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April 9, 2008 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | April 9, 2008 |

This isn’t the first time I’ve read an entertainment-related story and thought to myself, “Wow, I’m getting fucking old.” But this is the first time I felt the “Wow I’m getting old” like a punch in the solar plexus. Not sure why this one hit so close to home, but it is what it is — ABC Family has signed Molly Ringwald up for a role in a yet-to-be-named series where Ringwald will play the mother of a pregnant teenager. Andie Walsh has a teenage daughter. A Juno-ed up teenage daughter. Fuck, I’m getting old.

Speaking of getting old, Fox has given “King of the Hill” a limited renewal for its still-going-strong 13th season, ordering up an appropriate 13 episodes. I have a weird fondness for this show. I loved it when it first started airing (and an early episode where Hank tries to teach Bobby a lesson about smoking cigarettes has a scene which, to this day, remains one of my favoritest TV scenes ever). But since that first season, I’ve probably only seen about a dozen episodes. Yet whenever I wind up watching one, about once a year or so, it makes me chuckle and I wonder why I don’t make more of an effort. And I truly can’t say. But I think the show is still pretty good in quality, and it makes me happy to know it’s out there, even if I’m rarely going to see it. In any event, you can look for the season to premiere in early 2009.

Fox has also ordered up seven episodes of Joss Whedon’s new series, “Dollhouse.” As we’ve talked about before, the show stars Eliza Dushku as Echo, one of a group of people who have their brains repeatedly wiped and imprinted with false memories to allow them to do deep-cover type of assignments. And Whedon has brought Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense, Rushmore) on to play the nasty lady in charge of Echo and the other “dolls.” So start your drooling, Whedon fans.

You know, HBO is in some real trouble right now. Sure, “John Adams” has been solid and will probably rake in a ton of Emmys. But on the series front, the not-TV network has lost almost all of the buzz it’s managed to build up over the past decade. And now, it has apparently decided that the way to make things better is by bringing back someone involved with the worst show the network ever ran. That’s right, I’m talking about goddamn motherfucking son of a bitch how can you screw up a show about a sports agent “Arli$$.” Robert Wuhl, the star of that terrible stinkpile, has signed an 18-month deal with the network, and he’s going to create a new show which he reportedly already has an idea for. It will be a single-camera “comedy” and by god do I wish I could make those quotes bigger.


Oh, and while we’re picking on HBO, Darren Aronofsky had a show in development with the network, “Riverview Towers,” which HBO just passed on. AMC was happy to jump right in, and they’re now developing the show about a spooky apartment complex. No idea if this show will be worth a crap, and Aronofsky is definitely a shaky gamble, at best. But here’s the thing — HBO already got a little egg on its face when word came out that it could’ve snagged “Mad Men” but didn’t even bother to follow up on the script which David Chase himself was originally given. If this “Riverview Towers” turns out to be even halfway decent, well, I just don’t know how HBO is going to get the Wuhlstink off its face.

Ok, let’s go positive for a second. Congrats to “30 Rick,” “Planet Earth,” “Dexter,” “The Colbert Report” and “Mad Men,” among others, all of which won Peabody Awards for broadcasting excellence last week.

In more good news, we might have a Rob Thomas/Kristen Bell reunion in the future, as there’s a nice rumor out there that Ms. Bell could wind up in one of Thomas’ three new shows. Rumor has it that she’s most likely to land in “Outrageous Fortune,” the most recently announced of Thomas’ shows (the others being his “Cupid” remake and the “Beverly Hills 90210” thing). You’ll recall that “Outrageous Fortune” is about a criminal family that tries to go straight when the pops goes to the clink. And while I’m not excited by the idea, Kristen Bell would definitely get me to tune in (plus, there’s a further rumor that Rene Russo is ready to sign on as the family matriarch, which I’m also ok with).

And in other Rob Thomas news, he’s got his Cupid. The role of the love god, originally played by Jeremy Piven, has gone to Bobby Cannavale. And despite being very skeptical that they could find someone capable of pulling off the snark and pathos of the character as well as Piven, I actually think Cannavale is a good choice. If they get someone for the role of the Doctor/shrink who can pull off the same chemistry with Cannavale that Paula Marshall managed with Piven, this sucker might actually have a shot. …Well, a shot at being good and worthy of our time, at least. I have no faith that the show has a chance of being any more successful this time than it was in its first incarnation.

Tomorrow night, “The Office” and “30 Rock” come back (along with “Scrubs”). Happy times, children.

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. The “Real World Seattle” still remains one of his personal favorite seasons and he, for one, is less than surprised that Irene-slapper Stephen has now finally come out of the closet.

Pretty in Pajiba

The Daily Trade Round-Up / The TV Whore
April 9, 2008

Industry | April 9, 2008 |

Seth is a Senior Editor and sometime critic. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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