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April 16, 2008 |

By Seth Freilich | Industry | April 16, 2008 |

Hell yes! Fox has signed Tricia Helfer to a one-year deal, which means she’ll likely get a pilot for herself sometime in the next year. With “Battlestar Galactica” soon to leave us forever, I’ll take some more Number Six any which way I can get her. That’s one toaster I’d let crisp my bagel, if you know what I’m saying. Here’s hoping she gets a pilot that actually makes it to air, unlike her last pilot, 2007’s “Them.”

And in possibly related news, Helfer’s current boss, Ron Moore, just got a two-hour backdoor pilot from Fox. “Virtuality,” a script Moore wrote with another “BSG” writer/producer, is about a crew of spacemen on a 10-year mission to explore the universe, and they use their ship’s high-tech virtual reality technology to get away from the boredom of spending 10 years on a spaceship (i.e., a holodeck, which Moore is quite familiar with, having worked on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”). I can’t say this sounds terribly interesting, I was also entirely uninterested in “Battlestar Galactica” and Moore’s wonderful job there has earned him the benefit of the doubt. Plus, if he were to cast Helfer, well, you know who has two thumbs and wouldn’t complain? This guy.

And in equally exciting, if less sexy (to my own tastes, at least) casting news, Albert Brooks is joining “Weeds,” which returns on June 16 (!). Brooks will be playing Mr. Botwin, Nancy’s father-in-law, for a few episodes. And while there’s not much word yet on what his storyline will be, I don’t care. Even though his recent work has left a little to be desired, Al will forever hold a special place in my heart because of Defending Your Life and his turn as Hank Scorpio on “The Simpsons,” among other wonderful things.

In other pilot news, HBO’s “1%” has added Donal Logue, W. Earl Brown (our boy Dan Dority from “Deadwood”) and Marisa Ryan (no idea who she is, though IMDb says she was on “Major Dad” among other things). This is the show about an Arizona motorcycle club, and Logue has been tapped to play the leader of the gang. Interesting choice, and something a bit different from his usual comedy schtick, so we’ll have to wait and see how this show shakes out.

Meanwhile, CBS has pulled Marcia Gay Harden into its terrible-sounding pilot for “The Tower,” which is about Chicago reporters who try to investigate and solve breaking news crime cases or some shit. Some shit indeed. CBS is also go-going Power Rangers, as Amy Jo Johnson has been added to “Flashpoint,” a police drama that already has a 13 episode order. Johnson will be playing a former Canadian mountie, eh. I’ve always had a little thing for Amy Jo (though she’s no Tricia, of course), and with Enrico Colantoni already in the show as well, I may have to check it out despite the fact that it’s yet. another. police. drama.

So hey — did anyone watch “Secret Talents of the Stars” last week? I didn’t, and all I know about it is that George Takei sang some country tune and, apparently, it weren’t so good. Well, actually, I know two things. I know that, and I know that CBS has already yanked the show after a lone airing. It was replaced by “48 Hours Mystery” last night, and will be again next week. Coincidentally, it took well less than 48 hours for CBS to cancel “Secret Talents,” and there was no mystery behind that decision at all. (See what I did right there? That’s why I’m a professional, bitches!) After next week, “Shark” will take over that Tuesday at 10 p.m. timeslot.

And speaking of short-lived reality shows, CBS has announced a new reality show from Mark Burnett that will be airing this summer. The eight episode run of “Jingles” is slated to premiere on Sunday, July 27, at 9 p.m. I consulted my oddsmaker friend in Vegas and he said the show is getting +250 that it will actually air at all (meaning you win $250 on a $100 bet), and the over/under of episodes to air is 2. Why is my hypothetical bookie so down on “Jingles” you ask? Because it’s a competition show where, I fucking kid you not, people will be creating jingles. Commercial jingles, TV show jingles — you name it, they’ll jingle it! Mother. Fucking. Jingles. When I told Dustin about this yesterday, his response was a succinct “guh.” Guh indeed.

In better CBS/Burnett news, the next season of “Survivor” will finally make the jump to HD. Shows like “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” have avoided the HD so far because the cameras are bigger and bit more unwieldy, which is a particular concern in active reality shows like these, where the cameramen have to run all over the place lugging their electronic eyes. So I feel a little bad for the camera guys. But whatever — it’ll be nice to see the next season’s beautiful local in high def, even though I’m a little scared to think about how the HD might treat unshowered and unkempt contestants.

Lastly, those of us back on board with “Lost” this season will be happy to learn that we’re going to get an extra hour in May, meaning we’ll have only lost two episodes this season because of the strike. However, while this means we’ll be getting a three-hour finale, there will be a fucking two week gap in the middle. The first hour will air on May 15, and the last two will run two weeks later on May 29. The gap is because the producers refused to break apart the last two hours, and May 22, the Thursday in between, was already slated for the “Ugly Betty” finale followed by the “Grey’s Anatomy” finale. And now, with no “Lost” on the 22nd, ABC has also given “Grey’s” an extra hour, so its May 22 finale will be two hours of frustratingly banal bullshit, instead of just the one.

And speaking of “Lost,” I leave you with … what?

Actually, we’re not done yet. Gonna step out of the TV and into the movies for just a quick second. Late last night, as I was putting this column to bed, I stumbled upon the trailer for The Wackness, Audience Award winner at Sundance (and my favorite flick I saw there, as well). I’m excited to now know this flick comes out in July, because I really can’t wait to see it again. But I’m disappointed as all hell at this first trailer, which I’m hesitant to even post, lest it taint your first impression of the flick. So just keep in mind that I’m promising you that this trailer does not represent the goodness that this movie actually is. Shocking, that a trailer might drop the ball, right? I know.

Seth Freilich is Pajiba’s television editor. He is still reeling — reeling — from the pain that was goddamn Mariah Carey night on “American Idol” last night. In fact, he’d like to talk to any neurosurgeons in the Los Angeles area that might be able to make a lobotomy house call this afternoon.

All of This Has Happened Before and Will Pajiba Again

The Daily Trade Round-Up / The TV Whore
April 16, 2008

Industry | April 16, 2008 |

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

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