Idiot Box: Televised Tidbits From Around The Dial

Televised Tidbits From Around The Dial

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
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Viceland, the cable network started by Vice Media and creative directed by Spike Jonze, has had a good year since debuting in February. Earlier this month, the fledgeling channel aimed at skaters and smokers and people who use a lot of beard oil announced it would be renewing at least two of its series: the skateboard-based reality show/scavenger hunt “King of the Road” and the dope-smoking documentary “Weediquette.” (Demographic: Locked down!) Soon to be added to the slate are three new shows. The first is “Payday,” a docu-reality look at working-class twentysomethings as they struggle to survive paycheck to paycheck. Next up is “Big Night Out,” a show in which host Clive Martin—described as “Vice UK’s T.S. Eliot of rave culture”—travels the world looking for the loudest, wildest dance parties. The final new addition—and a none-too-surprising one—is “Bong Appétit,” a cooking show featuring “high-end cannabis-infused foods.” “Payday” hits the network this week. “Big Night Out” and “Bong Appétit” will debut in mid-December.

Mafia Ties

AMC and BBC America are teaming up to produce the original scripted series “McMafia.” This epic organized crime series will be created and written by Academy Award-nominated writer and director Hossein Amini (
Drive, Snow White and the Huntsman). It’s inspired by Misha Glenny’s 2008 book of the same name. James Norton (“Happy Valley”), David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck) and Juliet Rylance (“The Knick”) are signed on to star. No word yet on when the joint series will debut.

Inhuman Nature

Marvel Comics and its movie-company parent, Disney, have been promising an
Inhumans movie for several years now. But so far, the ABC series “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” had been the only element of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to actually deal with the alien-mutated superheroes/villains. Just last week, Marvel made a surprise announcement, saying that “Marvel’s The Inhumans” would now be a weekly TV series on ABC. However, the first two episodes of the series would make their debut exclusively in IMAX movie theaters for a two-week run in September of 2017. Marvel claims this is the first time a live-action TV series has had its pilot debut in movie theaters prior to broadcast—however, back in March 1979, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century played in theaters several months prior to its premiere on NBC. In any case, it’s a bold plan: Make people pay for the pilot in movie theaters, let them watch the series for free on TV. The series itself will reportedly focus on Black Bolt and the rest of the royal family of super-powered Inhumans. No cast members have been announced, but we can probably assume that Vin Diesel, who has talked about wanting the Black Bolt role badly, is probably out due to budget constraints.

The Return of the King

HBO has just wrapped up work on it’s as-yet-untitled Elvis Presley biopic. This epic, three-hour documentary from Thom Zimny (maker of 12 Bruce Springsteen concerts/documentaries including
The Promise: The Making of the Darkness on the Edge of Town) promises to take audiences on a comprehensive journey from Elvis’ childhood through the his final Jungle Room recording sessions in 1976. The filmmakers are reportedly employing plenty of never-before-seen photos and footage of The King from private collectors worldwide. A premiere date for the two-part documentary movie has not been set.
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