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May 28, 2008 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | May 28, 2008 |

HBO, like the traditional over-the-air networks, is stepping up once more to the Americanizaton plate, this time for a British prison drama. Alan Ball, fresh off helping the new HBO vampire show “True Blood” get off the ground, will be helping to helm the program, although the pilot adaptation is actually being written by Nancy Oliver (a former “Six Feet Under” writer and writer of Lars and the Real Girl) and Raelle Tucker (a former “Supernatural” writer). HBO is no stranger to prison dramas, of course, having aired the wonderfully soapy “Oz” for lo many a year. But the network is hanging up, so to speak, all the swinging exposed cocks, as “Bad Girls” focuses on a women’s prison. The show had an 8-year run over in Jolly Ol’ and won a couple of awards, so it was at least decent enough. So even though HBO’s been on a slide of late, if it gives the show an order, I’ll almost certainly check it out. After all, it has to at least be better than the chicks’ prison “Prison Break” spinoff Fox is planning, right? Exactly.

Thanks to the writers’ strike, things are all backwards this year — the upfronts have come and gone, the new network schedules have been announced and, yet, the pilot news still comes pouring in. This week, ABC snagged Beau Bridges for an untitled show starring Alyssa Milano (both of whom, of course, recently played around on “My Name is Earl”) as a woman trying to get away from her crappy family and crappier job. Bridges will be playing her crappy pops. I love looking at Milano, but I’m not so sure she can carry a sitcom. Bridges, however, is second only to Jeff for being my favorite of the Bridges, so the final tally is one “goodness” plus one part “eye candy.” Which equals a show that’s likely to get a series order. At least, that’d be my bet, were I a gambling man.

ABC has also signed a lead to “Finnegan,” which is about a woman heading up LAPD’s vice and organized crime unit. Normally, I wouldn’t give a rat’s fuck about another cop drama, but when you tell me that the lead is going to be played by Teri Polo, one of my major TV crushes, well that’s a whole other story. Because living up to my moniker, I’m an absolute whore for a TV show featuring a hot woman who also happens to be talented. Speaking of which, as a commentor noted last week, Judy Greer has signed on to one of HBO’s other Americanized show, “Suburban Shootout,” as the woman who finds herself caught in the midst of a housewives gang war (you’ll recall that Kelly Preston is already signed up as a gang leader, and Rachael Harris is cast too). No idea what to make of the show, but I sure like the way they’re going with the casting — hell, they’ve even got Barry Sonnenfeld directing the pilot. And yes, while he’s responsible for foisting R.V. upon us, he also directed the pilot for “Pushing Daisies” last fall, so there’s hope for him yet.

Meanwhile, it was only recently confirmed, as much as these things are ever confirmed, that Fox’s “Back to You” was not coming back to any of us. But Kelsey Grammer’s already back on the horse as he’ll be starring in the ABC pilot “Roman’s Empire.” This is a bit of a new TV comedy front for Grammer, who’s always been a traditional sitcom guy, as “Empire” is going to be a single-camera comedy. Grammer will be playing Roman Pretty, the head of a crazy family with lots of money. And the show will be about some dude who was dating Grammer/Roman’s daughter, but can’t seem to escape the family’s grip even though they’re now broken up. And like seemingly every other television show in development, yes, this too is an Americanization, based on a British comedy also called “Roman’s Empire” which aired last year (what say our Brit readers about the original?).

Finally, on the non-remake front, FX has been putting together this “Sons of Anarchy,” which is about a motorcycle gang (not to be confused with HBO’s “1%” which is … about a motorcycle gang). Scott Glenn had been slated to play the leader of the gang, but he’s now out. Which is too bad, because Glenn’s pretty much always great. But he’s been replaced by Ron Perlman, who actually seems a better fit for the role of biker gang leader. The show is being referred to as a dark comedy, and it centers on Charlie Hunnam as a young member of the gang torn by some of its shady actions. Perlman and Katey Sagal play his parents. And I play the role of highly intrigued.

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. He was going to end by posting the five minute trailer video for VH1’s “I Love Money,” but thought better of it when he realized he’d never be able to wash the guilt off his hands. Seriously, even with all the fake tits and ridiculousness, he couldn’t even get half-way through the video.

Bad Girls, Bad Girls, Whatcha Gonna Do ... Whatcha Gonna Do When I Pajiba For You?

The Daily Trade Round-Up / The TV Whore
May 28, 2008

Industry | May 28, 2008 |

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

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