Idiot Box: Tidbits From Around The Dial

Tidbits From Around The Dial

Devin D. O'Leary
4 min read
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Zoning In

The teaser trailer for Jordan Peele’s upcoming “Twilight Zone” reboot was one of the most intriguing moments in this year’s Super Bowl advertising binge. The show is scheduled to premiere Monday, April 1 with two back-to-back episodes. After that new episodes will drop every Thursday beginning April 11. Of course the show will only air on CBS All Access, so you’ll need to be a monthly subscriber to CBS’ exclusive streaming service to watch it. But the show is shaping up to be an impressive outing. Not only is the show hosted by Peele—hot off his writing-directing debut Get Out—it’s also his Monkeypaw Productions. Among the actors tapped to star in episodes this season are Seth Rogen, Ike Barinholtz, John Cho, Taissa Farmiga, Ginnifer Goodwin, Greg Kinnear, Luke Kirby, Sanaa Lathan, Kumail Nanjiani, Adam Scott, Rhea Seehorn, Alison Tolman, Jacob Tremblay, Jessica Williams, DeWanda Wise and Steven Yeun. Between this, “Star Trek: Discovery” and the as-yet-untitled “Star Trek” series staring Patrick Stewart, CBS All Access is shaping up as the classic sci-fi lovers channel.

Immigration Nation

MGM Television has struck a deal with Emmy-nominated creator/showrunners Will Scheffer and Mark V. Olsen (HBO’s “Big Love,” “Getting On”) to adapt T.C. Boyle’s PEN/Faulkner Award-winning novel The Tortilla Curtain. The rather timely book, originally published in 1995, is a dark comedy about immigration as seen through the eyes of a liberal white couple living in an upscale housing development in Topanga Canyon. Their lives change forever when the husband hits an undocumented Mexican man with his car and flees the scene. No word yet on who will star or what network will air it. MGM Television is currently producing “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu, “Fargo” on FX, “Get Shorty” on Epix and “Vikings” on History Channel.

Adventures in Babysitting

Netflix is reviving childhood fave “The Baby-Sitters Club.” Writer Ann M. Martin created (and wrote much of) the original series, which eventually spanned 213 books and ran from 1986 to 2000. HBO and Nickelodeon aired a 13-episode TV series version in 1990. In 1995 Schulyer Fisk and Rachel Lee Cook starred in a feature film adaptation. Now the characters of Kristy Thomas, Mary Ann Spier, Claudia Kishi, Stacey McGill and Dawn Schafer are back in a live-action dramedy about female friendship, babysitting adventures and sweet, sweet pocket money. Netflix has ordered a 10-episode first series which will start shooting soon.

Fairy Familiar

Disney, having “reimagined” its animated fairy tale characters nearly to death in the live-action arena (“Once Upon a Time,” “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland,” Maleficent, Disney Channel’s Descendants franchise), is going back to the well. It was announced late last month that Disney+ (Disney’s upcoming version of a proprietary, subscription-based streaming service) will launch with “Book of Enchantment.” The series is based on the Disney Villain Novel series written by Serena Valentino (creator of such comic book titles as Gloomcookie and Nightmares & Fairy Tales). Valentino has written six of those books so far, exploring the backgrounds of such famed characters as the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid. The TV show, which is currently in preproduction, is described as “an epic universe that weaves classic Disney tales told in a brand new way.” The Disney+ service is expected to launch sometime in fall of 2019.
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