to an end (spoiler alert: Jesus isn’t really dead) with its biggest ratings on March 31. The Roma Downey-produced series closed out with 11.7 million viewers. That’s a 14 percent increase from the week before. But it wasn’t enough to close the gap with AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” which ended its season on a high note—its biggest ratings ever. The basic cable horror series scared up 12.4 million viewers. That makes it the biggest show of the 2013 season among adults 18-49, outperforming even broadcast series like “Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family.”
“Finn”ished—“Glee” star Cory Monteith entered rehab last week, making it the most interesting thing Monteith has ever done. Reps say the 30-year-old actor “voluntarily admitted himself into a treatment facility for substance addiction.” Girlfriend/co-star Lea Michele has vowed to stick by her man. Look forward to next season’s “Glee” mash-up of “White Lines” and “Mr. Brownstone.”
Who Needs Networks?—Although most of us are just waiting around for Netflix to air the new “Arrested Development” season, the download-centric movie rental service is racing ahead with plenty of other new original series. Following up on the success of the political drama “House of Cards” starring Kevin Spacey will be the horror series “Hemlock Grove.” Developed by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever), this gory mystery takes place in a former steel town where new kid on the block (and trailer-trash werewolf) Peter Rumancek tries to solve a string of brutal murders (which he may very well have committed). Landon Liboiron (“Terra Nova”), Famke Janssen (X-Men) and Dougray Scott (Mission: Impossible II) star.