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June 18, 2008 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | June 18, 2008 |

In the wake of last week’s fantastic mid-season finale of “Battlestar Galactica,” there’s a bit of the good-news/bad-news. The good news is that the execs at Sci Fi apparently dig the finale so much that they’re working on expanding it past the originally slated one hour, to make room for all the stuff Ron Moore has packed in. So we could be getting a finale that’s up to three hours long. The bad news, of course, is that it’s now all but confirmed that we won’t see the second half of this season until motherfrakking 2009, and maybe not even in January 2009, but sometime in the first quarter of 2009. So good on you, Sci Fi, for making sure the season goes out strong, but goddamn you for waking us make so friggin’ long.

Speaking of TV remakes, I’ve known for a while that there was going to be a remake of “The Prisoner.” But I had no idea they were getting ready to film the six-episode miniseries later this summer. Nor did I know that Jim Caviezel has been cast as Number 6, the former spy sent to the mysterious Village (a role originally played wonderfully well by Patrick McGoohan). And dig this — Ian McKellan has apparently been cast as Number 2, the face of the folks in charge of The Village. If that casting pans out, this is fantastic, and I’m suddenly ever-so-cautiously optimistic that this thing could be quite good.

In other casting news, Jon Voight is coming back to TV for his first television series role in some four decades. What brought the man back to the little screen, you ask? Some show called “24,” which I vaguely recall seeing some number of years ago. Meanwhile, Rob Thomas has filled the former shoes of Paula Marshall for his updated version of “Cupid.” We already knew that Bobby Cannavale was taking on Jeremy Piven’s role, and now we learn that the shrink trying to help the possible Love God is Sarah Paulson, whom you may remember as excellent on “Deadwood” and terrible on “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” Many are deriding this decision based on Paulson’s work on “Studio 60,” but I think that was more about the script and that show than her, and I have a suspicion that if this show is put together right, she could be quite good in the role.

We’re also starting to get our first hints about another new show, that “Office” spinoff we’ve been promised for next year. There are suggestions that the show may not be a standard spinoff but, rather, might be a so-called planted spinoff (where the new show is introduced on the old show, like “Melrose Place” did way back when). Not much to go on there, but it does mean we may not see this show cause us to lose any of the “Office” regulars we love. As for the cast, the first actor has been signed, as Aziz Ansari has come on board to someone who does something in the new office what-not. The “Human Giant” co-creator has also been signed up for ABC’s maybe-maybe-not final season of “Scrubs,” which means it’s going to be a busy year for Aziz (but “Scrubs” is actually filming now and should be done by the time they’re ready to shoot the “Office” spinoff, so at least he won’t have to double-shoot).

Two stories from HBO this week. First, the cable net has given the go-ahead to a pilot called “Bored to Death,” which is about a NY writer who is bored and decides to become a private eye à la Philip Marlowe. …Does a writer/detective fall within my current moratorium on procedurals? Close call, but we’ll say yes and move on. HBO’s other news of the week is that it has purchased an interest in the Funny or Die website, a deal which includes the folks behind the site (including Will Ferrell and Judd Apatow) agreeing to produce five hours of half-hour programming for the network. So far, TV networks that have tried to bring internet content to the airwaves have failed miserably, but this sounds like a bit of different deal, insofar as it’s not explicitly about bringing internet video to HBO, but using the same minds and creative juices. Will Ferrell thinks this is a very important step in the merger of TV and internet and, while not trying to overstate its importance, suggests that it “will change the way we as human beings perceive and interact with reality.” See what he did there? Funny guy, him. As for the half-hour programming the crew will produce for HBO, they’ve suggested that some of the episodes could be one-offs, while others could feature continuing characters and/or storylines. In other words, nobody’s real sure what this will be just yet. But HBO needs some new mojo of late, and this could very well be a step in the right direction.

Well this is intriguing: NBC has quietly been putting together the pilot for “Captain Cook’s Extraordinary Atlas.” The show is about a young girl who finds a magic book that takes her to a secret underground world. Sounds a little like Pan’s Labrynth, obviously, though I’m guessing it’ll be a little less dark. Anyway, the intriguing bits about this are that the pilot is being directed by Thomas Schlamme (Aaron Sorkin’s producing/directing buddy), and Janel Moloney has been cast as the young girl’s mom. Which is enough to have me on board if this ever sees the light of day.

Did any of you think it was an awesome idea when Fox announced that it was hitting us with “The Cleveland Show,” a spinoff of “Family Guy”? Well if you did, let’s see if this wipes that nonsense right the fuck out of your noggin:

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. This moratorium is doing wonders for his complexion and inner peace.

The Cleveland Pajiba

The Daily Trade Round-Up / The TV Whore
June 18, 2008

Industry | June 18, 2008 |

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

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